Leicester, England—Soil in urban farming allotments is healthier, and therefore better for farming, than more intensively farmed soils, according to recent research. The study, conducted in the United Kingdom and published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, shows the benefits of local, small-scale farming.
In a move sure to stir up the sector, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has debuted Wild Oats, a line featuring low-cost organic food products. The move represents a partnership between Wal-Mart and Wild Oats, a preexisting brand, which will see around 100 products hit the shelves of every Walmart store that sells groceries.
Montpelier, VT—The Vermont legislature overwhelmingly passed a law requiring foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to say so on the label. The state’s governor, Peter Shumlin, vowed to sign the bill, which will become the first to independently require GMO labeling in the country. Connecticut and Maine have passed similar laws, but those will only take effect once neighboring states also pass GMO-labeling laws.
Washington, D.C.—Providing the big picture and some compelling statistics for the specialty food space is a new report published by the Specialty Food Association. Sales are up and growing almost across the board, and specialty foods are grabbing market share from conventional foods, according to the report.
Kansas City, MO—Add Popchips, Inc. to the growing list of food companies that have settled class action lawsuits over the use of the terms “natural” or “all natural” in marketing. A proposed settlement has the brand set to fork over $2.4 million to a class action fund, after a lawsuit alleged its use of “all natural” in marketing and on packaging is misleading to consumers.
Finland—Including more fatty fish in the diet is an important means of positively influencing cholesterol levels, says new research out of the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). The study, published in PLOS ONE, shows people who increased their fatty fish intake to at least three to four weekly meals had more large HDL particles in their blood than those who ate less fish.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report on genetically engineered crop use in the United States, in which it cited consumer concern over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and acknowledged the existence of certain risks to the environment. In a separate survey, many farmers claimed they’ve detected GMO contamination in their non-GMO crops.