Health/Nutrition/Food Safety

Driving potato purchases: Key consumer insights revealed in new Potatoes USA study

The ‘Potato Path to Purchase’ study by Potatoes USA, conducted by Nielsen IQ, reveals how consumer behavior and purchase patterns for potatoes are influenced by various factors. Key findings show that 90% of potato purchases are pre-planned, with freshness/quality, price, and quantity as top factors. Retailers can boost sales by focusing on quality, transparent packaging, and eye-catching displays. Pre-shopping factors like meal planning and promotions significantly impact purchasing decisions.

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CFIA launches public consultation on draft National Potato Wart Response Plan

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has launched a 60-day public consultation for feedback on a draft of the National Potato Wart Response Plan, aiming to enhance existing protocols for managing potato wart. This plan builds on previous consultations and expert recommendations. Feedback is sought from various stakeholders, with key focus areas including resistant potato varieties, increased soil analysis, and equipment cleanliness. Detailed information is available on the CFIA website.

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McDonald’s broke advert rules claiming french fries only contain Dutch potatoes and salt

McDonald’s violated Dutch advertising regulations by claiming their fries contain only potatoes and a pinch of salt, as ruled by the Advertising Code Commission following a complaint by Foodwatch. Published in Volkskrant and aired on radio in March, the ads differed from McDonald’s website, listing additional ingredients like vegetable oil and stabilizers. McDonald’s argued full ingredient disclosure in ads isn’t required.

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Ensuring safe food: FPS celebrates World Food Safety Day with focus on hygienic design and safety controls

In celebration of World Food Safety Day 2024, FPS Food Process Solutions (FPS) stresses the importance of hygienic design and critical safety controls in the food processing industry. With the theme “Food safety: prepare for the unexpected,” WHO highlights the shared responsibility of food businesses. FPS emphasizes traceability, accessibility, cleanability, and the need for thorough food safety preparation to prevent contamination and ensure consumer safety.

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International Day of Potato: At inaugural celebration, FAO highlights crop’s significance and further potential

The potato, eaten by over a billion people, is the third most available food crop globally. It was celebrated with its first International Day, recognizing its significance. FAO highlighted the potato’s role in food security, calling for investment in its potential. Emphasis was placed on genetic diversity, climate resilience, and economic opportunities for farmers, with initiatives supporting value chains and sustainable practices.

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Glyphosate under fire: Scientists struggle to find effective alternatives, experts warn of unintended consequences

Amid concerns about glyphosate, the most used herbicide globally, scientists struggle to find safe, effective alternatives, according to a Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) article by Andrew Porterfield and Jon Entine. Their analysis reveals exaggerated health concerns and underscores glyphosate’s proven safety. However, existing substitutes lack efficacy, increasing costs and environmental risks. The authors argue for a balanced, research-driven approach to replacing glyphosate.

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Discover the vital role of potatoes in Culinary Medicine: A comprehensive webinar

Join Dr. Sabrina Falquier on June 5, 2024, for a webinar exploring the essential role of potatoes in Culinary Medicine. This webinar will demonstrate their versatility, nutritional benefits, and cultural importance through a live cooking demonstration. Aimed at health practitioners, the webinar will provide practical dietary guidance using potatoes to create nutrient-rich, plant-forward meals suited for diverse patient needs. Sign up to learn how to integrate America’s favorite vegetable into patient care.

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‘The potato: A journey through time, cultures, and challenges’

This article, authored by Lukie Pieterse for UN Today, briefly explores the potato’s evolution from a wild Andean plant to a global dietary staple. Highlighting its historical and cultural significance, the piece delves into the crop’s role in human civilization, agricultural innovation, and its adaptability across varied climates. The narrative discusses the potato’s impact on societies, culinary traditions worldwide, and its ongoing adaptation to environmental challenges, as well as its crucial role in global food security and cultural diversity.

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‘From hand-pulling to high tech’: The balancing act of sustainable weed management in modern farming

Jon Entine’s article published by the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) discusses the evolution of weed management in agriculture, from primitive methods to modern biotechnological advances. While chemical herbicides and GM crops have increased yields and efficiency, concerns about environmental and health impacts persist. Organic advocates promote more sustainable practices like crop rotation and biological controls. Entine stresses the need for an evidence-based, integrated approach combining traditional and innovative methods to ensure agriculture’s sustainability and safety.

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The unsung hero of health: An in-depth analysis of the comprehensive nutritional profile of potatoes

This comprehensive nutrient analysis reveals that potatoes are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, notably high in potassium and fiber, contributing to cardiovascular health, energy provision, digestive well-being, and overall bodily function. Advocating for a heightened recognition of its nutritional benefits, the article positions potatoes as key in global health promotion and food security, urging the industry to highlight these facts in public health discussions.

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The role of potatoes in food security and nutrition worldwide: An in-depth analysis

Lukie Pieterse of Potato News Today highlights the potato’s vital role in global food security and nutrition. Rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, potatoes yield more food per area than wheat and rice, thrive in diverse environments, and have a long shelf life, bolstering food availability. Accessible and affordable, they support vulnerable populations’ caloric needs and overall health. Despite challenges like post-harvest losses, promoting diverse preparation methods and sustainable practices can enhance potatoes’ role in a balanced diet and help combat global hunger.

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Unlocking the potential of potatoes: FAO publishes a guide for celebrating the International Day of Potato

The first International Day of Potato will be celebrated on May 30, highlighting its crucial role in fighting hunger, fostering diversity, and extending hope. The theme “Harvesting Diversity, Feeding Hope” emphasizes its importance in addressing poverty and environmental challenges with a focus on healthier consumption practices. FAO recently published an eleven page guide to the new International Day, making us aware of what each of us can do to promote sustainable potato production and consumption.

