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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - March 29 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - March 29 2019

Each week we collect the top stories and latest news in food trends and production, making it easy for you to stay current on science and innovation.

Study: Fiber intake is at alarmingly low level in America

The impact fiber has in keeping us regulated is pretty well established, but literature highlighting the role fiber plays in preventing heart disease and certain types of cancer is pretty abundant as well. Despite the evidence, only five percent of Americans are meeting their daily fiber requirements, according to a recent study published in The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. Current fiber intakes are alarmingly low, with long-term implications for public health related to risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, certain gastrointestinal disorders, obesity and the continuum of metabolic dysfunctions, including prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, reports the Journal of Nutrition. Read more at The Ladders

KIND takes on the FDA while Clif takes on KIND

What constitutes a “healthy” product has long been contested in the snack industry, but a recent back-and-forth on the issue between KIND Snacks and Clif Bar has expanded the debate, bringing environmental causes and outside financial backing into the mix while putting two significant natural food brands on opposite sides of more than one issue. Read more at Nosh

To curb kids’ sugary drink habits, pediatricians now call for soda taxes

Pediatricians have long warned parents about the risks of consuming too many sugary drinks—including the link to type 2 diabetes and obesity. Now, the nation's leading group of kids' doctors, the American Academy of Pediatrics, together with the American Heart Association, has endorsed a range of strategies designed to curb children's consumption—including taxes on sugary drinks, limits on marketing sugary drinks to kids and financial incentives to encourage healthier beverage choices. Read more at NPR

Cargill looks to improve livelihoods of poor farmers

A Cargill initiative has set out to improve the livelihoods of 100 million poor farmers by 2030. The major agricultural player stresses that the Hatching Hope Global Initiative is grounded in business, and is not just a “corporate social responsibility photo op.” The idea was born after an uncomfortable van ride by Cargill executives from a CSR project in rural China. The goal of the project is to improve nutrition and economic livelihoods taking a flexible approach to local circumstances, needs, and conditions. Read more at Feednavigator

Plant-based cartons satisfy many shopper concerns and expectations

Better health, environmental concerns, clean labels, and reducing exposure to chemicals are subjects that are very much top-of-mind to many shoppers. These concerns come together with packaging decisions, but what food and beverage packaging meets these multiple expectations? According to the 2018 EcoFocus Trend Study conducted by EcoFocus Worldwide, plant-based food and beverage packaging, and paper-based in particular satisfies all of these expectations. Read more at Fooddive

Study finds plant-based payoff with produce prescriptions

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But now researchers in the United States say there’s some evidence that subsidizing fresh produce and plant-based foods through insurance programs is a sustainable approach to reducing both diet-related illness and health care costs. Researchers at the Food PRICE (Policy Review and Intervention Cost-Effectiveness) center at Tufts University, explored the connections between diet and human health to see how those health gains might work through insurance benefits or incentives. Read more at Sustainability Times

Next generation sports nutrition beverages

Beverages such as protein shakes and waters, electrolyte replenishers, performance boosters and weight-loss elixirs once limited to health-focused stores now can be purchased at local supermarkets. The ubiquity of these products has led to a great deal of innovation in the category as sports nutrition brands try to find the next “it” ingredient or ingredient combination that appeals to hardcore athletes and bodybuilders. But they are also looking to differentiate themselves by offering hyper-personalized products that appeal to a multitude of active consumers. Read more at Natural Products INSIDER

Why do environmentalists disagree about food?

Environmentalists disagree—especially about food sustainability. Why? This situation is often confusing and hinders the path towards a greener agricultural future. Uncovering some mistakes in climate logic could help. The food sustainability debate needs sound science, but also robust reasoning to accompany it. This article takes look at the facts about overreliance on livestock, whether China should make the first move, dealing with food waste and justifying white meat. Read more at The Ecologist