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Period: August 1, 2016 to September 1, 2016
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Meat Producers Angry About Turin’s Embrace Of Veganism

The meat producers of Italy’s Piedmont region are upset with Chiara Appendino, the new mayor of Turin and a major figure in the anti-establishment, populist, environmentalist Five Star Movement (M5S). Appendino has pledged to make vegetarianism and vegan diets a priority in her administration, though meat dishes have formed the foundation of northern Italy’s cuisine for hundreds of years. Details of the mayor’s strategy are few and far between, but observers expect the city to create educational programs in schools to teach students about animal welfare and nutrition. Last year, Italian meat producers fumed over the World Health Organization’s labeling of cured meats such as ham, sausage and salami as carcinogenic, calling it “meat terrorism.”

"Five Star mayor of Turin to Create Italy’s First ‘Vegetarian City’", The Guardian, July 21, 2016

Adding Nuts To Diet Reduces Inflammation That Worsens Chronic Diseases

Inflammation tends to worsen the impact of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. U.S. researchers report that eating nuts three to five times a week reduces the biomarkers of inflammation and, in turn, the effects of those diseases. Though the researchers aren’t sure which ingredients exactly are responsible for the improvement, peanuts and tree nuts contain magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids. All are known to protect against inflammation. The study analyzed data from food-frequency questionnaires and plasma biomarkers from 5,013 participants.

"Regular Nut Consumption Linked To Less Inflammation", United Press International, July 29, 2016

Well-Intentioned Government-Funded School Meals Programs Are Making Kids Fat

Low-income students in the Northeast, South, and rural U.S. who participate in federally-subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs are at the greatest risk of becoming overweight, a study has found. The researchers noted that the meal programs are well-intentioned, but are actually contributing to the obesity epidemic among schoolchildren. According to the study, nutrition standards of the subsidized meals programs need to be raised, but in a way that makes the food acceptable and appetizing to children. The study was based on data collected from 21,260 students whose dietary habits were monitored from kindergarten to eighth grade.

"The Influence of School Nutrition Programs on the Weight of Low-Income Children: A Treatment Effect Analysis", Health Economics, August 11, 2016

U.K. Unveils Details Of Plan To Deal With Childhood Obesity

The British government has crafted a plan to fight childhood obesity that asks food and beverage manufacturers to voluntarily trim sugar levels by 20 percent within five years, and five percent in the first year. “Other levers” will be applied if the voluntary targets are not met. The plan includes a two-level sugar tax that treats sugar content of five grams per 100 milliliters differently from sugar content of eight grams per 100 milliliters. The plan does not include a ban on advertising sugary drinks. Lastly, the plan stresses exercise in school, calling for primary school children to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.

"Sugar Tax Included In Strategy To Tackle Childhood Obesity", Retail Week, August 18, 2016

Entrepreneurs To Introduce Vegan Cheese And Yogurt Made From Dairy Yeast

A start-up company that acknowledges the often unacceptable vegan substitutes for milk, cheese and yogurt is working on an "animal-free dairy milk" that is somehow real milk without the involvement of a cow. One of the founders says the idea is to combine the best of a real dairy product with the best of a dairy substitute. Perfect Day milk is made from a dairy yeast that can be optimized to produce real milk proteins, including casein, the main protein in cheese. Supported by $4 million in venture funding, the company still hasn’t decided what its first product will be, but is leaning toward vegan yogurt or cheese, rather than milk, because “that’s where the real lack of alternatives is.”

"These Vegan Dairy Products Are Made From Milk—There Just Aren't Any Cows Involved", Fast Company, August 18, 2016

India’s Food Safety Regulator Announces Initiatives To Promote Safe Food

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has unveiled a set of initiatives to promote safe food in a variety of venues. The ten initiatives, launched on the anniversary of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, will target homes, schools, offices, trains and railway stations, restaurants and religious facilities. FSSAI, for example, will provide a comprehensive guide to households and create a dedicated website for safe and nutritious food at home. It will  prepare a list of high fat, sugary and salty junk foods to ensure food safety and nutrition in schools. And it will require businesses that provide mid-day meals to be licensed by the FSSAI.

"FSSAI Announces Initiatives to Promote Safe Food Culture", The Economic Times, August 23, 2016

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