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Baysanto merger threatens the future of sustainable farming

Bayer’s $62.5 billion purchase of Monsanto would create a corporate giant endangering organic and independent farmers. By Honor Eldridge. On March 21st, Bayer won approval for its $62.5 billion (£44 billion) purchase of Monsanto. The EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, decided after long deliberation to approve a takeover that would create a company (informally dubbed…
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Playing poker with calories

The food industry has much to gain by embracing the government’s latest calorie challenge. But reticence will inevitably lead to regulation, writes David Read. "Britain needs to go on a diet,” said Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England (PHE). "The simple truth is that on average we need to eat less. Children and…
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Forget the consumer: the citizen is king

Companies need to stop pigeonholing people as merely buyers and start engaging with them meaningfully. By Anna Cura. Growing up, we’ve all had our share of nicknames. From endearing to tongue-in-cheek, they have the tendency to stick through the years and eventually become a part of us. Language has tremendous power. It engages us in…
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Let’s (not) talk turkey these holidays

It’s been billed as the most meat-free December yet, but vegan and vegetarian food isn’t just for Christmas. Just don’t shout about it, says David Burrows. One in four millennials are either vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, and 44% of all Brits are willing to cut their meat intake or have already done so. The shift…
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Food For Life’s success can teach schools a lesson

The Soil Association’s programme is boosting pupils’ fruit and veg consumption and could hold the key to the obesity crisis. By Lorna Picton. The statistics surrounding childhood obesity make for uncomfortable reading. More than one in five children are overweight or obese when they start primary school, and this rises to one in three by…
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Does fat deserve a retrial?

Why defenders are fighting to clear the reputation of a nutrient they say has been unfairly blamed for the obesity epidemic. By Nick Hughes. As sugar begins a long sentence for its role in the obesity epidemic a campaign is being waged to get another convicted nutrient off the hook. Fat has long been cast…
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Does the Impossible Burger live up to the hype?

Plant-based proteins are the dish of the day but the big question is whether they can win over meat-lovers. Niamh Michail reports from Las Vegas. Each year, research and development scientists and food formulators from the world’s biggest ingredient companies come together at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) show. In Las Vegas this year…
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So far so good for the GCA

Many argued that her job should never have existed but Christine Tacon can point to four years well spent as the government’s supply chain watchdog. By Nick Hughes. It is testament to Christine Tacon’s durability that she recently celebrated four years in a job that many politicians and business leaders felt should never have existed.…
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Challenge for agriculture as emissions progress stalls

Agriculture is expected to miss key reduction targets for greenhouse gases. With bold new policies needed, shifting demand could be the next step. By Nick Hughes. The UK’s transition to a resilient low-carbon economy is in danger of being derailed by a lack of government action on climate change. That was the stark warning issued…
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Creating Young Chefs from the Floorboards Up

Less than a fortnight ago the Essential Cuisine team and I were lucky enough to witness a young chef from the world-famous L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, cook his way to an impressive victory in the 15th annual North West Young Chef competition.  In those 15 years, we have seen the technical bar raised time and…
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