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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Birch Syrup Explored as Add-On to Maple Industry

April 1, 2013 9:48 am | by HOLLY RAMER,Associated Press

Unlike maple syrup-drenched Vermont and lobster-rich Maine, New Hampshire doesn't have much to call its own in the food world. But it could find a future claim to fame in birch syrup, a nontraditional but increasingly popular product pulled from New Hampshire's state tree.

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Oklahoma Lifts Ban on Horse Slaughter

April 1, 2013 9:46 am | by TIM TALLEY,Associated Press

Oklahoma's 50-year-old ban on horse slaughtering was lifted Friday when the governor signed a new law that will allow facilities to process and export horse meat, despite bitter opposition by animal rights activists. Supporters argue that a horse slaughtering facility in Oklahoma will provide a humane alternative for aging or starving horses, many of which are abandoned in rural parts of the state.

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Photo of the Day: For Fla. Brewers, Size Matters

April 1, 2013 9:44 am

In this Friday, March 29, 2013 photo, a 32-ounce bottle, known among beer enthusiasts as a growler, is filled at the Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville, Fla. Quart and gallon growlers are legal in Florida but half-gallon growlers are illegal.

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Daily Sound Bite: Pa. Beer, Wine Privatization Bill Gets Mixed Response

April 1, 2013 9:12 am

A bill to privatize the sale of beer and wine has passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives but is making some breweries and beer sellers nervous. The State Senate will likely ammend the bill and plans to hold hearings on the bill, which has been criticized by some lawmakers.

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Consumer Trends: Americans Love Cheese

March 29, 2013 12:00 pm

Would you like cheese with that? According to a recent survey, 96 percent of Americans are cheese eaters and most of them would rather be stripped of connectivity or coffee than having this favorite food staple removed from their diet. So, to celebrate this unprecedented love of cheese, Kraft is hitting the streets with the Fresh Take Fresh Possibilities Tour.

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Daily Sound Bite: Edamame Opens New Industry Opportunities

March 29, 2013 10:58 am

As the American consumer's palate evolves toward a more global and expansive diet, enjoying foods from around the world, soybean growers are hoping to capitalize. Though currently the vast amount of soybeans grown in the U.S. are used for cooking oil and animal feed, a growing number of farmers are experimenting with edible soybeans as Americans' interest in edamame increases.

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Pa. Breweries, Beer Sellers Wary of Privatization

March 29, 2013 10:52 am

Pennsylvania's breweries and beer distributors are worrying about how state lawmakers may liberalize the Depression-era system of selling beer and wine and whether they will be forced to compete for sales at a disadvantage with bigger, better-prepared rivals.

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USDA Expects Highest Corn Acreage Since 1936

March 29, 2013 10:51 am | by DAVID PITT,Associated Press

Farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936, the USDA's spring planting survey said Thursday. The overall corn acreage forecast is up slightly from last year's 97.2 million acres and reflects a shift in where the grain is grown. Acreage in some states hit hardest by last year's drought retreated, while Southern states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas are shifting cotton acres to corn.

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Right-To-Work Law Takes Effect in Mich.

March 29, 2013 10:47 am | by DAVID EGGERT and MIKE HOUSEHOLDER,Associated Press

A right-to-work law is on the books in Michigan, but those considering opting out of paying union dues will have to wait months or years to do so. The law, which lets workers choose not to pay to the unions that bargain on their behalf, applies to labor contracts that are extended or renewed starting Thursday — meaning many employees will not be affected until existing collective bargaining agreements end.

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Soybean Producers See Growth Potential in Edamame

March 29, 2013 10:43 am | by JEANNIE NUSS,Associated Press

The United States is one of the world's top soybean producers, but most beans grown here are used to make cooking oil and feed farm animals. They aren't eaten whole. Now, some farmers from Arkansas to Minnesota are planting a type called edamame, which is commonly used in Asian cuisine.

