Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 cons

Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 consWhen costs rise, most food companies adjust. Safe, fair and sustainable business practices are always a priority in this sector – almost. Several food science experts believe an increase in food fraud is inevitable due to COVID-19. The Food Authenticity Network advisory board, which includes more than 1,500 food science experts from around the world,…

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortages

Packing plant closures can be disruptive and, for farming, disastrous. But they can be necessary to protect the public

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortagesAs COVID-19 ravages communities across North America, many analysts believe meatpacking plants, where employees work close to each other, are the next focal point of the spread of the virus. We’re likely in the worst of it now. More than a dozen North American meatpacking plants have closed over the last two weeks, with at…

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocers

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocersRestaurants are hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Many won’t recover and some are already closed for good. And grocers, despite the influx of millions of new dollars, are managing unprecedented pressure points. Grocers are in a high-volume, low-margin business. The $80 billion shifting over from the decimated food service industry may have been a…

COVID-19 will change how we buy food, forever

Convenience now has a different meaning. It’s less about saving time and more about survival and safety

COVID-19 will change how we buy food, foreverCOVID-19 will redefine grocery shopping and food service. Convenience now has a different meaning. It’s less about saving time and more about survival and safety. Before the crisis, barely anyone ordered online and many Canadians wondered why someone would ever order food in that fashion. But many things are changing – rapidly. The in-store shopping…

What’s in a name? Plenty, if it’s a disease

To suggest the disease naming process of an international agency may have affected sales of a beer carrying a similar name tells us something about our risk-averse society

What’s in a name? Plenty, if it’s a diseaseA survey this week suggested that 38 per cent of Americans aren’t drinking Corona beer due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, formerly known as the coronavirus. There’s obviously no link between the beer and the virus, but the survey suggests a mental association between the product and the disease may be too much to bear…

Consumer trust in agriculture is waning

Organized, well-funded groups condemning farming practices on social media are winning the consumer trust battle

Consumer trust in agriculture is waningThe public uses social media every day to express concerns about farming practices. And it’s getting worse. Farmers are criticized for a variety of reasons – for example their environmental stewardship and their ethical behaviour in how they treat livestock. In survey after survey, Canadians generally say they trust farmers, regardless of headlines, social media…

Gene edited foods could be our next risk communication fiasco

Gene-edited crops can help produce safe and affordable food and energy. But proponents need to make a legitimate case to consumers

Gene edited foods could be our next risk communication fiascoWill Canadian consumers want to eat gene-edited food? There's a lot of excitement in agriculture about the introduction of gene-edited food products into the Canadian food system over the next few years. But there’s also a great deal of apprehension. Gene editing is about tweaking a plant’s genome by turning off certain genetic traits. By…

Plant health a decidedly human issue

Climate change knows no borders and neither should science. And when it comes to plant science, Canada is a force to be reckoned with

Plant health a decidedly human issueEvery year, the United Nations promotes something that it believes warrants attention and it has declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health. Celebrating plant health and bringing more awareness to the issue is well worth pursuing. Plants represent about 80 per cent of everything we eat. And animals raised on farms, of course, eat…

Grocery stores bulking up on ultra-processed foods

Far too many products in Canada’s stores give us lots of calories but little nutrition. And we have dangerously abandoned cooking and meal-time routines

Grocery stores bulking up on ultra-processed foodsIn the 1960s, the biggest supermarkets only carried 10,000 items or fewer. Big supermarkets today offer almost 40,000 products. To be sure, among those extra items are more kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables and non-food items. But not 30,000. The vast majority of the additional food items are a huge range of ready-to-eat products from…

Behind Maple Leaf Foods’ bold call to become carbon neutral 

The company is showing what environmental stewardship in agri-food should look like in the 21st century

Behind Maple Leaf Foods’ bold call to become carbon neutral Maple Leaf Foods isn’t just pretending to be environmentally friendly; it’s trying to be a trailblazer in the wild kingdom of proteins. The company has just adopted science-based targets that will help it become the first major agri-food company in the world to be carbon neutral. Clearly motivated by the federal carbon tax and our…
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