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Articles from 2020 In September

At the Epicenter announces rebrand as Regenerative Rising

regenerative rising

At the Epicenter, the creator of the ever-popular Regenerative Earth Summit and Women Leading Regeneration Summit, rebranded to Regenerative Rising last week. The group also unveiled their new website, networking platform and fall event lineup.

Originally established in 2010 as a Boulder, Colorado-based speaker series, At The Epicenter shifted its focus in 2016 toward highlighting the multi-faceted potential and benefits of regenerative agriculture and began producing the Regenerative Earth Summit (RES).

“When we began At the Epicenter [in 2010], it was a local-centric idea. But over the past few years our focus, reach and intention have pivoted deeply into elevating the principles of regeneration on both a national and global scale,” says Seleyn DeYarus, founder and executive director of Regenerative Rising.

In addition to RES, the group has also produced the Women Leading Regeneration Summit series, multiple workshops at Natural Products Expo West and B-Corp Champion Retreats and the Regenerative Voices podcast, gathering thousands of professionals into a growing global community that are using the power of business to elevate these regenerative principles. 

“We have clearly put our stake in the ground for the power of this idea of regeneration. And the name Regenerative Rising expresses the dynamic truth that regeneration is rising in its prestige and influence globally. The term is resonating all over the planet and we are helping to safeguard the integrity of the idea while elevating and forwarding regenerative principles to heal the relationship between people and the earth,” says DeYarus. Along with the rebrand, Regenerative Rising has launched a new website,

“With our new website we are upping our educational platform to become a destination for people who want to know more. And working to offer content and inspiration that meets the individual at their current point of interest and learning in this potent topic,” says DeYarus.

Regenerative Rising will also launch a membership and networking platform, to facilitate connection amongst the growing global regenerative community for communicating and sharing ideas on an ongoing basis.

“At the last Regenerative Earth Summit, we heard from our partners that there is a need to dig further into the how and the need to find ways to keep channels of communication on regenerative open outside of the timelines of a summit convening. Through our specific focus on addressing ‘How’ at our upcoming Regenerative Earth Summit series and through the Regenerative Member Community, we feel we are effectively addressing these stated needs in service to the growing regenerative community,” explains DeYarus.

The online Regenerative Member Community will actively help professionals, brands and farmers connect with colleagues on a local and global level in order to accelerate the adoption of regenerative principles at the business and organizational level.

“We want to facilitate engagement between stakeholders and educate people just coming to these ideas through our website and programs that have led us to be a part of the global galvanizing network for this movement,” she says.

DeYarus adds, “It is an unsustainable business strategy to focus on profitability at the expense of the health of your customers and the natural resources that keep you in business. That is obvious, and change is necessary. All indicators are that the changes we are highlighting are proving profitable. We are seeing that through companies like Danone, Applegate, Patagonia, Timberland, Eileen Fisher, Alter Eco, Guayaki, Thrive Market, HB Specialty Foods, Dr. Bronner’s, Pipeline Foods and the list goes on. All of these companies from supply to manufacturing both in food and apparel are seeing what is needed to have a successful long-term existence as a business. And they are making significant commitments to regenerative strategies, not just sustainable strategies.”

Other key Regenerative Rising collaboration partners include the American Sustainable Business Council, Climate Collaborative, Savory Institute, Kiss the Ground, Fibershed, Inland Ocean Coalition, River Network and Mad Agriculture.

Suorce: At the Epicenter

[email protected]: Whole Foods fights workers over Black Lives Matter masks | Walmart redesigns store layout

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Workers at chains including Whole Foods and Whataburger are taking legal action in fight over employees' right to wear Black Lives Matter masks

Whole Foods and Whataburger, companies which have thus far banned workers from wearing masks or buttons with messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, are facing pushback from employees who argue that the rule is grounds for racial-discrimination lawsuits. 28 Amazon and Whole Foods employees in nine states filed a class-action lawsuit in July, and experts say that proving the companies' responses are linked to racial discrimination will likely be an uphill battle. Business Insider has the scoop ...

