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  • Farm-free food? Vertical farms?
  • “Chinese restaurant syndrome”
  • Changing guidelines in schools
  • The rise of pea protein
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The Conversation
Most people in the UK are committed meat eaters – but for how long? My new research into the views of meat eaters found that most respondents viewed veganism as ethical in principle and good for the environment.

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Business Insider
General Mills, the company behind popular brands like Cheerios and Yoplait, is betting big on plant-based seafood – this week it was part of a $32 million investment into a startup offering plant-based fish burgers.

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Reason
Factory farming may soon well mean something quite different than feedlot cattle and battery chickens. Entrepreneurs around the globe are seeking to replace conventional farming with shiny clean aluminum bioreactors that churn out tasty steaks, drumsticks, and flour. If this vision works out, the human footprint on the natural world will shrink dramatically since we use about one-third the world’s land to produce food.

Editor’s Note: There has been a lot of debate around meat-free food, but what about a completely farm-free future? Here, Reason delves into the future of food tech.

Sifted
Californian plant-based meat startup Impossible Foods made headlines around the world this month debuting its first pork substitute at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The plant-based meat company, famous for its burgers, is gearing up to launch it’s Impossible Sausage later this month as well.

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Reuters
Almond milk producer Califia Farms has raised $225 million from global investors including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings who are looking for the next plant-based food hit after the market debut of vegan burger maker Beyond Meat last year.

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Slate
When I first came across a pulled “pork” sandwich stuffed with jackfruit, I was utterly horrified. Shredded jackfruit smothered in barbecue sauce is the complete antithesis to the sunny yellow bulbs of fruit I ate fresh out of hand called nangka, and the spiced curries I devoured on family trips to Indonesia.

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The Spoon
Nestlé has seriously beefed up its plant-based meat initiatives this week. Today Sweet Earth Foods, which is owned by the Swiss CPG company, announced that it would begin selling its plant-based Awesome burger at Ruby Tuesday’s. The Awesome burger launched in U.S. retail this October, but the Ruby Tuesday’s deal marks its first time sold in a national restaurant chain.

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Food Ingredients First
Canada’s Merit Functional Foods, in consortium with seed processor Pitura Seeds and health brand The Winning Combination, has raised new capital to rapidly expand its ability to meet market demand for plant-based proteins and by-products, including trending peas and canola.

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Business Insider
Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown is on a mission to make meat obsolete, and it looks like he’s off to a pretty promising start.

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Time
Farmers have grown food in roughly the same way for thousands of years: planting seeds and watching them grow; raising animals from birth to slaughter; hoping that nature provides them the right amounts of rain and sun.

Editor’s Note: Part of sustainability and the future of food is how to fund it. Here Alana Semuels looks into where the money is flowing for subjects such as vertical farming as part of TIME’s coverage of Davos 2020.

AP
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday took another step toward dismantling Michelle Obama’s school nutrition guidelines, proposing a new rule that could lead to more pizza and fries and less fruit and a smaller variety of vegetables on school menus.

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SynBio Beta
These days, biotech R&D is as much a data problem as a science problem. Here’s why: in the past decade, the exploding field of synthetic biology has done an incredible job solving the scientific challenges of making biology easier to engineer. I have written about how tools like gene editing, synthesis, sequencing, and automation are changing for the better the way we feed, fuel, heal, and build our world with biology

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BBC
Ajinomoto, a Japanese company, is not a household name in the West – but a product it makes, monosodium glutamate, is notorious. Commonly referred to as MSG, the flavouring agent conjures up images of greasy meals followed by headaches.

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Quartz
The ascent of plant-based meat alternatives has reshaped menus in restaurants and fast-food chains across the US, led by a parade of high-tech burgers, nuggets, and sausages that look (and sometimes taste) like the real thing. That’s all fine and good for American consumers who gravitate toward fried foods and processed meats. But what about the 1.3 billion people living in the world’s second-biggest economy?

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The Spoon
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Veg News
This week, international chain Tim Hortons added a vegan sausage to its menus at select locations across the United Kingdom. Made by British vegan brand Moving Mountains Foods, the new sausage is available in three menu items: Veggie Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Muffin, Vegan Wrap, and a Veggie Burger (the bun, cheese, and mayonnaise of which are not vegan).

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Metro
Almost a quarter of all new UK food products launched last year were labelled vegan – despite only 1% of the country religiously avoiding meat and dairy, new figures show.

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AFP
Hot on the heels of the American startup Impossible Foods, which unveiled a range of meat-free pork products in Las Vegas last week, a Spanish company has presented a new technique to create meat-free steak using a 3D printer. According to a report in The Guardian, consumers in Spain and Italy should have an opportunity to sample this technological marvel as early as this year.

Editor’s Note: 3D printing is now influencing the field of food technology. Here AFP analyses the launch of artificial 3D printed beef in Spain and Italy.

iNews
Scarcely believable, I know, but i’s front page about vegan food – which included the startling statistic that four in 10 meat eaters say they reduced their consumption of meat last year – prompted strong, opposing views from i readers.

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Reuters
Burger King said on Thursday it would add its plant-based Impossible Whopper sandwich to its popular 2 items for $6 promotion, a sign that fast-food chains are trying to reach more customers with affordable options.

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Nikkei
NH Foods, a leading meat processing company in Japan, will in March introduce plant-based meat substitutes to its product range.

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Quartz
Barclays predicts the meat alternatives market will be worth $140 billion by 2030, about 14% of the current value of the global meat industry. Public interest and private sector investment in meat alternatives are soaring, and food startups are responding with ever-more sophisticated products — including bleeding, meatless burgers and chicken nuggets made of meat grown in a lab.

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Digital Journal
Investment in lab-grown meet continues, with the search for the type of product that will taste more realistic to ‘real meat’ and which can also be produced to scale. Researchers have put forward a new process that could deliver a consistent product.

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CNN
The United States Department of Agriculture on Friday announced two new proposals that would give school nutrition professionals “more flexibility” in what they serve to students. The USDA says food service providers could dial-back servings of fruit at breakfast, cut back on grains to make room for meats and meat alternatives and relax current vegetable requirements.

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Xinhua
U.S.-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes Beyond Meat Inc. hopes to tap into the Chinese mainland market this year, as the company works aggressively to expand its reach, according to its leader.

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