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NovaMeat Unveils Version 2.0 of its 3D-Printed Meatless Steak

January 6, 2020 - from The Spoon:

"NovaMeat, the Spanish startup which creates realistic meat alternatives through 3D printing plant proteins, has developed a new version of its faux steak." This mimics "simultaneously the texture and the appearance of an animal whole muscle cut, in this case a beef steak.” The steak cost €1.35 ($1.50) per 50 grams to produce."

"Down the road, however, that will likely change. Redefine Meat is also using 3D printing to make realistic meat alternatives, Atlast Food is developing a mycelium (mushroom root) based scaffold for whole cuts of plant-based meat, and Emergy Foods is creating plant-based steak that looks eerily similar to the real thing — but neither of them have brought a product to market yet. On the cell-based front, Aleph Farms has already successfully grown cultured steak the width and thickness of a credit card (though that’s also a ways from being available)."

"NovaMeat’s Steak 2.0 has yet to be put to a public taste test, so it’s hard to substantiate Scionti’s claims regarding its superior taste and texture. It’ll be a while yet before we’re able to taste it ourselves. The startup will license its micro-extrusion technology to plant-based meat manufacturers in two to three years. However, Scionti told me that he hopes to start selling his steaks at a small scale to restaurants in Europe by the end of 2020."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W981

UK court rules ‘ethical veganism’ beliefs must be protected in law

January 3, 2020 - from CNBC:

"A U.K. employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” that should be legally protected in the same way as a religion."

"The ruling, confirmed to CNBC Friday by lawyers acting on the case, means ethical vegans in the U.K. will be protected from discrimination by law."

"While all vegans eat a plant-based diet, ethical vegans avoid all forms of animal exploitation, such as products made from wool or those tested on animals."

"In order for ethical veganism to be protected under the U.K.’s Equality Act, it needed to satisfy a series of criteria proving it could be classified as a 'philosophical or religious belief.'"

"Those criteria require a belief to be acceptable in a democratic society and to not conflict with the fundamental rights of others. Political beliefs are not eligible for protection under the Equality Act."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W980

McDonald's opens in Ben Gurion airport Terminal 3

January 1, 2020 - from Globes:

"Today, nine years after leaving Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion Airport, the McDonald's fast food chain launched a new branch on the site. McDonald's already has a branch at Terminal 1, which serves mainly low-cost airlines."

"The new branch will be kosher, even though it will be open 24/7, including on the Sabbath. The branch will sell hamburgers, in contrast to the branch launched in Terminal 1 several weeks ago, which is barred by the tender terms from selling hamburgers."

"One of the noticeable trends in the civil aviation industry, which is spreading to more and more airlines, is elimination of inflight meals. What was once confined to low-cost airlines is now spreading to other airlines. For example, food is not served on Air Europa's flights from Tel Aviv to Madrid, unless paid for. Airport restaurants are preparing for this by offering food packages for flights. The new McDonald's branch will also offer takeaway packages opening into two trays for convenient inflight eating. Another McDonald's branch will soon be opened in the Shakim Hall in Terminal 3."

"McDonald's will also soon be joined by another hamburger chain - Moses, which will open a branch in Terminal 3 in place of Schmoozy Bar near the children's stores in the duty-free area."

"At the same time, within the James Richardson store, preparations are being made for the mandatory change, starting on January 8. The store will have to conceal its cigarettes and smoking products from shoppers. Cigarette packs will disappear from the shelves, and will be supplied to shoppers only upon request. This change follows the third stage of legislation aimed at reducing smoking. Cigarette packs and tobacco products will have to issued in a uniform color described as the "ugliest in the world," and the health warning will be enlarged to cover 65% of the cigarette pack's area."

McDonalds at Ben-Gurion Airport: Open Shabbos with a Hechsher

November 28, 2019 - from Yeshiva World:

"The McDonalds restaurant operating at Ben-Gurion International Airport opens on Shabbos but is certified kosher by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel."

"The restaurant was awarded the license to operate in Ben-Gurion Airport’s food court. It is a kosher branch and requested to remain open on Shabbos to service the travelers coming and going on Shabbos."

"Towards this end, McDonalds turned to the Zomet Institute towards learning if and how the branch may be operated on Shabbos without Chilul Shabbos. Zomet’s chief engineer, Yoni Ben David and his colleague, Daniel Shinsinsky, visited the branch at the airport."

