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The number of news found: 28.

03/24/2017 BRAZILIAN MEAT PRODUCERS CAUGHT IN GLOBAL SCANDAL

Last Friday, federal police in Brazil raided several meat production facilities, arrested more than 30 people, suspended more than 30 health inspectors, and placed 21 meat-packing plants under investigation. The raid came after the police conducted a two-year investigation across six Brazilian states and uncovered illegal practices—such as bribing health inspectors to certify rotten meat products as safe for consumption—within 30 meat companies, including the world's largest beef producer JBF. "They used acid and other chemicals to mask the [rotten] aspect of the product," the police said in a statement. "In some cases, the products used were carcinogenic." This incident is an example of just one destructive practice of the global animal agriculture industry.

03/24/2017 STARBUCKS LAUNCHES ORGANIC VEGAN AVOCADO SPREAD

International coffeehouse Starbucks launched a new spring menu—which features a vegan avocado spread and sprouted bagel—this week at its 24,000 locations worldwide. The organic avocado spread (sold in packaged containers) is a guacamole-like condiment made with organic Hass avocados, onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, and sea salt. The new vegan sprouted bagel (made with whole grains, brown and golden flax, sunflower seeds, and wheat) joins several existing vegan bagel options including blueberry, plain, and cinnamon raisin. Earlier this year, the company launched its first prepared vegan breakfast item—an assortment of grains soaked overnight in coconut milk—and continues to experiment with plant milk-based drink options after its initial introduction of almond milk last year.

03/23/2017 FIRST ALMOND MILK COMPANY TO OPEN IN JAMAICA

Local distribution and food production companies T. Geddes Grant Distributors and Seprod recently partnered with American brand Naturally Almond to set up the first almond milk manufacturing plant in Jamaica. According to T. Geddes Grant managing director Michael Subratie, almond milk is the fastest growing non-dairy beverage in Jamaica and its sales have increased by 15-percent annually on the island. The Naturally Almond brand milk will initially be available in four flavors—original, vanilla, original unsweetened, and vanilla unsweetened—with a chocolate flavor to be released later this year. The partnership plans to export Jamaican-produced almond milk to surrounding islands including Trinidad and Barbados in the future. Global sales of almond milk are predicted to boom within the plant-based milk market, which is expected to reach $35 billion by 2024.

03/23/2017 STELLA MCCARTNEY DEBUTS "SKIN-FREE SKIN" COLLECTION

Vegetarian fashion designer Stella McCartney debuted her 2017 fall collection during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. The designer unveiled a new vegan leather material—called "skin-free skin"—that she used throughout the collection of faux leather pants, coats, shirts, and suede handbags. "Until recently, I avoided using fake [leather] because it never looked luxurious enough," McCartney said. "I am so excited that we have finally developed fabrics that look just as good as the real thing, and therefore genuinely pose a question to the industry about why anyone needs to use leather any more." While McCartney's lines are not always vegan—as the designer still uses wool and silk—she has been an outspoken advocate against fur and leather, and regularly partners with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to fight against animal cruelty in the fashion industry.

03/22/2017 STOP THE WORLD'S BIGGEST WHALE SLAUGHTER

In just a few days, Norway will start up a horrific annual tradition — the ruthless slaughter of hundreds of whales. Whales are awe-inspiring, beautiful beings. They communicate with each other in song, and experience human-like emotions. But in Norway, every year these amazing creatures are hunted down and killed, then hacked apart to become animal feed and ingredients in beauty products. Norway has managed to slip under the radar as the #1 whale slaughtering country. But with unprecedented global outrage, Europe clan close its ports to Norway's whalers. This is a call to action, please sign the petition. After Iceland, it is time to stop Norway too!

03/22/2017 PLANT-BASED WAS BIGGEST TREND AT MAJOR TRADE SHOW

Food industry media outlet Organic Authority recently recapped last weekend's major trade show Natural Foods Expo West. The event drew a record number of 80,000 attendees and 3,100 product exhibitors—500 of which were showing their products for the first time. "The biggest trend on the show floor was the explosion of plant-based foods and their link to reduced impact on the climate, improved human health, and animal welfare," Organic Authority writer Jill Ettinger said. Large crowds gathered to sample products from Beyond Meat, Tofurky, Miyoko's Kitchen, and Daiya Foods, amongst others. Ettinger pointed out that the presence of plant-based milk companies indicated strong growth in the category.