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NYC Appeals Ruling Striking Down ‘Big Gulp’ Ban

March 29, 2013 10:40 am | by DEEPTI HAJELA,Associated Press

New York City is asking appeals judges to reinstate a ban on supersized sodas and other sugary drinks, which was struck down by a Manhattan judge the day before it was to go into effect. The city had vowed an appeal and said Thursday that lawyers had filed it late Monday.

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Koch Foods Expanding Ga. Plant

March 29, 2013 9:38 am

A food processing and distribution company is planning to expand a plant in western Georgia and looks to create 750 new jobs. Gov. Nathan Deal Thursday announced Koch Foods is planning to expand its plant in Hamilton — about 25 miles northeast of Columbus.

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Jobless Claims Jump to 357K

March 29, 2013 9:36 am | by PAUL WISEMAN,AP Economics Writer

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped by 16,000 last week, the second straight weekly increase. But the longer-term trend in layoffs remained consistent with an improved job market. Applications increased to a seasonally adjusted 357,000 for the week ending March 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's up from 341,000 the previous week, which was revised slightly higher.

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An Indoor Farm Goes ‘Mega’

March 29, 2013 9:33 am | by MARTHA IRVINE,AP National Writer

FarmedHere, based in Bedford Park, Ill., is finishing the first of four phases, with plans to expand by the end of next year to 150,000 square feet of vertical growing space. Already, they say they are the largest vertical farm in the country, a claim experts who monitor the field believe to be true. The farm supplies local grocery with fresh basil, arugula and other greens.

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Dutch Coffee Company in Buyout Talks

March 29, 2013 9:30 am

D.E. Master Blenders 1753, the Dutch coffee company that was spun off by Sara Lee Corp. last year, said Thursday it is in talks to be acquired by a group led by private German investment company Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH for around 7.6 billion euros ($9.7 billion). Benckiser, which has already accumulated 15 percent in Master Blenders, also owns stakes in Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc. and Caribou Coffee, among others.

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Pinnacle Foods Rises in First Day of Trading

March 29, 2013 9:28 am

Shares of Pinnacle Foods, the maker of Birds Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes and Vlasic pickles, jumped 11 percent in their first day of trading as a public company. The company's stock priced at $20 per share and closed at $22.21. The shares priced at the high end of their expected range of $18 to $20 per share, which suggested healthy demand from investors.

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Photo of the Day: Farming Moves Indoors

March 29, 2013 9:25 am

FarmedHere, a farm in an old warehouse, has crops that include basil, arugula and microgreens, sold at grocery stores in Chicago and its suburbs. Officials at FarmedHere plan to expand growing space to a massive 150,000 square feet by the end of next year. It is currently has about 20 percent of that growing space now.

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Daily Sound Bite: William Koch Sues Over $320K Wine Purchase

March 28, 2013 12:32 pm

Billionaire William Koch is suing businessman Eric Greenberg over a $320,000 wine purchase after Koch received what he says are less-than-desirable wines. Koch's attorney John Hueston argued that there's more to wine than than liquid in a bottle, and a true wine collector is devestated to learn of an inauthentic purchase.

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Alabama Last State To Prohibit Home Brewing

March 28, 2013 12:20 pm | by PHILLIP RAWLS,Associated Press

With Mississippi legalizing home brewing, Alabama is now the only state that doesn't allow citizens to brew small amounts of beer or wine at home for personal use. Home brewing enthusiasts have been trying since 2009 to get the Alabama Legislature to legalize what several thousand people are already doing illegally.

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Vilsack Outlines USDA Efforts To Improve Childhood Nutrition

March 28, 2013 12:18 pm

In remarks at a meeting with the United Parcel Service of America (UPS) and Georgia business leaders, Vilsack noted USDA has made significant focus on improving consumers' access to information and helping consumers have better access to food, which can help our nation combat obesity and malnutrition — raising a generation of young people who succeed in school and graduate ready to achieve great things.

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