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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Newer news

December launch for world’s first 'vegan ribs'

November 18, 2019 - from Food and Drink :

"Ojah, a Dutch plant-based ingredients producer, is set to launch what it claims are the world’s first ‘vegan ribs’."

"The ribs are made using the company’s newly developed texture, Heppi, which provides a plant-based facsimile of rib meat."

"Heppi is a yellow pea-based high moisture extruded (HME) texture which providers the 'bite, mouthfeel and juiciness' of meat."

"To manage the expected strong demand, Ojah plans to introduce the ribs in Dutch foodservice outlets first."

"In the second half of 2020, the company plans to expand production capacity and make Heppi available to preferred food manufacturing partners."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W963

The newest fake meat is made from thin air

November 18, 2019 - from Fast Company :

"Instead of a huge field of cows contributing to global warming with their burps, Air Protein uses CO2 to feed microorganisms, which then produce a protein that can be made into a meat alternative. "

"Most plant-based meat, such as the Impossible Burger or the Beyond Burger, uses protein made from soy or peas. The newest meat alternative uses protein made from air instead, in a process that transforms CO2 into an ingredient with the same nutritional profile as the protein you find in animals."

"Air Protein, a Bay Area-based startup, unveiled the first prototypes of 'air-based' meat today. The technology behind it comes from an idea first explored by NASA in the 1960s, when scientists trying to figure out how to feed astronauts in space discovered that it was possible to use microorganisms to convert CO2—breathed out by astronauts—into food. Using a similar process on Earth, inside fermentation tanks, could help radically improve the environmental footprint of food."

"The company calls its technology a probiotic production process, similar to making yogurt. Inside a fermentor, naturally occurring microbes consume CO2 and a secret blend of “mineral nutrients” to produce an ingredient that is 80% protein. Unlike soy or other plant protein, it’s a “complete protein,” with the same amino acid profile as protein in beef or chicken. It also has vitamins such as B12 that aren’t typically found in vegan food. Unlike some animal protein, it doesn’t have any antibiotics and hormones. And the process runs on renewable energy."

"Eventually, the CO2 used in the process may come from direct-air-capture plants that have been designed to fight climate change by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

"Air Protein spun off from Kiverdi, a company that is using similar processes to turn CO2 into supply-chain replacements for plastics and ingredients such as palm oil. The team spent years developing the protein and then developed recipes for the prototype foods, which combine the air-based protein powder with other ingredients. The protein flour itself has a neutral flavor. It can be used in a variety of foods—not just meat-free meats, but also as a supplement for cereal or in protein bars or shakes. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W962

Insect apocalypse: a threat to all life on the planet?
New study finds that 41% of insect species face extinction

November 18, 2019 - from The Week :

"A consistent decline in insect species as a result of habitat loss and pesticide overuse poses a risk to all life on Earth, a leading environmental scientist has warned."

"In a newly published report titled “Insect declines and why they matter”, Professor Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex warns that insects are dying out up to eight times faster than larger animals, with 41% of insect species facing extinction."

"According to scientific estimates, insects make up the bulk of animal life, by mass and by numbers, with more than 5.5 million insect species."

"But a series of recent studies have warned of significant drops in insect populations. "

"The new report from Goulson states that 23 bee and wasp species have gone extinct in the last century. And UK butterflies that specialise in particular habitats have fallen by 77% since the mid-1970s."

"The decline of bees poses a particularly significant threat."

"Urgent action is needed to boost insect populations, including putting an end to routine and unnecessary use of pesticides and increasing efforts to create insect-friendly landscapes."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W961

U of Toronto student union apologizes for kosher food ruling

November 18, 2019 - from Arutz 7 :

"The Graduate Student Union at the University of Toronto has apologized for “unintentionally caus(ing) harm toward the Jewish community” after a union official suggested that the executive board would not support a campaign by the school’s Hillel to make kosher food available on campus since it is 'pro-Israel.'"

"The union’s External Commissioner in response to a Jewish graduate student’s request for the union to officially support the Kosher Forward Campaign suggested he student union’s Executive Committee might be reluctant to bring such a motion forward to its board of directors since Hillel is “pro-Israel” and that supporting it would go against the 'will of the membership.'"

