A victim of budget cuts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Microbiological Data Program, which since 2001 has analyzed samples of select fruits and vegetables for foodborne pathogens, closed down its operations at the beginning of 2013.

News from industry food companies.

University Place, WA—In the aftermath of the defeat of California’s Proposition 37, activists in the state of Washington are close to placing another genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling measure on a ballot. I-522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” was submitted to state officials with 350,000 signatures from potential voters on January 3.

According to the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), over 400 registered green logos exist worldwide (1). Most consumers say they are more likely to buy products with green seals, says NMI (1), and there are good reasons why. Certifications help a product standout in saturated markets.

Auckland, New Zealand—Maybe that ban on large sodas implemented in New York City isn’t necessary; just tax them, and people will buy them less. So says a new paper published in PLoS Medicine, which also found that making healthy foods like fruit cheaper will increase their intake among consumers.

With a wide enough selection and a nudge in the right direction, even your most cooking-averse customers will find themselves dashing in the sea salt and peppering over the stew. The spice suggestions to follow will surely bring variety to their palates and their lives, but before we can apply these tips to great and tasty result, we must learn the basics on approaching spices, along with a few extra insights that any aspiring home cook must know.

Good ‘n Natural fruit, nut and seed bars offer wholesome, gluten-free and dairy-free nutrition for health-conscious consumers. The all-natural bars come in seven flavors: Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin, Mixed Berry, Vanilla Raspberry, Cranberry Almond, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate and Lemon. They are a good source of fiber with five grams per serving; boast 10 grams of protein; and include natural ingredients like gluten-free rolled oats and organic maple syrup.

Jolie Ravioli from New York Ravioli & Pasta Co. is an all-natural, kid-friendly “fun food” with no preservatives. Jolie Ravioli are designed in six whimsical shapes and come in 12-oz. resealable frozen bags. Ravioli come in Cheese, Mac & Cheezy, Cheese & Broccoli and Pizza-roli’s.

New from Mt. Capra Products is instant Yo-Quick!, which makes fresh, wholesome goat-milk yogurt in under 60 seconds without refrigeration. Just open a packet, add five to six tablespoons of cold water, shake and enjoy. Flavors include Blueberry Blast, Sensational Strawberry and Very Vanilla.