Walmart is embarking on its most comprehensive store redesign ever

Walmart's new store design was heavily inspired by an unlikely place: Airports. Two hundred of the retailer's physical locations will debut the new layout by early 2021, and offers a more "seamless" shopping experience by incorporating more self-checkout kiosks and contactless payment options. Customers are increasingly prioritizing contactless shopping and cutting back on time spent in store due to COVID-19, all of which Walmart took into account when formulating the new store design. Get the skinny on all the new store signage WGME ... 

Oat milk surges to second most popular in plant-based dairy

While the most popular plant-based milk is still almondmilk by a mile, oatmilk sales reached $213.35 million in the 52 weeks prior to Sept. 6, effectively edging out soymilk for the No. 2 spot. Consumers love oatmilk for its sustainability angle, slightly sweet taste, admirable nutritional profile and similarity to dairy milk. Is oatmilk on track to dethrone almondmilk altogether? Find out more at Food Dive ...

Amazon sees broad audience for its palm recognition tech

Like fingerprints, all palms are unique. This is why Amazon is now using palm recognition technology in two of its Seattle stores, which representatives for the company say is more private than other biometric technology. The new tech allows shoppers to merely flash a palm at a sensor in order to enter the store and purchase goods. Head over to U.S. News for the full story ...

I've not eaten KFC since the 80s. Its plant-based chicken nuggets will change that

In this article, the executive director of the nonprofit Good Food Institute applauds Kentucky Fried Chicken's partnership with Beyond Meat and unprecedented strides into the world of cell-cultured meat products. While vegan purists found many a flaw in the fast-food chain's approach (plant-based menu items are fried alongside their meat counterparts), the growing number of flexitarians looking for a way to indulge in their favorite foods in a more humane and sustainable way are thrilled. Read more at The Guardian …

Spark Change brands put protein front and center

Spark Change Trend more protein please

The Product Discovery Zone at Spark Change provides a great firsthand look at many of the brands exemplifying the trends and macro forces that will shape the natural products industry for years to come.

This Spark Change-inspired series shines the spotlight on some of these brands by highlighting a different trend each week.

Trend of the week: More Protein Please

Brands exemplifying the More Protein Please trend are especially popular among today's low-carb lifestyle followers. Because there is no set-in-stone daily protein limit, consumers across the board are eager to swap out products filled with empty calories for ones that incorporate protein in place of carbs and sugar. 

More Protein Please Spark Change Trend products

1. Flourish Pancakes

Who said adopting a low-carb, low-sugar diet meant no more pancakes? Flourish Pancakes' Protein Pancake and Waffle mixes are fortified with whey and flaxseed protein and lightly sweetened with erythritol. Consumers just add a little water or milk to the mix and the nourishing, delicious breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) treats can be ready to eat in 5 minutes or less. Find Flourish Pancakes in the Product Discovery Zone.

2. EggLife

EggLife uses cage-free eggs to create a low-carb alternative to sandwich wraps and flour tortillas. The company's product line is 95% egg white, which appeals to shoppers hunting for clean and simple ingredient lists. Gluten-free EggLife wraps have less than 1 gram net carbs, are 30 calories each and come in four flavors to suit every taste and dish. Find EggLife in the Product Discovery Zone.

3. PlantFusion

PlantFusion's 100% vegan product line consists of several targeted protein supplements for athletes, women and consumers following a ketogenic diet (and more). Its products incorporate a wide variety of plant-based proteins extracted from peas, artichokes, algae and organic superfoods for an amino acid-infused blend that is comparable in terms of supporting muscle function to whey protein. Find PlantFusion in the Product Discovery Zone.

See the latest in natural products and connect with exhibitors in the Spark Change Product Discovery Zone. Learn more about Spark Change.

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How Pinky Cole’s The Slutty Vegan in Atlanta is using its platform for change this election season

pinky cole slutty vegan

More and more restaurant owners are speaking out on issues they’re passionate about and using their platform as tastemakers to initiate change. Pinky Cole—founder and owner of the soon-to-be three-unit vegan junk food spot, The Slutty Vegan in Atlanta is using her platform as a popular plant-based burger restaurant and food truck to raise awareness around election season.

Together with her nonprofit organization, The Pinky Cole foundation, rapper Jermaine Dupri and Impossible Foods (makers of the Impossible Burger), The Slutty Vegan has helped to launch “VoteNik: Zoom to the Polls,” a nonpartisan initiative designed to raise customer awareness around voter registration, civic engagement and election season. The weekly Zoom series launched on Sept. 22 with a special guest appearance from Young Jeezy and will continue up until the week of the election on Nov. 3.