03/21/2017 VEGAN TRAIN RIDE TAKES OFF ON EARTH DAY

Pennsylvania-based Firefly Café partnered with Boyertown train operator Colebrookdale Railroad to offer an all vegan train excursion. The trip will take passengers from Boyertown to Pottstown and serve gluten-free vegan dishes such as quinoa salad, a roasted chickpea bake with pesto, and raw key lime cheesecake. Colebrookdale Railroad assistant director Doug Horvat first worked with Firefly Café's co-owner Loriann Wade for an excursion last summer that quickly sold out, indicating the demand for a vegan train trip. The Firefly Café opened last year with a mostly vegan menu and Wade removed all animal products several months ago. The vegan train takes off on April 22, with two more excursions scheduled for this summer and fall. (vegnews.com)

03/20/2017 VEGAN MILK IS TOP CONSUMER TREND IN UK

The contents of this year's UK "shopping basket"—an annual analysis of consumer shopping trends—have recently been revealed. In addition to gin and bicycling helmets, for the first time ever, the symbolic basket contains non-dairy milk. British analysts compile the basket's contents based on four indices that reveal financial statistics about price inflation and consumer spending patterns drawn from 700 representative goods and services across 140 areas in the UK. Analysts added plant-based milk to represent what they say is "a distinct and growing market." Conversely, milk, cheese, and eggs were removed from the 2015 basket due to falling sales. In addition to the growth veganism in the UK—up by 360 percent in the last decade—recent reports have predicted that the plant-based milk industry will continue to grow to $35 billion by 2024.

03/17/2017 BRITISH MEN GO VEGAN TO IMPRESS DATES

A new survey conducted by dating platform EliteSingles revealed the top 40 behavioral changes British men undertake to impress potential mates. Researchers asked 1,323 UK-based men about how they change their preferences in order to impress a new partner and compiled a list of the most common responses. In addition to admitting that they will refrain from smoking, pretend to like Bridget Jones movies, and buy more expensive shower gels, the men revealed they would embark on a vegan diet—the 35th most popular response. Choosing a vegetarian diet made the list as well, ranking at number 31. Nearly one-fifth of the men surveyed said they maintained the behavioral change throughout the relationship. An experiment conducted earlier this year in Australia revealed that men with vegan Tinder profiles fared far better than those touting bacon.

03/16/2017 MEATOUT PIZZA EVENTS IN CROATIA

In cooperation with ten pizzerias in Croatia, Animal Friends is celebrating this year's Meatout! For this occasion, celebrated all over the world on March 20, Animal Friends encourages pizzerias to introduce a vegan pizza on their menu—a pizza without ingredients of animal origin. On March 20, 2017, you can try vegan pizzas during this special event in the pizzerias in Zagreb, Osijek and Split. In addition, big tasting of over 25 pizzas will take place on Zagreb central square on March 20 at 11 a.m.

03/15/2017 PORTUGUESE CAFETERIAS MUST NOW OFFER VEGAN OPTION

On March 3, 2017, the Portuguese parliament signed a bill into law that requires all public "cantinas"—or cafeterias in schools, universities, hospitals, and prisons—serve at least one "strictly vegetarian" (vegan) option. Portugal's vegetarian organization Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa (AVP) launched a petition in 2015 to bring the issue in front of parliament. After gaining more than 15,000 signatures on its petition, AVP's proposal was approved by political parties Left Bloc (BE), the Green Ecologist Party (ENP), and People-Animals-Nature (PAN), which collectively cited the "freedom of choice in food" as the motivation behind enacting the bill. Public cantinas in Portugal are required to implement the mandate within six months.

03/15/2017 MAJOR PIZZA CHAIN ADDS VEGAN CHEES TO MENU

Chain restaurant Pizza Pizza recently added Violife vegan cheese to the menu at 419 locations across Canada. "We're on a mission to provide quality options that meet the different flavor and dietary preferences of our customers," Pizza Pizza CEO Pat Finelli said. "This new dairy-free vegan cheese is just one more way customers can make our pizza their own." Former basketball star and vegan activist John Salley first approached Finelli last year to suggest he add non-dairy cheese to Pizza Pizza's menu, and has worked with the company to implement the change. Stateside, plant-based options are also becoming increasingly more available on restaurant menus—including the vegan Impossible Burger, which fast-casual chain Bareburger added to its menu at 43 locations last week.

