Food

We consider environmental impact of food production, rapidly consolidating food market, sustainable innovations that change how we eat, and technologies, companies, and processes reinventing global food supply chains. 

Maggots for Fido? “Ento” Pet Foods, Made From Bug Protein, Creating a Buzz

Dog being teased with a biscuit
Think outside the bowl. That's the message from the new breed of upscale bug-protein pet food brands. The trailblazers tapping the $50 billion canine nutrition market say that “ento” insect snacks have a smaller carbon footprint than old-school kibble...

Karma’s Guide to a Food Waste-Free Thanksgiving

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Americans are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day amid rising concerns about climate change and the future of our planet.  Next to carbon emissions from flying or driving, food waste is the holiday’s biggest environmental hazard. Americans throw away 200...

Pork-Loving China May Be Poised for Alt-Meat Surge as Pig Supplies Get Pinched

Karma_News Analysis_Fake pork craze in China
China is addicted to pork. Last year, the nation, home to half the world’s pigs, produced more than 50 million tons of pork. It’s citizens ate more of the meat than any other country. But rising wages and population...

Can Aluminum Water Bottles Win Over Millennial Moms?

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Key Takeaway: Independent drink makers and brands like Ever & Ever are embracing aluminum as a more sustainable alternative in order to influence change, despite increasing competition from public companies.

For America’s Plant-Based Revolution, This Is Just The Beginning

If Beyond Meat’s ebullient post-IPO performance is any indication, everyone wants to have a piece of the plant-based, fast-growing sustainable food market. Even Tyson Foods, America’s biggest meat producer. Behold: plant-based Tyson Foods nuggets are coming to frozen...

Investors Seeing Green With Bets on Ag Biotech, as Key to Sustainable Agriculture, in 2020

As the farm industry sparks worries about everything from genetically modified food to climate change, impact investors are increasingly betting on a post-chemical, sustainable future in agriculture.  Agriculture-related biotechnology, such as biofertilizer and microbiome, is seen as the most...

Beyond Meat CEO Welcomes Competition, Sees Pressure to Deliver As Biggest Challenge

Ethan Brown, the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, does not seem fazed by intensifying competition in the plant-based industry, from either food tech startups or industry giants like Tyson Foods Inc. “Our biggest challenge is around pace. It’s...

UN Climate Report’s Warnings and Opportunities, in 5 Takeaways

A grim U.N. report detailing the effects of climate change on food production warns that without large-scale change, food across the globe will become scarcer, more expensive, and contain less nutritional value. To break down the findings from the...

EU’s Plans for Sustainable Food May Open Door to Gene-Edited Crops

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The European Union says it wants to ensure safe and affordable nourishment for all its citizens, but a pair of food policy experts say a plan to do that may have unintended, and unhealthy, consequences. The EU’s “Farm-to-Fork” strategy...

The Future of Farming: Regenerative Agriculture Gains Investors’ Attention

Regenerative farming –– using practices that refresh the soil in ways that fight the effects of climate change –– is gaining the attention of investors, who have poured about $47.5 billion in money and assets into the sector, according to Croatan Institute’s...

Blockchain for Agriculture: Regen Network Helps to Cut Waste in Food Supply

Regen Network, a Blockchain startup helping agriculture industry manage environmental impact, is pre-selling its token, Regen CEO Christian Shearer told Karma. Founded last year, the Massachusetts-based company records farming data on its Blockchain, offering food companies a trusted...

Palm Oil Faces Uphill Battle on Sustainability as Orangutans Fall Victim to Industry

The palm oil industry has a sustainability problem which can be summed up in one word: orangutans. Production of palm oil used in food, cosmetics, soap and other items has surged because it pairs both high yields and versatility....

Greenwashing Packaging: Starbucks, Pepsi Meet Cost and Tech Challenges

Starbucks test of reusable cups, the latest example of drink companies seeking to cut waste, is probably expensive and of limited help to the environment. In fact, the biggest benefit at this point may be to the company’s image, in part because...

Unilever May Sell Brands That Don’t Meet ‘Purpose Standards’

Unilever, whose 400 brands range from Popsicles ice pops to Dove soap, is reviewing its product line with an eye toward selling those that don’t meet social impact standards. CEO Alan Jope saie on the company’s last earnings call...

Narrative Food Leans Into Storytelling to Scale Its Sustainable Meal Kits

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Most meal kit delivery services have had the same strategy: launch in a major city, raise venture capital and scale nationally. But Narrative Food, a Southern California-based service that predates Blue Apron and the curated subscription box phenomena, has never been conventional.

