Health/Nutrition/Food Safety

Fresh Solutions Network reveals potato farmers’ role in providing reliable, nutritious and affordable food

With increased focus on food security, inflation, and health, potatoes continue to gain popularity and grow in demand. Fresh Solutions Network announced the important role of their network of farmers and potato products. Fresh Solutions Network is a group of independent, family-owned farms that grow, pack, sell and deliver fresh potatoes and onions to customers across the US.

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World Environment Day, June 5: Earth ‘cannot keep up with our demands’, says UN chief

“This planet is our only home”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for World Environment Day, marked this Sunday, warning that the Earth’s natural systems “cannot keep up with our demands”. “It is vital we safeguard the health of its atmosphere, the richness and diversity of life on Earth, its ecosystems and its finite resources.  But we are failing to do so,” said the UN chief.

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World Potato Congress Inc. launches the Declaration of Dublin to advance UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 through the potato

On the last day of the 11th World Potato Congress (WPC) in Dublin, Ireland, WPC President Romain Cools, called in the WPC Declaration of Dublin upon the global potato value chain to invest in ‘potato solutions’ to advance the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. In his opening address, the WPC President concluded that local food production in general and potatoes more specifically must be intensified to assure food security and reduce dependency from international trade.

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NPC ‘dismayed’ that USDA is allowing PEI table stock potatoes to resume shipments to the U.S.

The National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. today released a statement in response to USDA’s announcement that trade in table stock potatoes would resume between Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, and the United States. “We are dismayed to learn that USDA is allowing PEI table stock potatoes to resume shipments to the U.S. prior to completing soil tests for the destructive potato wart disease,” NPC says.

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USDA: Prince Edward Island table stock potato imports to resume into the United States

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that Canada is expected to soon resume exporting Prince Edward Island (PEI) table stock potatoes into the contiguous United States. USDA says as a result of the U.S. and Canada reaching an understanding about the risk of table stock potato imports from PEI, Canada will lift its ban while APHIS plans to publish a federal order outlining additional required mitigations to protect the U.S. potato industry.

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Renaissance BioScience announces new patents for acrylamide-reducing yeast technology

Canadian based Renaissance BioScience Corp. is pleased to announce that it has recently received new patent allowances and grants for its non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast (ARY) from regulatory authorities in China, Russia, India, Australia and Vietnam. These five new ARY patent grants and allowances join previously issued patents from the U.S., Japan, Indonesia, Chile and Colombia.

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Food technology company uses potatoes to create healthier processed meat products

Botaniline, an American food technology and innovation company, has created a healthier ground protein product line. By substituting a percentage of the meat with potato, Botaniline is able to achieve cleaner label processed meat products that are lower in sodium and saturated fat. The result is a reduction in sodium by up to 90% and a product that’s free of all allergens, gluten, MSG, TVP, and soy.

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Waitrose to sell potato milk as demand for plant-based options grows

Britons already eat potatoes boiled, baked, roasted and mashed but now the humble spud is being milked for all its worth, with potato milk set to be the next big thing, according to a report by The Guardian. Alice Shrubsall, alternative milk buyer at Waitrose, said the retailer was planning to expand its alt-milk range to include potato milk.

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Australian researchers study whether ‘plant medicines’ could help treat cancer, obesity

“Plant cures” are the key to world-first research by a team of scientists at the University of Queensland (UQ), led by Professor David Craik. “We’re engineering plants into super-efficient producers of next-generation medicines,” Professor Craik said. “So we want to put molecules into, say, potatoes, so that effectively you can have your french fries and not worry about the consequences.”

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US researchers identify potato cultivars with a low glycemic index

A team of researchers at Montana State University and North Dakota State University recently reported on results of a study into potato varieties thought to have a low glycemic index (GI). The research team evaluated 60 potato cultivars to identify cultivars with low amylopectin – that are thought to have low GI potential. The researchers identified five most promising cultivars.

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‘Nutritional giant, friend of peasants, rulers and sages’: How the humble potato changed the world

How could an Andean tuber persuade the world, in just a few centuries, to adopt it so completely? Diego Arguedas Ortiz explains in this great article: What made the potato so irresistible was its unrivalled nutritional value, its relative easiness to cultivate as compared to some major cereals, its ability to easily navigate wars and tax censuses due to its knack for hiding underground from collectors, and in particular, its camaraderie with working men and women in the fields.

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Study: Potatoes to ensure higher quality diet for teenagers

ANI reports on a recent study conducted among people aged between nine to 18 years which suggested that eating potatoes can be an effective strategy to modestly improve intake of key shortfall nutrients. “The potato is a nutrient-dense vegetable that provides important, critically under-consumed nutrients to adolescent diets,” said Victor Fulgoni, co-author of the study.