03/14/2017 TOM BRADY PARTNERS WITH VEGAN COMPANY

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has partnered with vegan company Purple Carrot to create his own plant-based meal kit. The TB12 Performance meal kit—priced at $78—is comprised of gluten-free, high-protein, and low refined sugar foods and recipes to prepare a week's worth of meals. "The TB12 Performance Meals are designed for anyone who's looking to achieve or sustain their own peak performance," Brady told CNBC. "We want to inspire everyone—not just athletes—to be their best, and I think these meals will be a big step in that direction." Purple Carrot CEO Andy Levitt says his partnership with the Super Bowl MVP will inspire even more people to choose a plant-based diet. Purple Carrot secured a $5 million investment shortly after its nationwide expansion in 2016 and has since partnered with prominent vegan chefs to create meal plans that promote a plant-based diet to a wide audience.

03/13/2017 VEGAN-OWNED FROZEN PIZZA BRAND DEBUTS IN UK

Norwich-based One Planet Pizza has exceeded its crowdfunding goal of £20,000 ($24,400 USD) by more than £6,000 ($7000 USD), becoming the UK's first crowdfunded all-vegan company. The brand's success stems from incorporating consumer engagement into its business model. Funding from initial investors—ranging from £16 (about $19 USD) to £2,000 ($2440 USD)—makes up 20 percent of the company's equity. These shareholders gain insider access to the development of the brand and a say in deciding which vegan organizations will receive 10 percent of yearly profits via the company's charity branch, One Planet Pizza Fund. Vegan blogger Hench Herbivore is working with the company to create protein-loaded pizzas and will serve as a social media marketing advocate, alongside Damien Clarkson of ethical creative studio The Growing Box and YouTuber Bastian Altrock.

03/13/2017 PEA PROTEIN MARKET TO REACH $104 MILLION BY 2026

Analysts at research firm Future Market Insights (FMI) predict that revenues from the pea protein market will surpass $104 million by 2026, with a compounded annual growth rate of 12 percent. One reason for this growth is the demand for replacing allergens and animal products in baking. While North America currently has the highest global demand for pea protein, FMI predicts that manufacturers will be targeting developing economies in the future. Late last year, French company Roquette announced plans to build the world's largest pea protein plant—a $400 million construction project—in Manitoba, Canada. The development of vegan products is largely responsible for the growth of the pea protein market as it is the key ingredient in many plant-based food items.

03/10/2017 GUATEMALA PASSES GROUNDBREAKING ANTI-CRUELTY LAWS

The Congress of Guatemala approved an omnibus anti-animal cruelty bill last week. The new set of laws—drafted and submitted by The Humane Society International (HSI)—provide protections to animals in laboratories, circuses, homes, and in the wild. In addition to completely banning cosmetic animal testing and dogfighting in the country, the laws will promote spaying and neutering companion animals to alleviate the stray dog population in Guatemala. Culling wild animals and abandoning animals is now illegal and penalties have been put in place for violators of these new laws—including punishment for spectators of cruel acts. HSI will help the Guatemalan government to implement the comprehensive new laws and is working with officials in other countries to pass similar legislation. Recently, HSI helped the Indian government ban the import of exotic furs and animal skins, and prompted the government of Pará—the second largest state in Brazil—to pass a ban on animal testing.

03/10/2017 FRENCH COMPANY OPENS PLANT-BASED MEAT FACILITY

French company Tereos opened its first plant-based meat-making facility in Alsace, France last week. The facility will produce plant-based protein under the name Le Sauté Végétal, which will be made from wheat proteins and chickpea flour that will be sold in shredded form. "The inauguration of this industrial pilot unit is an important step in the work Tereos has been conducting around plant proteins for many years," Tereos CEO Alexis Duval said. "It demonstrates the Group's great capacity to innovate and develop new products that cater to the world's evolving food needs." The company is a founding member of European innovation coalition "Improve" that aims to shift protein production away from animal agriculture.