"The Graduate Student Union voted in 2012 to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS movement against Israel."

"The statement notes that no official decision has been made on whether to bring the motion forward at the next board meeting."

"The union said it has reached out to Hillel and the student who received the email 'to request a meeting to discuss how to remedy harm and how to mitigate future harm towards Jewish students on campus.'"

"In response, the U of T Hillel said it appreciates the student union’s apology and its agreement to consider the kosher food motion but added that 'this apology does not address the anti-Semitic nature of their original response. This is the core issue that must be discussed.'"


Graduate student union in Toronto: Kosher food is 'pro-Israel'

November 17, 2019 - from Arutz 7 :

"A University Toronto student union refused to support a campaign by the school’s Hillel to make kosher food available on campus since it is 'pro-Israel'"

"The Graduate Student Union told a Jewish student representing Hillel in requesting support for its 'Kosher Forward' campaign in an email that supporting the kosher food campaign would go against the 'will of the membership,' Hillel said in a statement alleging discrimination on the part of the student union."

"The Graduate Student Union voted in 2012 to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS movement against Israel."

"The Graduate Student Union at University of Toronto is the only student union in Canada with a committee dedicated to promoting the BDS movement, according to B’nai Brith of Canada. A complaint against this BDS committee has been pending before the university’s Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies for over six months."

"On Sunday, B’nai Brith of Canada wrote to officials at the university, asking them to swiftly condemn the Graduate Student Union’s stance on the kosher food initiative, ensure that the complaint against the GSU BDS Committee is expedited, and work to make kosher food more accessible on campus."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W960

Kenmore Microwave Ovens Recalled Due to Burn Hazard; Made by Guangdong Galanz; Sold Exclusively at Sears and Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores

November 14, 2019 - from CPSC :

Kenmore Elite Microwave Ovens have been recalled becau;se incorrect wiring causes the microwave’s exterior to reach temperatures exceeding 183 degrees Fahrenheit, posing a burn hazard to the user.

This recall involves 1,000-watt countertop convection microwave ovens manufactured under the Kenmore Elite brand name on April 27, 2017. This manufacturing date of the recalled microwave ovens is identifiable by the first six digits of their serial numbers, each of which begins with the numerals “170427”. The model number of the recalled microwaves is “204.77603610”. The brand name, model number and serial number can be found on the data plate on the back of the microwave ovens. The brand name is printed near the bottom of the door.

Model Number

Serial Number Range

204.77603610

17042700001 and 17042700684

Consumer Contact: Sears at 800-659-7026 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online at www.sears.com and click on “Product Recalls” for more information.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled microwave ovens and contact Sears for a free in-home repair.

Sold At: Exclusively at Sears and Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores nationwide from May 2017 through July 2018 for about $350.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W959

Famous Israeli Salad Company, Widely Used By Chareidim, Collapses

November 11, 2019 - from Yeshiva World:

"The Ma'adanei Miki company, which produced packaged salads, dips and smoked fish, closed its doors last weeks after 80 years of operation. The company, which was officially founded in 1992, began as a family business in 1939."

"According to Israeli media reports as well as a YWN report, Ma'adanei Miki was the preferred brand of dips and salads in the Chareidi community, with 49% of the community buying Miki as their first choice, compared to 14% who chose the Tzabar brand as their first choice and 13% who chose Strauss."

"According to Israeli media reports as well as a YWN report, Ma'adanei Miki was the preferred brand of dips and salads in the Chareidi community, with 49% of the community buying Miki as their first choice, compared to 14% who chose the Tzabar brand as their first choice and 13% who chose Strauss."

"The company also suffered a significant loss two years ago when Listeria bacteria was found in its products, which forced the company to recall products, close down production for a prolonged period of time and dispose of a large amount of raw materials."

"The company also suffered a significant loss two years ago when Listeria bacteria was found in its products, which forced the company to recall products, close down production for a prolonged period of time and dispose of a large amount of raw materials."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W958

Mississippi Ends Ridiculous Ban On Labeling Veggie Burgers ‘Veggie Burgers’

November 7, 2019 from the Forbes:

"In a win for the First Amendment, Mississippi will no longer ban plant-based food companies from labeling their products with terms like 'veggie burgers' and 'vegan bacon.' On Thursday, the state dropped rules that would have enforced the labeling ban, and instead replaced them with common sense."