"Some of what was explained to branch managers includes:

"There is currently one lawsuit against the Chief Rabbinate of Israel pending with the High Court of Justice, regarding hotels around Israel that operate on Shabbos and are certified kosher, some even mehadrin."

"A Jerusalem restaurant is suing the Chief Rabbinate because they want a kashrus certificate despite operating on Shabbos, as food is not cooked, only warmed, and persons buy vouchers before Shabbos. No money is taken, or meals charged on Shabbos. They feel since the restaurant is like a hotel, and as such, it should receive kashrus certification."

"To date, the Jerusalem Rabbinate has rejected requests for certification, prompting the case with the High Court."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W969

Israel Food Labeling Reform Kicks Off Wednesday

January 1, 2020 - from Hamodia:

"A long-awaited reform in food product labeling kicks in on Wednesday. Consumers will now be able to look at a label and determine if a product is high in sugar, salt, saturated fat, and other ingredients. “Problematic” products will bear a distinctive red label, while those with levels of ingredients considered safe will bear a green sticker."

"The red sticker will appear on food products that have 13.5 or more grams of sugar per one hundred grams, 500 milligrams of salt, or 5 grams of saturated fat. Liquids must contain less than 400 milligrams of salt, 5 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of saturated fat to avoid a red sticker."

"Getting a green sticker will be products the Health Ministry recommends, including tofu, soy products, dairy products, vegetable oil, nuts and seeds, whole wheat products, legumes, tehina, fish, eggs, chicken, fruits, and vegetables. Packaged products will bear a sticker on its label, while products that are purchased in open bins will have a sticker affixed nearby."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W979

Israel Helps Gazan Farmers Export Strawberries to UK, Gulf States

December 18, 2019 - from United With Israel:

"Israel permitted farmers from Gaza to use Ben-Gurion Airport and Allenby Crossing to ship its produce to countries in Europe and the Middle East.

"The IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has coordinated and facilitated the export of strawberries from the Gaza Strip to England and the Gulf states, which represents the first time such an arrangement has been undertaken."

"About five tons of strawberries were shipped on Tuesday to England via Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, and last week a similar amount was sent to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar via the Allenby Crossing into Jordan."

"The IDF noted in its statement that since the beginning of the season, more than 450 tons of strawberries from the Gaza Strip were exported abroad and to Judea and Samaria."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W978

Enzi-Tester bill would make FDA-USDA agreement on cell-culture technology the law of the land

December 13, 2019 - from Food Safety News:

"A bipartisan pair of influential Western senators wants to 'cement into law how government agencies regulate food produced using animal cell-culture technology.'"

"Sens. Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Jon Tester, D-MT, have introduced legislation to ensure that an agreement reached earlier this year between the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will have the force of law."

"Enzi is one of the most senior Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate. He chairs the powerful budget committee. Tester was the sponsor of the only successful major amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011. The Senate’s only organic farmer, Tester’s amendment exempted small producers from the law."

"Enzi and Tester say the FDA-USDA agreement was designed to leverage the expertise of both agencies to protect the country’s food supply and help ensure safe and accurately-labeled products."

"Cell-culture technology may allow developers in labs to grow animal tissue for human consumption from animal cell cultures. Commercialization of the resulting products is expected in the coming years."

"For food products derived from livestock or poultry cells, the agreement — which this legislation would codify — charges FDA with overseeing the process of multiplying collected cells to make edible tissue and USDA with overseeing the processing, packaging, and labeling. For products not derived from livestock or poultry cells, FDA would oversee all phases of development and production."

Bill text is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W977

Grocers' Claims Rejected in Egg Antitrust Case

November 13, 2019 - from Progressive Grocer:

"A Pennsylvania federal jury has rejected claims of conspiracy to reduce the egg supply that were originally brought by 12 retailers, including such heavy hitters as the Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos."

"The plaintiffs alleged that Seymour, Ind.-based supplier Rose Acre Farms, the second-largest egg produce in the United States, along with two industry groups, United Egg Producers and United States Egg Marketers, had conspired with others to raise shell egg prices, including the creation of an animal welfare program as a pretext to boost their prices."

