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  • Cargill to launch plant-based burger
  • America’s take on fake meat
  • Growing rice in the ocean
  • The fate of Blue Apron
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The Atlantic
For most Americans, meat sticks have one face: Macho Man Randy Savage. The pro wrestler fronted the Slim Jim brand for much of the 1990s, flipping tables and crashing through ceilings in television commercials to implore young men to snap into dried sausage rods.

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Forbes
Growing rice in the ocean sounds a little whacky, but ocean agriculture is an emerging form of food production that could have some real potential. Less than 1% of fresh water is available for human use, and 70% of that is used for agriculture worldwide.

Editor’s Note: Contemporary agricultural practices involve the use of a lot of fresh water. Here, Ariella Simke looks at what that means for water usage and the possibility of growing salt-tolerant rice in the oceans.

Reuters
Cargill Inc will launch plant-based hamburger patties and ground “fake meat” products in April, the company said on Monday, challenging Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods for sales in grocery stores, cafeterias and restaurants.

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Mirror
Welcome to the poultry capital of the world, where America’s ravenous appetite for controversial reared chickens is set to take flight across the Atlantic if Donald Trump gets his way in a UK-US trade deal.

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Food Navigator USA
Can 60% of current meat consumption be replaced by novel vegan meat replacements and cultured meat in the next 20 years? That is what AT Kearney has recently projected, but the analysis does not outline a path for achieving the forecast. Is reaching the target possible?

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Forbes
Does fake meat need a cancer warning? That’s the question posed by The Center for Consumer Freedom, a rather notorious non-profit advocacy group founded in 1996 by former lobbyist Rick Berman. “Consumer freedom” sure sounds like a noble cause, but the organization is primarily funded by companies from the restaurant and food industries in addition to individual donations.

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The Drum
Burger King has caused a stir with a global campaign that showcases its prized Whopper burger decaying over a 34-day period. The rotten ad has been designed to highlight the chain’s decision to remove artificial preservatives from its flagship burger. But is it a shining example of Burger King’s creative genius, or a stunt designed to win awards that will simply leave a bad taste in customer’s mouths?

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Reuters
A Dutch start-up may have found a workaround for eco-conscious consumers struggling to give up meat: pork grown in a laboratory that doesn’t harm animals or damage the planet.

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Boston.com
For centuries, people have celebrated food — and more specifically, they’ve celebrated meat. Imagine the ritual behind the classic American cookout: Smoked brats, barbecue-slathered short ribs, grilled chicken breasts, quintessential beef patties and that thick, smoky scent curling into the air.

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South China Morning Post
Twelve years ago, 300,000 children in China were poisoned after drinking infant milk formula that contained melamine, a chemical used in plastic. Six babies were killed by the toxic substance, which was used by 22 companies to artificially boost the protein levels that showed up in nutrition tests.

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Crunchbase
You only have to look as far as the menus at Burger King or Carl’s Jr. to realize that plant-based meat is no longer a phenomenon, but practically a given. Both restaurants offer Impossible Foods’ fake meat, a Redwood City, California-based startup that offers plant-based burgers and sausage (and has landed $687.5 million in known venture capital funding to date).

Editor’s Note: One thing about the current fake meat boom is that despite the hype, costs remain high. Here, Natasha Mascarenhas explores a potential new avenue in the shape of meat created from animal cells.

Food Business News
Inspired by the saying “When you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence,” the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network (C.F.B.N.) has launched Bigger Table, a nonprofit organization that aims to bring together the area’s food and beverage industry to collaborate and deliver on a series of charitable and economic growth initiatives.

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Time
With all the talk about the disease-fighting, life-extending superpowers of the Mediterranean diet, a lot of people are trying to cram more seafood into their meals. But while there are endless articles extolling the healthful glories of fatty, omega-3-rich fish like salmon and mackerel, there’s not much talk about shellfish — or whether these sea creatures deserve space on your shopping list.

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Stuff NZ
OPINION: For most parents, getting nutrition right is hard enough without companies marketing us products our kids don’t need.

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CBC News
Backyard grillers have been saying it for years, and now there’s scientific proof: marinating your meat in beer is good for you. According to a team of researchers at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus, marinating moose and beef in unfiltered craft beer with a low-alcohol level helps preserve anti-cancer acids in the meat while significantly improving the antioxidants, which fight the compounds linked to multiple illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

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Financial Post
If you want to know the meat-eating habits of an entire population, you need to understand the code. Statisticians can tell how many head of cattle, chickens or hogs were slaughtered. They can look at inventory and meat production, imports and exports, and tell how much meat was available in Canada in a given year.

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New Food Magazine
Fresh produce is a major vehicle for noroviruses, a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries. However, the viruses are quite resistant to cold pasteurization treatments such as irradiation, which are used to destroy bacteria, moulds, parasites, and insects.

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Bloomberg
Taco Bell’s new chief executive officer is ready to embrace meat alternatives on the fast food chain’s menu, in contrast to a previous plan.

Editor’s Note: Part of the Future of Food Distill is coverage of what the fast food chains will serve their millions of customers. Here Taco Bell joins the fray.

Supermarket News
Los Angeles-based Vallarta Supermarkets announced additional menu offerings in various departments just in time for Lent (Feb. 26 to April 12), adding numerous meatless options for those observing the holiday or looking to reduce their meat consumption.

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Newsweek
Fast-food chains are planting the seeds of change for those not eating meat, with many launching new plant-based menu items.

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Forbes
This bacon is elusive. It doesn’t come from a pig. You can’t even buy it anymore. Maybe that’s because people love it so much, and because the plant-based bacon was sold for just a short time, on Valentine’s Day.

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CNN
Blue Apron is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of its investors.

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SF Chronicle
As of today, you can. San Francisco startup Endless West has released Gemello, a product that resembles a sweet, 6% abv Moscato but was not made from grapes. Instead, in its Dogpatch laboratory, the company’s team of scientists mixes water, neutral alcohol and flavoring molecules to approximate the taste of the real thing.

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Inhabitat
The topic of how we produce food is commonplace and more relevant than ever. After all, the way we choose to grow produce affects waterways, soil and air, which in turn, affects each of us. When it comes to raising animals for meat, the stakes are even higher.

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Stuff NZ
It appears a Rangitīkei town’s reputation for beefy wordplay can overcome even the most obvious geographic challenge when a pun is “at steak”.

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