Big Chocolate Makers Not Doing Enough to Stop Child Labor, Deforestation

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Key Takeaway: Most of the world’s chocolate is still made with cocoa harvested by children, nearly 20 years after attention was focused on the matter. While progress has been made, companies have...

Food Wrapped in Food: Edible Seaweed Packaging is Here

Seaweed is being wrapped around more than sushi these days.  Seen as a potential alternative to plastics, seaweed-based packaging is being manufactured to wrap up instant coffee, seasonings and more. What’s more, it comes in a food-grade variety so...

AeroFarms Raises $100 Million, Latest Deal in Booming Vertical Farms

From a former nightclub in Newark’s Ironbound to a basement in New York City’s tony Tribeca to shipping containers scattered out west, vertical farmers are seeding the future of agriculture and planting opportunities for investors, who see the farms meeting demand for...

West Africa Aims to Raise $80 Million in Smart Agriculture Push

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An alliance of West African nations seeking to help small farmers cope with climate change are helping them adopt agricultural practices that are also attracting a growing share of investors.  The Economic Community of West African States is raising...

Food Scraps, Packing Protein and Profit, Get Second Life

As peas and soy, crickets and fungus are increasingly eyed as sustainable protein sources, a group of entrepreneurs is looking a little lower on the food chain -- at piles of waste. Sunflower tailings are among the scraps being “upcycled” into protein-rich...

Israeli Company Gives Farmers Clear Crop Imaging to Boost Yields

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Taranis combines military-grade optics with machine-learning imaging to provide farmers with millimeter-level insights into their fields, knowledge that can help increase crop yields and...

Coca-Cola Invests in Health-Ade Kombucha as Pivot Away From Sugar Continues

Coca-Cola’s polar bears might be switching from Coke to . . . fermented tea that includes something called scoby? As it cultivates its next generation of consumers, many of whom shun sugary beverages like Coca-Cola’s flagship drink, the company...

Kencko’s Fruit-Vegetable Powder Drink Tries to Stand Out Amid a Crowded Plant-Based Field

Amid a growing wave of foodmakers touting plant-based products, Kencko is betting its fruit and vegetable powders will catch on with consumers looking for healthy, organic drink alternatives. First, it’ll have to overcome skepticism about the nutritional value of dried foods.

Test-Tube Tuna: Fast-Growing Fake Fish Market Is Still ‘Very Open’ to Disruption

The next Beyond Meat success story could come from the fishing industry. As concerns grow about the cleanliness and sustainability of farm-grown fish, startups are employing stem cells and plants to create substitutes they claim are healthy, sustainable alternatives...

DoorDash Knocks GrubHub From Top Delivery Spot Amid Controversy

DoorDash overtook GrubHub as the top online food delivery company in the U.S. amid accusations from restaurants that DoorDash didn’t get permission to post their menus or deliver their food to customers. DoorDash topped monthly meal-delivery sales in May,...

Meat, Dairy Producers Ignore Climate Change Despite Effects On Profits

flock of chicken hens
The $1.5 trillion global meat and dairy industries are taking little responsibility for their roles in climate change even as increased droughts, floods and storms cost them money. That’s the assessment of Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return, a London-based collaborative investor...

Macro Snacks Pitches New Line of Nosh As Nutritionists Urge Snacking Moderation

A snack by any other name -- healthy, macro, vegan -- is still a snack, isn’t it?  So-called healthy snacks are crowding store shelves and being pitched as an alternative to the greasy, salty chips loved by so many....

Vegan ETF Unveiled Amid Plant Boom, and it Looks Lot Like a Tech Fund

With the blossoming of interest in plant-based eating and soaring demand for meat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Meat, it was only a matter of time before vegans got their own ETF.  Taking a contrarian approach, the first...

Alt-Dairy Startup Perfect Day Raises Biggest Round Yet, Looks to Scale Animal-Free Products

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California-based food tech startup Perfect Day had a pretty good day: the maker of animal-free dairy products raised $140 million, aiming to commercialize their offerings and expand to multiple continents, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Perfect Day relies...

Eat Meat Without Guilt: Innovations In Livestock Production

While Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger have reignited investor appetite for meat alternatives, not everyone is going to become vegetarian or readily switch to a plant-based diet.  Vital Farms, an Austin, Texas-based producer of pasture-raised eggs, received an investment...
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