"After a six-week trial and a day and a half of deliberation, the jury returned its verdict. The plaintiffs had planned to seek about $1 billion in damages, which could have resulted in $3 billion after trebling."

"An antitrust class action of direct egg purchasers in 2018, which the retailer plaintiffs in the current suit weren’t part of, also ruled in favor of the defendants. The case dates back to 2008, when various egg buyers filed a class action against 13 egg producers, and a federal probe was initiated."

"The case is In Re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs are Kroger, Giant Eagle Inc., Publix Super Markets Inc., H-E-B, Safeway Inc. (merged with Albertsons in 2015), Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. (part of Southeastern Grocers since 2012), Albertsons, Hy-Vee Inc., Walgreens Co., Supervalu Inc. (acquired by UNFI in 2018), Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. (acquired by Kroger in 2015), and A&P (ceased business operations in 2015)."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W976

Call to boycott Israeli cheese backfires

December 17, 2019 - from Arutz 7 :

"Anti-Israel professor calls to boycott Trader Joe's for selling Israeli cheese. Instead, customers flock to the store, emptying the shelves."

"Last week, Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commissioner Hatem Bazian called on locals to avoid purchasing Israeli feta cheese."

"'Trader Joe's is having Israeli Feta on its shelves! One more reason to stop shopping at the store,' Bazian, who lectures on Islam at UC Berkeley, wrote on his Facebook page."

"However, the call for boycott backfired after Joe Zevuloni, an Israeli living in Florida who heads the 'Israeli Army of Publicity," met the call for boycott with a call of his own: "Urgent call-up to publicity soldiers: I need you to lend me a hand here.'"

"Zevuloni's call worked: Within hours, pro-Israel customers had emptied several Trader Joe's branches of their Israeli feta cheese, and moved on to purchasing other Israeli products instead."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W975

USDA report shows more than half of foods tested have pesticide residues

December 17, 2019 from Food Safety News and :

"The mystery Nebraska State Sen. Carol Blood created briefly Tuesday by withdrawing her bill to limit the use of the term “meat” on product labels in the state was short-lived."

"While more than half of the foods tested had pesticide residues, less than 1 percent of the commodities covered by the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program had levels above legal limits."

"The annual report from the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture covers testing for 2018 and was released this month. The numbers vary little from those in recent years."

"'Over 99 percent of the products sampled through PDP (Pesticide Data Program had residues below the Environmental Protection Agency tolerances,' according to the report summary."

"'For the 10,545 samples analyzed, 47.8 percent of the samples had no detectable pesticides, 21.0 percent had one pesticide, and 31.2 percent of the samples had more than one pesticide.'”

"The yearly round of testing samples a wide variety of domestic and imported foods, with a strong focus on foods that are consumed by infants and children. "

"Staff from the PDP work with state agencies representing all census regions of the country and approximately half of the U.S. population. In 2018, food samples were collected and analyzed in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington."

"In 2018, a total of 704 samples with 909 pesticides were reported to the FDA as Presumptive Tolerance Violations, according to the USDA pesticide report."

"Of those 82 samples, 39 were reported as imported produce. One asparagus sample and one snap pea sample contained two pesticides each that exceeded the established tolerances."

"In addition, 642 samples were found to have pesticides for which no tolerance was established, including 444 fresh fruit and vegetable samples, 151 processed fruit/vegetable samples, 30 rice samples, and 17 wheat flour samples."

"An industry group, the Alliance for Food and Farming, heralded the report as an all clear for consumers to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible."

"A consumer watchdog organization called the Environmental Working Group annually issues its own interpretation of the USDA’s pesticide report after the first of the year, historically. Its annual campaign against the so-called Dirty Dozen fresh produce commodities is based on the pesticide residue report and has spurred an annual debate with the farming alliance."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W974

C&S Wholesale Grocers Expanding Into Pacific Northwest

December 6, 2019 - from Shelby Report:

"C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. is expanding operations into the Pacific Northwest with the addition of a new warehouse in Troutdale, Oregon. The state-of-the-art warehouse will open by the summer of 2020, according to the Keene, New Hampshire-based company."

"C&S already services several retail partners in the area."

"C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. is the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. and the industry leader in supply chain innovation. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,900 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with more than 138,000 different products."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W973
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