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Future of Food #28

  • Feasting on scraps
  • Predicting avocado ripeness
  • Profits over public health?
  • Manmade milk
Published every Tuesday

The Conversation

South Africa faces mass hunger if efforts to offset impact of COVID-19 are eased

When South Africa entered a hard lockdown on 27 March, the government was globally recognised for taking tough steps to “flatten the curve” and keep COVID-19 infections low. Four months on, our research, using data from a broader national survey, shows large groups of households are experiencing tremendous hardship as a direct result of the lockdown.

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Editor’s Note:

South Africans face a major hunger crisis in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. This article from The Conversation highlights the results of a new survey which indicates that millions of people in the country do not have the money to buy food.

Harvard Gazette

Student-developed device predicts avocado ripeness

Each year, about 40 percent of all food in the U.S. goes uneaten. That means Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food that could been used to make more than 58 trillion meals, according to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC).

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Food Dive

How food innovation has continued during the pandemic

Coronavirus has shifted the reasons, processes and funds for new ideas and products, but manufacturers, funders and experts agree: Stopping the process is not an option.

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Ohio State University

How adding green tea extract to prepared foods may reduce the risk for norovirus

Infusing prepared foods with an edible coating that contains green tea extract may lower consumers’ chances of catching the highly contagious norovirus by eating contaminated food, new research suggests.

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The Food Industry Puts Profits Over Public Health Using Big Tobacco’s Playbook

Public health advocates were winning. City after city was innovating ways to reduce smoking and protect public health between the 1960s and 1970s. As former industry lobbyist Victor Crawford observed, you’d “put out a fire one place, another one would pop up somewhere else.”

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Editor’s Note:

There has been a long-standing debate about the conflict of interest in the global food industry. Here Gigi Kellett writes that profits are continually being prioritized over public health, as corporations deploy tools such as lobbying.

Providence Journal

Feasting on scraps: Program turns food debris into nutrient-rich compost

A new Middletown-based program, based in Middletown, turns food waste and other debris into nutrient-rich and environmentally clean compost that could be used to grow more food.

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Vegan Food Is Big In SF — But Will the Scene Survive COVID-19?

Eating a vegan diet used to be the opposite of cool, and vegans were often the butt of jokes. The classic line from the November 2000 episode of “The Simpsons” — “I’m a Level Five Vegan. I won’t eat anything that casts a shadow” — pretty much captures widely held beliefs about the misplaced militancy of the meat-and-dairy-eschewing crowd.

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Food Navigator Asia

‘Chicken-and-egg’ conundrum: Why APAC is set to lead the global cell-based meat regulatory charge

APAC nations are expected to lead the global charge of developing regulatory governance for cell-based meat, despite being home to just a fraction of the world’s cell-based meat firms and facing fundamental ‘chicken-and-egg’ challenges.

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Editor’s Note:

In recent months, several alternative meat startups have emerged from the Asia-Pacific region. Pearly Neo and Guan Yu Lim write that APAC could very well lead the world in developing regulatory governance for cell-based meat.


How a Portland Chef Transformed His Nonprofit Cooking Class Into a Pop-Up That Serves Hundreds of Free Meals a Day

A year ago, Jacobsen Valentine was offering free cooking classes out of a Whole Foods kitchen, teaching basic kitchen skills to underserved communities in the city. Now, in the wake of COVID-19 and its devastation of the local economy, Valentine’s nonprofit, Feed the Mass, has transformed into a food rescue and kitchen that feeds Portlanders three times each week.

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Tycoon Li Ka-Shing Boosts Investment in U.S. Manmade-Milk Startup

Perfect Day is a pioneer in the lactose-free, vegan “dairy” market, and last year launched a range of such ice creams made from milk created by microbes in tanks, without the use of farm animals.

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