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Plant-based Vegan

Not-for-profit investment company to help fund early-stage businesses in the plant-based food space.

Veganuary Co-Founder, Matthew Glover, launches new vegan investment fund, ‘Veg Capital’ – with all profits to go to charity! Veg Capital will provide Angel, Seed and Series A funding, with investments typically ranging from £50,000 to £250,000 to companies striving to replace the use of animals in the food system. The fund’s focus will be on companies that develop innovative plant-based and cultivated replacements to animal products, including meat, seafood, dairy and eggs.

Veg Capital is an ethical and environmental mission that seeks to reduce the burden on our planet, spare the lives of animals and create a sustainable food industry. Unlike traditional investment firms, Veg Capital plans to donate all profits to UK and European animal protection charities. 

‘Our aim is to drive up the supply of vegan foods while driving down demand for animal products. We invest in plant-based foods and then through our philanthropy help raise awareness and increase demand for that food. It’s a double whammy of activism. We’ve already provided funding to eight game-changer companies and there is much more to come!’

Matthew Glover, Managing Director, Veg Capital

Since COVID-19 began, we’ve seen plant-based product sales growth exceed that of animal-based products, both in meat and dairy categories. In the United States, sales of vegan meat jumped by a staggering 280% and sales of oat milk jumped by 477% in the second week of March compared to the same period last year, as the country became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. This meat crisis has become a big opportunity for plant-based protein companies that have developed healthier, safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional animal products.

Veg Capital portfolio include these plant based businesses:

  1. Mighty Pea: Mighty Pea M.lk, is a smooth and creamy, dairy-free alternative to milk, made from yellow split peas. It contains more protein and calcium than regular plant milk and split peas are a sustainable solution.
  2. Grounded: GROUNDED® make 100% natural sustainably packaged plant-based protein m*lkshakes. They have ambitious plans to innovate in & disrupt the wider functional f&b space with only natural, plant-based ingredients.
  3. Mummy Meagz: Mummy Meagz creates indulgent chocolate treats including a range of vegan Rockie Road bars and have recently launched the Chuckie Egg.
  4. TheVeganKind: The UK’s leading 100% vegan online supermarket and vegan subscription service.
  5. Plantifull: Delicious plant-based meal pots and high-protein vegan jerky. 100% plant-based snacks.
  6. Native Snacks: Native Snacks are on a mission to unearth plant-based snacks from around the world. Their first product range is Popped Lotus Seeds from India.
  7. One Planet Pizza: The UK’s first frozen vegan pizza company.
  8. Good Catch: Plant-based seafood. They’re disrupting the seafood category, not the ocean’s natural resources.
  9. Vevolution: Vevolution creates inspiring events and multimedia content for the plant powered positive changemakers.

Read more at Veg Capital

Categories
Milk

FDA has given dairies the official permission to label their skim milk as “skim milk.”

Skim milk is milk with the fat or cream removed—skimmed off. According to FDA guidelines, in order to be called “skim milk,” dairies had to add vitamins A and D to the milk before it could be lawfully distributed. Dairies or creameries who did not add those vitamins were prohibited from labeling their skim milk as skim milk. Instead, they were required to call it “imitation skim milk” or “imitation milk product,” even though their skim milk was not, in fact, an imitation of anything.

The letter that the US FDA sent on April 22, 2020 informed South Mountain Creamery LLC that the agency will no longer enforce the “imitation” labeling requirement and will no longer ask the states to enforce it.

There’s a market for “all-natural” skim milk without the added vitamins, and dairies and creameries who want to offer this product have been battling federal and state regulators for years. “Words mean what the public understands them to mean, not what the government wishes they meant,” said IJ Attorney Anya Bidwell.

Read more at Institute for Justice

Categories
Food Security

Drug-resistant diseases that jump from plants to humans

The current coronavirus pandemic shows how unprepared humans are in fighting pathogens that originate in wildlife and jump to humans. Human immune systems are equally unprepared for drug-resistant diseases that jump from plants to humans. Drug-resistant fungal diseases are emerging as a major health threat, including Candida auris—a highly infectious fungus. Fungi are continually mutating, and with a very short life cycle measured in days or weeks, they mutate quickly. 

One theory for Candida auris emergence is that the overuse of fungicides killed off all of its competitors, causing C. auris to undergo explosive growth.

The current pandemic offers a clear message that we must be better in mitigating the risks associated with infections. One of the solutions in plants, could be gene editing, that can play a vital role in preventing pathogens from developing the drug resistance. Advances in genetics have given us an understanding of nature’s gene editing process in plants, helping us develop resistance to a disease.

Read more at ScientificAmerican

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Uncategorized

Future crops could make their own pesticides

A team of U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists are trying to design crops that kill weeds by exuding a natural herbicide from their roots. In other words, they’re creating oilseed and cereal crops that can control weeds — on their own. “It’s a complicated thing, because we’re trying to make plants produce something that is poisonous, and probably even poisonous to them,” said Scott Baerson, a molecular biologist in Oxford, Mississippi. Since 2000, Baerson has been studying sorgoleone, a natural herbicide released into the soil from the roots of sorghum plants. The chemical suppresses nearby plants, helping sorghum out-compete its rivals.

If they’re able to pull it off, the technology could be a game changer. It won’t eliminate the need for herbicides, but it should “significantly reduce the amount” applied to cropland. This agricultural technology is comparable to the technology of self-driving cars.

Read more at TheWesternProducer

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Uncategorized

Disinfectants made from Orange Juice

South African Biotech company Biodx, claims it has made a disinfectant from orange juice which can kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus types. The disinfectant is made from natural citrus extract, which is then stabilised with an organic biodegradable compound, which contains no chlorine, ethanol or aldehydes. The disinfectant meets stringent European and South African regulatory compliance and is specifically formulated to conform to general health industry specifications and can be used on surfaces, medical equipment and uniforms.

The idea to make a natural-based disinfectant was born out of a problem when working with enzyme-based cleaners. Using chlorine-based chemicals as disinfectant kills the enzymes and could cause corrosion to the piping system.

Read more at Business Insider

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Uncategorized

The Naturalness Bias

Words are powerful influencers of behavior. Not only are consumers vastly more likely to purchase a product with the natural label, but they also ascribe a wide range of characteristics to a product bearing such a label. The “naturalness bias” leads people to believe that foods with a natural label are both better and safer than foods without that label. The reality, of course, is that anything we consider natural can be good or bad for us, just like the many things that do not come from nature.

The FDA has considered the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food. However, this policy was not intended to address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides, nor did it explicitly address food processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization, or irradiation. The FDA also did not consider whether the term “natural” should describe any nutritional or other health benefit.

Read more at Futurity