“I’m not a politician but I see issues and I feel like I could use my platform to help effect those issues,” Cole told Restaurant Hospitality. “Slutty Vegan went on a 17-city tour and I saw so many people were standing in line to get our burgers and I realized I could I use my platform to get people to vote. I partnered with a local chapter of the NAACP to get people to register to vote and a lightbulb went off for me like ‘what else can you do to get people involved in the issues happening in America.’”

Her goal was to get people excited about voting again, whether they were voting blue or red.

She especially thinks it’s important to get involved as a black female entrepreneur.

“I’m a restaurant, I sell burgers and fries but I’m bigger than just a restaurant, I’m an advocate for change,” Cole said. “[…] People are proud to see that someone who is like them ,young African-American woman from east Baltimore that started a concept that has grown overnight is able to reach back and help those that need help and reach back and get people excited about voting.”

Watch the video below to learn more about Pinky Cole and her VoteNik initiative.

nations-restaurant-news-225.pngThis piece originally appeared on Nation’s Restaurant News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more foodservice industry business intelligence.

Spark Savvy Modern Health Quiz: Is your trend knowledge in tip-top shape?

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Upcycled Food Association announces 100th member


The Upcycled Food Association (UFA) announces its 100th Member to join since the nonprofit was formed less than a year ago: DOLE Packaged Foods, LLC. This marks the first global, consumer-facing company to become a member of UFA, an organization with the mission of reducing food waste through food upcycling. The announcement is made in celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.

The Upcycled Food Association was co-founded by nine mission-driven businesses in 2019, and has quickly become the center of gravity for the growing upcycled food industry. The 100 businesses within the UFA represent 15 countries and consist of a mix of consumer packaged goods, ingredient supply and service provision companies. While several large ingredient companies have already joined the organization, including IFF and Griffith Foods, DOLE joining signifies growth in consumer understanding and acceptance of upcycled foods, which prevent food waste by creating new, high-quality products from otherwise wasted ingredients.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, president of DOLE Packaged Foods, LLC., said today that DOLE was delighted to become a double milestone member of the Upcycled Food Association, becoming its 100th Member and the first global corporate to sign up.

“We share the same values and goals. Nourishing people is our business, so we take it personally when a third of all the food produced in the world is wasted,” said Sigismondi.

“Through our Dole promise, we have made a zero waste commitment and to achieve this we are looking for innovative ways to convert less-than-perfect produce into affordable, innovative forms of nutrition. We are excited about what UFA can bring to our efforts and what we can do ourselves to support the association to connect and educate growers and consumers,” he said.

Evidence does show strong consumer demand for upcycled foods, with multiple recent studies showing that more than half of consumers are interested in buying more upcycled foods. These findings are in alignment with a recent study from Genomatica, which showed consumers are increasingly interested in buying sustainable products, despite COVID-19. 

“Today, we celebrate International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste with the demonstration that the upcycled food movement is global and scalable,” said Turner Wyatt, CEO of Upcycled Food Association. “Upcycled food gives consumers the ability to reduce food waste every time they shop for food. The participation of Dole in the upcycled food movement will help bring this solution to scale. Together, Members of the Upcycled Food Association will prevent tens of millions of pounds of food waste this year.”

“Like all growers, we aim for the highest possible quality standards. Some of our produce does not make the grade as fresh or as packaged products. This worries us, given growing food insecurity. Where many forms of agriculture return imperfect products back to the land via composting, we would rather see our produce feed people. The upcycled food movement is very much in line with our values around sustainability and growing value,” Sigismondi said.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to food waste. This year, reducing food waste was recognized as the single greatest solution to global warming by Project Drawdown, the global leader in ranking climate change solutions. 

Upcycled food, a term which was formally defined in a paper co-authored by UFA, Harvard Law School, NRDC, World Wildlife Fund, Drexel University, ReFED and others, is made from ingredients that would have otherwise been wasted, and has a positive impact on the environment. Over 400 upcycled products already exist, and UFA is launching a product certification later this year as a way to increase access to these products. 

Source: Upcycled Food Association