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  • McDonald’s and Impossible not lovin’ it
  • ‘Solein’ protein created from thin air
  • A NASA food scientist reflects
  • Starbucks joins the food tech party
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The Conversation
On the Channel 4 documentary Apocalyse Cow: How meat killed the planet, British environmentalist and vegan George Monbiot presented the UK as stripped of woodland by grass-eating sheep, crowded with the “agricultural sprawl” of industrial farms, and with streams polluted by manure. Monbiot insisted that the British countryside isn’t a picturesque escape, but an ongoing ecological disaster.

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Food Ingredients First
Finnish food-tech company, Solar Foods, has pioneered a breakthrough biotech solution, Solein, which enables natural protein production anywhere by using air and electricity. The scientists say it will compete with soya on price within the next ten years and could be the answer to tackling environmental problems often associated with farming and the livestock secto

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AFP
Pork, which accounts for more than a third of meat production, is the most widely consumed animal protein in the world.

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Reuters
The CEO of Impossible Foods said in an interview Wednesday that his company is abandoning plans to partner with global fast food chain McDonald’s. In an interview with Reuters, Pat Brown said that Impossible Foods, famous for its plant-based burgers, could not meet the scale required to partner with such a large chain at the present time.

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China Daily
Tariffs and African swine fever made 2019 a bad year for Chinese pork consumers, cutting supply and driving up prices as tens of millions of hogs in Asia were slaughtered in an effort to halt the spread of the disease.

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Quartz
Impossible Foods is expanding the vegan footprint on Burger King menu boards. The California-based startup today announced it would supply plant-based pork sausages for new sandwiches geared at the breakfast crowd.

Editor’s Note: This week will forever be the one that Impossible Foods announced it was going after what one outlet called “the other fake meat,” pork. Here QZ analyzes the move as a global one.

LA Times
The Impossible Burger, which first appeared in grocery stores in September, is made entirely of plant-based ingredients. But it looks, smells, feels and — most importantly — tastes so much like real hamburger beef that it’s hard to tell the difference between, say, the Impossible Whopper now available at Burger King and the original charred-flesh version that the fast food chain has been selling for decades.

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Food Ingredients First
US consumers are more conscious than ever about what they are eating and how food and beverage production impacts the world, that is according to recent findings by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation.

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Reuters
Starbucks Corp on Tuesday added an oat milk beverage to its menu, as the coffee chain taps into the growing demand for vegan alternatives to dairy.

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Bloomberg
Faux burger maker Beyond Meat Inc. extended stock-market gains on Tuesday following a report that its main competitor, Impossible Foods Inc., is no longer seeking a deal to be a supplier for fast-food giant McDonald’s Inc.

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Gizmodo
When Impossible Foods told me it would reveal a new not-meat product at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year, I was sure it was chicken. Chicken is so tasty! I was wrong. Impossible’s new thing is pork, and much to my surprise, it tastes amazing.

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Purdue University
Cleaning and sanitizing food processing equipment requires using chemicals and copious amounts of water for rinsing those chemicals away. It’s possible — if it can be done correctly — that creating microscopic bubbles in water could reduce or eliminate the need for those chemicals.

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Nikkei
A young Beijing-based food-tech company is seeking to get ahead of the pack in China’s new market of plant-based meat alternatives, offering a product that sizzles like real meat to appeal to all the senses of home chefs.

Editor’s Note: Though American companies are trying to crack the Asian market, faux meat startups are also popping up in China. Yusuke Hinata assesses the beginnings of Zhenmeat for Nikkei.

Popular Mechanics
Scientists, as they are wont to do, have analyzed the way spaghetti curls as it cooks. Researchers Nathaniel Goldberg and Oliver O’Reilly, of U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, used their noodles—we’re so sorry—to put together a mathematical model that accounts for gravity, density, elasticity, and rigidity in cooking “rod-shaped” noodles like spaghetti.

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Food Ingredients First
Toronto-based pizza chain Pizza Pizza has launched a new crust to appeal to keto dieters. The “Keto Uncrust” created in collaboration with Unbun Foods, boasts only two grams of net carbs per slice, ideal for a low-carb diet such as keto. Consumers can choose between three menu options featuring the keto-friendly crust, including customized options.

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AFP
GUANGZHOU — A young Beijing-based food-tech company is seeking to get ahead of the pack in China’s new market of plant-based meat alternatives, offering a product that sizzles like real meat to appeal to all the senses of home chefs.

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The Guardian
Marketing agency Buzzbar is reshaping the marketing industry

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Taipei Times
Since today was the start of earnings season, the price action instigated by reports from a few large banks was covered at the top of today’s PreMarket Prep Show.

Editor’s Note: This one may also deserve a place in our Distill Over the Moon, but here space and food mix in the person of former NASA food scientist Mike Kuo. Here he speaks with the Taipei Times about his work developing 80 different types of food for astronauts.

Reuters
Happy New Year! 2019 has come and gone like Kylo Ren’s reign in The Rise of Skywalker, and so it’s time for my (13th!) annual prediction piece for VentureBeat. But first, a quick look at the scorecard for my 2019 predictions:

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NY Post
It may be too early to short, but it’s too late to go long at today’s prices

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Press Association
Marketing of meat alternatives as “clean” or “green” may cause consumers to overlook the potential health risks they pose, a briefing suggests.

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Business Insider
We visited Beyond Meat’s headquarters in El Segundo, California.

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I News
Just 1 in 62 packed lunches meet food standards according to a review which found children are still being sent to school with sugary drinks, crisps and chocolate bars.

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Reuters
McDonald’s Corp said on Wednesday it would expand its vegan burgers trials using Beyond Meat patties to 52 restaurants in Canada, signaling a stronger push from the world’s No. 1 fast-food chain into plant-based meat options.

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University of Leeds
A survey of yogurt ingredients show that sugar levels have significantly decreased in the last two years, but concerns about overall nutritional content remain.

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