Health/Nutrition/Food Safety

Traceability: New technology to monitor the supply of potato seed in India

The agrarian state of Punjab has taken a major step towards value addition in its fresh produce, with the introduction of a blockchain traceability-based certification system. The system, which allows for instant tracing of the entire lifecycle of food products from origin through every point of contact to the consumer, has now been introduced for potato seed. With more growers[Read More…]

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Bayer asks California court to reverse $86 million Roundup cancer verdict

(Reuters) – Bayer AG has asked a California appeals court to overturn an $86 million verdict that found it was responsible for a couple’s cancer caused by its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup. In a Friday night filing with the California First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco, the company said the jury’s verdict could not be reconciled with either[Read More…]

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Pesticide debate: Plants make their own 'carcinogenic' pesticides, and we 'eat a lot more of them'

In an ideal world, humans could grow enough food to feed the world without synthetic pesticides, but that is not the world we live in. Readily arable land is limited and all sorts of fauna and flora pests incessantly assault agriculture. At this time, pesticides are necessary tools to stave off our species’ starvation, writes Ross Pomeroy of RealClear Science. Pomeroy[Read More…]

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CIP: Developing late blight resistant GMO potato varieties for Africa

The International Potato Center (CIP) is working in East Africa to breed GMO varieties of potatoes that combine three forms of resistance to late blight — the disease that can exact costly tolls on smallholding farmers. CIP states that the objective of the project is: “To develop and deliver bio-engineered potatoes completely resistant to late blight to reduce the costs[Read More…]

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New book offers science-based information to guide potato research and development

Many people are not aware that the potato is the third most important global crop in terms of human consumption. It contributes to the food and nutrition security, climate resilience and incomes of millions of resource-poor families across the Global South. However, achieving the potato’s full potential to feed a growing population in a climate-changing world requires research, new technologies[Read More…]

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Good news for the US potato industry

The final day of the Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference brought a focus on the potato. John Lundeen, Research Director for Potatoes USA, provided insight into just how large the market of the popular vegetable is. He began by noting that the potato is rated as America’s number one vegetable. Also, the nation’s most popular side dish is the French[Read More…]

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Potatoes: Dollar sales and volume sales by quarter

Potatoes may not be as appreciated on Instagram as other vegetables, but they rank high in a more critical popularity contest – sales. Eighty-six percent of households buy potatoes each year, according to the United Fresh Produce Association’s year-end report on 2018. Volume sales that year totaled more than 4.6 billion pounds, making potatoes the top vegetable as far as[Read[Read More…]

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Study to test potato product’s effects on chronic kidney disease

Could a starch derived from raw potatoes slow the damaging effects of chronic kidney disease? A Manitoba, Canada clinical trial will test that idea by asking people with the disease to mix a flavourless powdered supplement into a drink, such as a smoothie, each day. Dr. Dylan MacKay, assistant professor of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba and[Read More…]

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The science of glyphosate: Is glyphosate hazardous to soil health?

There are dozens of conspiracy theories about glyphosate, writes Robert Arnason in an article in The Western Producer. He says one of those theories goes something like this: glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is an antibiotic and it kills all of the beneficial bacteria and fungi in soils. “It makes the soil sterile in some cases leading to less[Read More…]

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Bord Bia, CNIPT, Europatat and VLAM join forces to promote the consumption of fresh potatoes among European millennials

CNIPT, Bord Bia, Europatat and VLAM have launched an inspiring campaign under the title “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised – Europe’s favourite since 1536”. The joint initiative, which is co-financed by the European Commission under the EU Promotion policy, will run from January 2020 to December 2022 and will encourage the consumption of fresh potatoes among millennials in Flanders (Belgium),[Read More…]

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Potato late blight in Europe: The hard science

Didier Andrivon from INRA delves into the disease that once killed 1.5 million individuals in Ireland: Potato late blight, also known as Phytophthora Infestans It would be easy to think that a disease peaking over one hundred years ago is no longer a problem, but potato late blight continues to evolve and emerge in new places – similarly to the insidious reach of[Read More…]

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USDA, FDA, EPA launch website to promote ‘science-based’ agriculture biotechnology rules

In recognition of January 2020 as National Biotechnology Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation [on Jan. 9]. The Website streamlines information about the three regulatory agencies charged with overseeing agriculture biotechnology products and is part President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Modernizing the[Read More…]

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Canada: Peak of the Market's 'Potahto Week' event returns

Registration is now open for restaurants hoping to be crowned champion during the 3rd annual Potahto Week presented by Peak of the Market in Winnipeg in Canada’s Manitoba province. The 10-day event challenges restaurants to put forward a signature dish made with Manitoba grown potatoes and lets the public vote on their favourite creation. According to Larry McIntosh, President and[Read More…]

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US: Potato pest-management seminar to look at trial results

Results of research trials funded by the Northwest Potato Research Consortium and other publicly funded research will be discussed as part of an upcoming potato pest-management seminar, according to a report by Capital Press. Jeff Miller, plant pathologist and principal with seminar host Miller Research LLC, said the trials looked at 13 measurements on eight varieties — including new Teton,[Read More…]

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EU COOL rules can be difficult to sort through

An access to information and privacy request acquired by The Western Producer shows how complicated the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is to sustain. A Nov. 30, 2018, email between Agriculture Canada staff included a background document on Poland’s move to introduce mandatory country-of-origin labelling for fresh potatoes, despite the Canada-European Union trade deal’s tariff elimination for fresh potatoes. The[Read More…]

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‘Post-chemical world’ takes shape as agribusiness goes green

Agribusiness is increasingly turning to natural and sustainable alternatives to chemicals as consumers rebuff genetically modified foods and concerns grow over Big Ag’s role in climate change. At the heart of the trend are innovations that harness beneficial microorganisms in the soil, including seed-coatings of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi that can do the same work as traditional chemicals, from[Read More…]

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Earliest roasted root vegetables, similar to modern potatoes, found in 170,000-year-old cave dirt

Charred fragments found in 170,000-year-old ashes in a cave in southern Africa are the earliest roasted root vegetables yet found. The finding suggest the real â€œpaleo diet” included lots of roasted vegetables rich in carbohydrates, similar to modern potatoes. “I think people were eating a very balanced diet, a combination of carbohydrates and proteins,” says team leader Lyn Wadley of the University of[Read More…]

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Brief overview of the health benefits of potatoes

A potato is one vegetable which is available in abundance throughout the year in many countries around the world. It is usually cheap. Potatoes are not only tasty and enjoyed best as a fry, but it has several health benefits as well. In this article published by Republic World, writer Shrishaila Bhandary  provide a brief list of the known and proven health[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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