"Under the new regulations now in effect, a plant-based meat alternative won’t be considered “mislabeled” if it uses an adjective like 'meatless,' 'plant-based,' or 'vegan,” on its labeling. Previously, meatless marketers could risk fines of up to $1,000 “per offense,” even jail time. "

"Claiming Mississippi’s law violates the First Amendment, the Institute for Justice sued the state in July on behalf of Upton’s Naturals, a Chicago-based vegan food business, and the Plant Based Food Association. Without the lawsuit, plant-based businesses would have faced severe financial consequences. In order to operate legally, Upton’s Naturals would have had to pull out of Mississippi entirely or drastically overhaul its packaging and design. "

"Not only would the latter be enormously expensive and time-consuming (especially if they’d be used in just one state), the new labels would have created confusion where none existed before. Instead of widely understood terms like 'veggie burgers' or 'vegan sausages,' plant-based companies would have been forced to use unwieldy (and frankly, unappetizing) alternatives like veggie 'discs' or vegetable 'protein tubes.' "

"Federal and state laws already bar deceptive or misleading advertising. If consumers understand that buffalo wings aren’t from flying bison and that chickens don’t have fingers, they can surely grasp that a “veggie burger” is made from plants. In reality, Arkansas and Mississippi are only protecting established businesses from competition. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W957

Olive oil producers petition FDA to adopt enforceable standards of identity

November 7, 2019 from the Food Dive:

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W955

Israeli Politicians Slam Ban on Non-Kosher Meat Imports

November 3, 2019 - from Israel Radar:

"A ban on non-kosher meat imports is provoking some angry reactions, as Israel’s religious battles continue to heat up. Secularist politicians have vowed to fight the decree while characterizing it as an Iran-style move. "

"The government recently moved to nullify a permit to import some non-kosher meat to Israel, Channel 12 reported on Friday. There has been no confirmation from other sources that a regulation which now requires a kosher certificate to import pork products is indeed new."

"However, some politicians were quick to denounce the decree and link it to the fight against religious coercion. "

"The row over non-kosher meat imports is the latest chapter in the national debate on the place of religion in Israel’s public sphere. "

"Premiership candidate Benny Gantz also appealed to disillusioned secular voters in his election campaign by vowing to form a secular government. However, he later modified the phrasing and now uses the term 'liberal government.' "


Another view of the same story

GOOD NEWS: Israeli Government Prohibits the Import of Pork & Other Treif Meats

November 5, 2019 - from Yeshiva World:

The Israeli "government is prohibiting the import of any meats without a hechsher, which will now ban the import of pork, which has been permitted to date. The 1992 law prohibiting importing non-kosher meat had a provision addressing exclusions, including sausages. While most may be unaware, quantities of pork are imported to Israel."

"According to the new regulation, all pork products would require a hechsher to permit being imported, hence bringing an end to pork imports. One of the results of this is that those persons wishing to continue to eat pork will have to rely on locally grown pork, which one may assume will cost considerably more due to the new regulation."

"One may also assume that if a left-wing liberal coalition government is formed, this and many other regulations protecting Yiddishkeit will be canceled."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W952

FDA Shares FY16–17 Microbiological Sampling Summary Report for Cucumbers

November 5, 2019 - from FDA and FDA Testing

The FDA released a report on testing of cucumbers that they did starting in November, 2015. The FDA "collected and tested 1,601 samples to determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 in the commodity. About 76 percent of the samples collected and tested were from imported cucumbers and the rest were from domestically grown cucumbers, comparable to their respective U.S. market shares at the start of the assignment. The agency designed its sampling plan to detect rates of contamination of one percent or greater if present in the commodity."

"The agency found the prevalence of Salmonella in the cucumbers sampled to be 1.75 percent. The agency did not detect E. coli O157:H7 or other pathogenic E. coli in any of the samples."

Microbiological Surveillance Sampling: FY16-17 Cucumbers is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W954
Older news

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