03/09/2017 TYSON CEO SAYS THE FUTURE IS MEATLESS

CEO of meat company Tyson Foods, Tom Hayes, recently spoke with media outlet Fox Business about the changes he plans to implement in the company. "The meat industry has gone through an evolution over time," Hayes said. "We are trying to become less processed." Fox Business reporter Jade Scipioni asked Hayes about Tyson's recent investment into vegan company Beyond Meat and if he believes people will be eating more plant-based meats in the future. "I think they are," Hayes responded. "Plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction." Last year, Tyson launched $150 million venture capital fund Tyson New Ventures for the sole purpose of investing in meat alternatives.

03/08/2017 LIFE ON MARS WOULD BE VEGAN

Last month, NASA launched space research institute Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES) to explore the viability of human life on Mars. Biochemist Lance Seefeldt and botanist Bruce Bugbee—who will helm the $15 million project—say that life on the red planet would necessarily be vegan, as animals would be too expensive to produce. Bugbee explains that protein-production on Earth is not efficient, as world hunger is a looming problem. Other researchers in this field confirm Bugbee's notion of a vegan Martian life. Currently, Dutch ecologist Wieger Wamelink has successfully used simulated Martian soil (drawn from a Hawaiian volcano) to grow stinging nettle, tomato, chives, radish, leek, rye, quinoa, pea, rocket, garden cress, spinach, and a legume called lupine.

03/08/2017 MORE THAN HALF OF MAINE RESTAURANTS OFFER VEG OPTION

Maine Restaurant Week—an annual event running March 1 through March 12 that encourages people to explore the state's restaurant scene—has seen an increase in the diversity and sophistication of veg options offered at participating establishments over the years. The 2017 Maine Restaurant Week will feature 70 restaurants, 34 of which will be offering vegan meals and 58 of which will be offering vegetarian ones, citing public demand for healthful and sustainable dining options. "We started Maine Restaurant Week nine years ago," event organizers tell VegNews," and being inclusive of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free customers has been important to us since year one." This increase in veg options falls in line with other food industry trends, as new plant-based products on the market increased by 32 percent in 2016.

03/07/2017 LAND ROVER DEBUTS ETHICAL INTERIOR OPTION

UK-based luxury car company Land Rover unveiled its new mid-size SUV model Range Rover Velar last week in London. The new model is the fourth Range Rover to be introduced to the line, and the "Velar" name is a reference to a prototype of the company's first model built in 1969. Velar will be available with several interior options, including "ethical" non-leather material Suedecloth. "Some people don't want leather because it involves killing animals," Land Rover's design director Gerry McGovern said, "so we have taken that on board." Suedecloth is made with recycled plastic bottles that are manipulated into a soft, micro-fiber non-woven material. Several car-makers—including Tesla and Ferrari—have developed synthetic materials for their newest models due to rising customer demand for cruelty-free interior options.

03/07/2017 MASTERCHEF JUNIOR CHALLENGES KIDS TO COOK VEGAN FOOD

Last week's episode of cooking competition show MasterChef Junior challenged young chefs to cook without animal products, a first for the popular show hosted by Gordon Ramsay. The show pits young chefs against each other in an elimination-style competition and challenges them to cook dishes according to different themes. Former child actress and vegan activist Mayim Bialik appeared on the episode as a guest judge, appropriately. Chef Adam presented his burger—a falafel patty with kale, tomatoes, and caramelized onion, with a potato rosti on the side. Both Bialik and permanent judge and world-renowned baker Christina Tosi tasted the dish and praised Adam on taste, seasoning, and heartiness. Ramsey is notoriously outspoken against vegan food. However, the production of this episode indicates that the popularity of veganism amongst the show's viewers outweighs Ramsey's negative attitude toward cruelty-free foods.

03/06/2017 BURGER KING'S IMPACT ON DEFORESTATION EXPOSED

A new report compiled by environmental group Mighty Earth (ME) found that multinational fast-food chain Burger King sources its animal feed from areas of the Amazon rainforest cleared for soy production. To bring transparency to Burger King's supply chain, ME interviewed local farmers, used satellite mapping technology, supply chain analysis tools, and visited 28 soy plantations across 3,000 km (1,864 miles) across Brazil and Bolivia. ME found that the fast-food chain's suppliers actively finance land-clearing operations in the Amazonian regions, a practice that contributes to the displacement of local populations, burning of native wetlands, and the destruction of approximately 200 million hectares (or 15 times the size of England) of natural forest and grasslands. Last year, a separate report compiled by The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) implicated Burger King—amongst 13 other major US brands including Hormel Foods, Wendy's, and Subway—in failing to uphold adequate protections against sourcing its meat from Amazonian lands cleared for animal agriculture.