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Viewpoint: ‘How COVID has altered the future of US agriculture and the role of biotechnology’

The past year has been a doozy. Being locked up for a year and watching half a million Americans die was traumatizing. In the most productive agricultural country in the world, millions of people lined up for food and many Americans died because Covid preferentially attacks people with pre-existing conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. So says Jim Budzynski in an article published by Genetic Literacy Project.

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‘First of its kind’: Branston getting ready to create vegan meat using potato protein

UK potato supplier Branston is creating a new factory dedicated to transforming potatoes into plant-based protein. Vegan Food & Living writes that the £6 million facility will extract high-grade plant protein from potatoes, using potatoes from Branston’s supply. Right now, Branston supplies potatoes in fresh or prepared formats such as ready-made potato fries. However, the company wanted to find more uses for its potato crops.v

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‘Chuno’: An Andean dehydrated potato foodstuff that lasts for decades after preparation

Chuno comes from the indigenous Aymara word ch’unu. It is also practiced in Peru, but its origins are uncertain. Archeologist Jedu Sagarnaga believes this conservation method was developed “probably during the Formative Period” from around 2,000 to 200 BC. It may be even older, as 2017 tests on chuno dug up in Peru showed it was more than 5,000 years old. After it is prepared, this foodstuff lasts for decades.

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Study: Potato nutrients can help reduce sodium retention, may help reduce risk of hypertension

A new study published in Nutrients investigated the effect of increased dietary potassium from a whole food source – baked/boiled potatoes and baked French fries – or a potassium supplement on blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease risk factors compared to a ‘typical American’ control diet (lower potassium intake) among 30 pre-hypertensive to hypertensive men and women.

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Europatat, other EU ag associations on pesticide use, Farm to Fork strategy

Following the first anniversary of the publication of the Farm to Fork Strategy by the European Commission, Europatat and twelve other association members of the Agri-Food Chain Roundtable on Plant Protection have co-signed an open letter on the importance of carrying out a comprehensive assessment before making any decisions about the reduction of pesticide use, including the target for 50% reduction of the use of chemicals.

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‘Not for couch potatoes’: First-of-its-kind organic ‘Sport Spuds’ said to be a game-changer for athletes

Atlanta is now home to ‘Sport Spuds’ – a new woman-owned business founded by endurance athlete, entrepreneur and professional violinist, Alison James. Boasting the “power of the potato,” Sport Spuds and its first-of-its-kind organic sports nutrition product line mark the realization of a dream 12 years in the making. Boasting three simple ingredients, Sport Spuds are non-GMO, non-dairy, gluten free and vegan.

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North America shines green to promote plant health

The United States, Canada, and Mexico recently dazzled North Americans with a green light celebration of the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), writes Greg Rosenthal in this USDA/APHIS news release. In April, the countries partnered to illuminate Niagara Falls in green. At the same time, they lit up iconic national buildings and monuments. These illuminations brought attention to the importance of plants to life on Earth and the need to protect plant health. The U.N. declared 2020 IYPH and extended the celebration through July 1, 2021.

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Canada backs down from full imidacloprid ban, but adds restrictions

Canada’s pesticide regulator said last week that farmers could keep using the chemical imidacloprid to control crop-destroying insects under stricter conditions, softening an earlier proposal to ban it. Farmers use imidacloprid to protect fruits and vegetables from aphids and beetles. The PMRA stated on May 19 that in-furrow application for root and tuber vegetables, including potatoes, was cancelled. This was due to the maximum application rate being reduced to 100 g a.i./ha. Potato foliar applications have been reduced to one per season.

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Interseeding cultivation method shows early promise to reduce nitrate leaching

A two-year project funded through the University of Wisconsin-Water Resources Institute is investigating an interseeding cultivation method for potato cropping that shows early promise to reduce nitrate leaching. Researcher Kevin Masarik from UW-Stevens Point is pursuing what he termed an outside-the-box idea – interseeding rye, oat and millet between the rows of potatoes to create biomass to take up excess nitrates.

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Top seven noteworthy trends for fresh produce in 2021

The year 2020 has been unprecedented in many ways and has been extremely challenging for fresh produce suppliers, retailers, and shoppers, writes Raul Fernandez, President of Breakthrough Solutions, in an article published by Produce Business. Looking ahead, the following summarizes the top consumer trends for produce suppliers in the coming year. Fernandez identifies seven essential trends.

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