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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

NYC Seeks To Require Composting of Food Scraps

June 18, 2013 12:29 pm | by BETHAN McKERNAN and JENNIFER PELTZ,Associated Press

Legions of apartment dwellers will soon be asked — and may eventually be ordered — to start collecting food scraps for composting, under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's latest bid to make the Big Apple greener. After launching a test program recently in 3,500 Staten Island homes and some Manhattan apartment buildings, city officials said Monday they planned to expand it to 100,000 houses and high-rise apartments in all five boroughs this fall.

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Pa. Senate GOP Seeking Consensus on Liquor Bill

June 18, 2013 12:27 pm | by MARC LEVY,Associated Press

Republican state senators remained unsure Monday whether they will vote for legislation that one of their members is writing to liberalize the sale of wine, beer and hard liquor in Pennsylvania, a key priority of Gov. Tom Corbett. Bucks County Sen. Charles McIlhinney is expected to unveil the legislation Tuesday, Republican senators said.

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White House Threatens To Veto House Farm Bill

June 18, 2013 12:26 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

The White House is threatening to veto the House version of a massive, five-year farm bill, saying food stamp cuts included in the legislation could leave some Americans hungry. The legislation would cut $2 billion annually, or around 3 percent, from food stamps and make it harder for some people to qualify for the program.

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Smithfield Lays Off 120 Workers

June 18, 2013 12:23 pm | by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM,AP Business Writer

Smithfield Foods Inc. said Tuesday that it is laying off 120 more workers as part of its previously announced closure of a Virginia facility that makes hot dogs and deli meat. The Smithfield, Va.-based pork producer plans to close the Portsmouth plant in the middle of August, said Jeff Gough, Smithfield's senior vice president for human resources.

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Consumer Trends: Health Benefits of Canola Oil

June 18, 2013 12:00 pm

A comprehensive review of scientific evidence shows that consuming canola oil instead of other fat sources enhances health and can help consumers comply with expert dietary fat recommendations. Studies conducted over the past 25 years about the health effects of canola oil confirm canola oil reduces the risk of heart disease and suggest that it may also protect against other chronic diseases.

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NJ Panel Passes Measure To Promote State’s Wine Industry

June 18, 2013 9:51 am

A state Senate panel has unanimously approved a measure that aims to bolster New Jersey's wine industry. The bill would create the New Jersey Wine Board and make it responsible for facilitating growth in the state's wine industry through advertisements, research and education.

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EEOC Files Suit Against Performance Food Group

June 18, 2013 9:50 am

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against a Virginia-based company. The commission announced the lawsuit Monday against Performance Food Group Inc. Joe Vagi, a company spokesman, says the company has not received notification of the lawsuit and doesn't comment on pending litigation.

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Campbell Soup To Buy Kelsen Group

June 18, 2013 9:48 am

Campbell Soup Co. said Monday that it will buy Danish snack company Kelsen Group A/S from private-equity firm Maj Invest and several other investors for an undisclosed sum. The deal will help Campbell expand its global snacks business, which includes brands such as Pepperidge Farm in the U.S. and Arnott's biscuits in Australia.

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Entrepreneurs Create Grow-at-Home Mushroom Kits

June 18, 2013 9:46 am | by MICHELLE LOCKE,Associated Press

Back to the Roots makes a Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden that allows anyone to grow mushrooms off recycled waste. The company has grown to more than 30 employees and received an Empact100 award from the White House last fall, recognizing it as one of the top 100 entrepreneurial companies in the United States.

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Food Makers Try Hard for ‘Natural’ Look

June 18, 2013 9:44 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Food companies are responding to the adage that people eat with their eyes. Americans still love their fast food and packaged snacks, but they're increasingly turning their noses up at foods that look overly processed. Home-cooked meals — or ones that at least look like they were homemade — are seen as more wholesome and authentic.

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Photo of the Day: A Produce Aisle Without Bees

June 18, 2013 9:40 am

To raise awareness of just how crucial pollinators are to our food system, the University Heights Whole Foods Market store temporarily removed all produce that comes from plants dependent on pollinators. They pulled from shelves 237 of 453 products — 52 percent of the department's normal product mix.

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University Starts Sperm Bank for Honeybees

June 17, 2013 12:26 pm | by NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS,Associated Press

There's a lot of buzz at Washington State University over work to develop the first sperm bank for honeybees. Entomologist Steve Sheppard and his crew are using liquid nitrogen to preserve semen extracted from the industrious insects that pollinate much of the nation's food supply but face environmental threats.

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Farm Bill Could Hinge on Dairy Vote

June 17, 2013 12:24 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

An overhaul of dairy policy and a new insurance program for dairy farmers included in the farm bill have passionately divided farm-state lawmakers. Most importantly, it has caused a rift between House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

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38 Countries Beat UN Targets To Reduce Hunger

June 17, 2013 12:22 pm

Thirty-eight countries have beaten a U.N.-imposed deadline of 2015 to cut in half the proportion of hungry people. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization on Saturday recognized the 38 countries and urged those still working to meet the U.N. target to redouble efforts.

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Irrigated Vegetable Farm in the Works in Arizona

June 17, 2013 12:21 pm | by SUZANNE ADAMS-OCKRASSA,Kingman Daily Miner

Las Vegas developer Jim Rhodes has returned to Mohave County, but instead of planting houses in the Golden Valley and Red Lake areas, he's planting peppers, tomatoes and pickles. Rhodes' newest company, Kingman Farms, has started breaking ground on a 200-acre commercial vegetable farm off of Aztec Road behind the three model homes he built for his former master planned community Pravada.

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Shareholder Says Smithfield Sale Undervalues Company

June 17, 2013 12:19 pm | by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM,AP Business Writer

One of Smithfield Foods Inc.'s largest shareholders says a $4.72 billion takeover bid from China's largest meat producer falls short of what the company would be worth if sold off piece by piece. In a letter to the pork producer's board of directors on Monday, the New York-based investment firm Starboard Value LP estimated the company's value at $9 billion to $10.8 billion, or about $44 to $55 per share.

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Consumer Trends: The Vegetables People Hate

June 17, 2013 12:00 pm

Ranker.com, a crowdsourcing website that relies on “the wisdom of crowds,” has collected the aggregated opinion of over 1,500 voters on the list of “Vegetables I Won’t Eat.” Voters are able to vote up the veggies they hate the most, and vote down the ones that aren’t that bad.

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Fair Trade USDA, Whole Foods Collaborate at Summit

June 17, 2013 9:52 am

Fair Trade USA and Whole Foods Market teamed up to strengthen services to farmers and workers with the first-ever Fair Trade Produce & Floral Summit. The summit brought together 115 farmers & farm workers from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru as well as nonprofit organizations.

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WhiteWave Announces Second Offering

June 17, 2013 9:46 am

The WhiteWave Foods Co. said Friday that it filed plans for a secondary offering of 29.9 million shares of its stock currently held by one-time parent company Dean Foods Co. The company has granted the option to underwriters to buy an additional 4.5 million shares of stock.

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USDA: Modified Wheat Appears To Be Isolated

June 17, 2013 9:43 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

The U.S. Agriculture Department says it has no indications that genetically modified wheat found in Oregon last month has spread beyond the field in which it was found. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming, and the department is investigating how the engineered wheat got there.

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