03/06/2017 GO VEGGIE LAUNCHES VEGAN BACON CHEESE SNACKS

Food company GO VEGGIE launched two new vegan cheese snacks. Both flavors—White American and White Cheddar & Meatless Bacon—are a departure from the company's previous cheese snack bars (which contained casein) and are soy-free, non-GMO, and made with coconut oil. The snack bars are currently shipping to retailers and will be sold in 6-ounce bags that contain eight 0.75-ounce bars. While the company is not fully vegan, GO VEGGIE's marketing manager Allison Houle reveals the new products were developed to serve rising interest in plant-based foods. "With 55% of Americans planning to eat more plant-based foods this year," Houle says, "we're excited to offer a delicious, healthy snack option to support the rising consumer demand."

03/03/2017 GENERAL MILLS MAKES ANOTHER VEGAN INVESTMENT

The investment arm of food corporation General Mills, 301 Inc., partnered with private equity firm 2X Consumer Products Growth Partners to invest in vegan company, D's Naturals. In 2015, when he was just 18 years old, Daniel Katz launched D's Naturals—which produces No Cow protein bars and dessert-flavored Fluffbutter nut butters. "Most protein bars are basically candy bars filled with whey protein, so very high in sugar," 2X managing partner Whitman explained. "His product is very differentiated in that it's high protein, low sugar, which there's only a few of [them] out there, and is further differentiated because it's plant-based." Currently, General Mills plans to delve into the vegan industry by developing its own line of dairy-free products using ingredients such as fava beans, lentils, and adzuki beans.

03/02/2017 NEW PLANT-BASED PRODUCTS UP 32 PERCENT IN 2016

Research firm Innova Market Insights found that new product launches with a "plant-based" claim totaled 320 in 2016 in the United States. In 2015, that number was 220, which grew from only 196 such product launches in 2014. These findings are supported by market research firm Technavio, which predicted that new vegan product launches will grow by 11 percent annually from 2016 until 2020. Consulting company HealthFocus International (HFI) recently conducted an online survey and found that many respondents are eschewing animal products as a long-term solution toward better health, as well as concerns about animal welfare and the environment.

03/01/2017 CENTRAL PARK CARRIAGE HORSE COLLAPSES ON THE JOB

Disturbing images show a seemingly-exhausted carriage horse lying limp on its side after suddenly collapsing in Central Park — and now an animal rights group is demanding an investigation. Witnesses saw the horse breathing heavily before it collapsed on the ground near Tavern on the Green around 10 A.M. last Tuesday, said a rep for the anti-carriage group NYCLASS. The group released several photos taken by bystanders at the scene that show the horse both kneeling on the concrete and resting on its side. "Horses don't just collapse," a NYCLASS spokesperson said. "Something happened — and the city should get to the bottom of it and make sure it never happens again." Julien Martinez, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said the NYPD informed them on Feb 21 that a horse had "tripped and fallen in Central Park." "The horse returned immediately to its stable and was examined by a private veterinarian who determined Max to be healthy," the statement read. (nypost.com)

03/01/2017 STARBUCKS LAUNCHES TWO DRINKS MADE WITH PLANT-BASED MILK

Multinational coffeehouse Starbucks launched two new drinks for the spring on Tuesday, both of which are made with plant-based milks. The Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato (which contains a main ingredient, white chocolate mocha sauce, that is not dairy-free) and Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato—made with espresso, almond milk, cinnamon dolce syrup, and finished with a caramel drizzle and cinnamon dolce sprinkles. While neither option is completely dairy-free, the latter can be veganized by requesting that your barista substitute a pump of caramel syrup in place of the dairy-based drizzle, and use cinnamon powder to top in lieu of cinnamon dolce sprinkles (which contain extractives of butter). Starbucks is promoting both as cold drinks but they can also be ordered hot.

The number of news found: 28.

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