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Senators rally to defend the potato’s vegetable status amid USDA and HHS reclassification debate

A bipartisan group of 14 US Senators opposes reclassifying potatoes as grains in the next Dietary Guidelines. In a letter to the USDA and HHS, they highlight potatoes’ nutritional value and historical vegetable status. The potential change could confuse consumers, disrupt industries, and adversely impact federal nutrition programs. The senators insist potatoes remain classified as vegetables, emphasizing the decision’s broad implications.

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Michigan State University scientists cracking the code to a healthier potato chip

Michigan State University scientists made a discovery revealing the genetics behind cold-stored potatoes darkening and health risks. Published in The Plant Cell, the research could lead to new potato varieties resistant to cold-induced sweetening (CIS), reducing harmful acrylamide production during processing. This advancement is crucial for the U.S. snack industry, including Michigan’s $240 million potato market, as it could ensure a consistent supply of fresh potatoes year-round while enhancing chips and fries quality.

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James Hutton Institute spearheads global food security with new National Potato Innovation Centre

The James Hutton Institute plans to establish the National Potato Innovation Centre to bolster food security, focusing on potatoes’ role in global strategies. The NPIC will utilize a new glasshouse complex to breed potato varieties suited to warmer, sustainable environments. With a reputation in potato science and a history of R&D success, the institute’s facility, housing the Commonwealth Potato Collection, aims to promote drought tolerance and disease resistance in potatoes, thereby future-proofing the UK industry.

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‘Preventing the next plant plague’: Jean Ristaino’s groundbreaking research in the fight against potato blight

Plant pathologist Jean Ristaino from NC State University is spearheading research to combat plant diseases such as late blight in potatoes and tomatoes. She is developing a rapid detection system to manage plant diseases efficiently and mapping the Phytophthora ‘tree of life’ to understand disease evolution. Her international collaboration and upcoming book “The Potato Plague” emphasize the global effort needed to secure food supplies amid climate change and population growth.

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FAO: Every day, more and more people in Gaza are on the brink of famine-like conditions

Conflict leads to humanitarian crises and increased hunger, as observed by the FAO. Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol reports on FAO’s efforts in Gaza, Sudan, and Ukraine to combat malnutrition and restore agriculture. The FAO faces unprecedented acute food insecurity in Gaza, with 25% of people nearing famine. Solutions to conflict are needed urgently as people’s access to food, water, and medical services decreases daily.

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Americans’ love for potatoes: More than just a side dish

A study by Potatoes USA shows that 22% of Americans eat potatoes multiple times weekly, revealing their cultural significance despite health perceptions ranking them low among vegetables. Spanning various ethnic groups, potatoes are considered a foundational food, with 53% of adults deeming them culturally important. Moreover, Americans appreciate potatoes for their taste, cost, and nutrition, with 72% recognizing their good value.

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‘She Feeds the World’: How PepsiCo Egypt’s program is transforming rural women’s lives

PepsiCo Egypt celebrated the fourth harvest of its “She Feeds the World” program, supporting 10,000 female farmers. Launched in 2020, the initiative empowers rural women in agriculture, aligning with pep+ and Egypt 2030 Vision, aiming for self-sufficiency and enhanced living conditions. The program has touched 390,000 lives and promotes economic empowerment and community development. The stories of these resilient women serve as a beacon of inspiration and a call to action for continued progress in the agricultural sector.

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From farm to food bank: Syngenta Canada’s pioneering effort through its Zero Hunger Challenge

Syngenta Canada’s Zero Hunger Challenge has surpassed its meal donation target by 20%, contributing over 225,000 meals to combat rural hunger and food insecurity, which has risen 78% since 2019. With $1 million already donated to Food Banks Canada, the initiative is committed to increasing 2024’s target to 250,000 meals. Syngenta engages in food drives and promotes agricultural innovation to support this cause.

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UK’s Health and Safety Executive proposes withdrawal of mancozeb approval, impacting agricultural practices

The Health and Safety Executive of Great Britain has proposed the withdrawal of the widely used pesticide mancozeb. This decision, expected to impact agricultural practices, may lead to changes in mancozeb’s use. Despite the proposed withdrawal, efforts are underway to explore options for maintaining its availability in the UK market. The approval is set to expire on 31st January 2024, with a possible interim extension.

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Creating a sustainable and greener food system: Key trends in 2023

In a piece for Food Matters Live, Anna Turns highlights the significant environmental impact of food production, which contributes to 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions. She outlines 10 promising sustainability trends for 2023, including upcycled foods, lower-impact cooking, sustainable crops, and regenerative agriculture. This shift towards circular, less wasteful models and more environmentally friendly supply chains reflects the food industry’s ongoing efforts to create a responsible and sustainable food system.

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Beauty in the blemished: ‘Ugly Potato Day’ fed thousands, fighting waste in Canadian city

In a remarkable display of community spirit, Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia province recently witnessed “Ugly Potato Day,” a unique event aimed at combating food waste and feeding thousands. The event was organized by Heppell’s Potatoes. The company distributed visually unappealing yet edible potatoes that are typically discarded. The initiative garnered a large turnout, raising awareness about food waste while providing food to those in need. This initiative sets an example for addressing food insecurity.

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Fresh Trends survey: American consumers turn to potatoes to battle inflation

The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2024 survey reveals that potatoes are a top choice for consumers facing grocery price inflation. According to the survey, 30% of consumers buy more potatoes during inflation, making it a popular choice after bananas (32%) and above apples (23%). Notably, the survey found that lower-income consumers are most likely to buy more potatoes due to inflation.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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