Dairy Giants Around the Planet Launch Plant-Based Lines

Several new developments regarding the dairy industry’s interest in plantbased have taken place around the world: Yofix in Israel secures $2.5 million from dairy investors; Danone releases new plant-based lines in Netherlands; Nestle releases vegan Milo in Australia; Arla news saddens farmers; in Japan, Asahi to launch soybased Calpis.

In Australia and New Zealand, Nestle has launched a plant-based version of its popular Milo drink, which replaces the standard milk powders with soy proteins and corn fibre.

In Israel, clean-label dairy alternatives innovator Yofix Probiotics, Ltd., concluded an extended series-A funding round last month including dairy giants Müller and Bel Group, as well as and LionTree Partners LLC, based in the US, which brought the company’s total funding to $4.5 million.

In the Netherlands, Danone has said that first for Danone the first time the brand is focusing on 100 percent plant-based products, with new vegan lines of Activia and Danio. “At Danone, we are convinced that our health and that of the planet are inextricably linked,” says Dirk Holzapfel, Danone Netherlands Country Manager. “By marketing both dairy and vegetable varieties, we fully answer this philosophy. This also offers the consumer the choice between the two.”

As we reported last week, multinational dairy corporation Arla recently announced it would be entering the plantbased market as it launches three oat drinks under the new brand, JÖRĐ, an umbrella brand for a range of 100 per cent plant-based products. According to Plantbased News – this development has “saddened” one dairy farmer.

In other dairy news: It has just been announced that Japanese brewery Asahi Group Holdings which produces the carbonated milk drink Calpis, is to launch a soybased version called Green Calpis. Over in the US – it has been reported that ice cream producer Owowcow has reportedly gone vegan; we have contacted the company and will report further.

Source: Vegonomist

Mushroom and Tomato Sauce


4 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 (14 oz) cans chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
handful fresh basil sprigs, stalks discarded and leaves shredded


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or heavy-based saucepan. Add the garlic, mushrooms, scallions, seasoning, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are well cooked and much of the liquor they yield has evaporated.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes and stir in the tomato paste, then bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for 3 minutes, then taste for seasoning.
  3. Stir in the basil and serve the sauce with cooked rice or pasta.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Healthy Vegetarian Cooking

Greenpeace Calls for 71% Less Meat Consumption in Europe by 2030

Meat consumption in the European Union should drop by 71% by 2030, and by 81% by 2050, to tackle farming’s contribution to climate breakdown, according to new analysis by Greenpeace. This would mean an average of no more than 460 grams of all types of meat leaving the slaughterhouse per person per week by 2030, and 300 grams in 2050, down from the current EU average of 1.58 kilograms per person per week.

Given that not all meat is ultimately sold or eaten, the actual amount of meat that people eat would be under 460 grams – probably less than the equivalent of three burgers per week. The Lancet recommends that people eat no more than 300 grams of meat per week by 2050 as part of a balanced, sustainable diet.

Europeans consume around twice as much meat as the global average, and almost three times as much dairy. Figures for all EU countries, plus the UK, are available below.

Greenpeace is calling on the European Commission to recognise the environmental impact of meat and dairy overconsumption, and to include reduction targets in its upcoming ‘Farm to Fork’ food strategy, due to be published on 25 March.

Greenpeace EU agriculture and forest campaigner Sini Eräjää said: “The science is overwhelming at this stage – overconsumption of meat and dairy is wrecking forests, crushing nature and heating the planet. The Commission wants to talk about ensuring healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable way? Great idea, but that means it’s time to talk about reducing meat.”

The calculation of a reduction of global meat consumption to 24kg per person per year by 2030, and then further to 16kg per person per year by 2050, is based on levels that scientists say would ensure food security, while keeping global heating below 1.5°C.

Spain has the highest per capita meat consumption in the EU at over 100kg per person per year, requiring a 76% reduction by 2030. Bulgaria has the lowest consumption at 58kg per person annually, requiring a 59% drop by 2030.

The latest drafts of the Commission’s Farm to Fork plan recognise the EU’s overproduction and overconsumption of meat and dairy as a problem, but fail to propose measures to reduce them. Greenpeace’s demands for the Farm to Fork strategy are available here.

On 9 March, 3,600 scientists published an article condemning the EU’s common agricultural policy and its continued support of industrial animal farming. They recommended cutting payments for intensive animal farming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Meat and dairy production contributes to climate breakdown and to the destruction of forests and other ecosystems. Animals like cows and pigs expel greenhouse gases directly and drive clearing of natural areas used for feed production.

Source: Greenpeace

Study: Coronavirus Spreads Quickly and Sometimes Before People have Symptoms

Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin studying the novel coronavirus were able to identify how quickly the virus can spread, a factor that may help public health officials in their efforts at containment. They found that time between cases in a chain of transmission is less than a week and that more than 10% of patients are infected by somebody who has the virus but does not yet have symptoms.

In the paper in press with the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, a team of scientists from the United States, France, China and Hong Kong were able to calculate what’s called the serial interval of the virus. To measure serial interval, scientists look at the time it takes for symptoms to appear in two people with the virus: the person who infects another, and the infected second person.

Researchers found that the average serial interval for the novel coronavirus in China was approximately four days. This also is among the first studies to estimate the rate of asymptomatic transmission.

The speed of an epidemic depends on two things — how many people each case infects and how long it takes cases to spread. The first quantity is called the reproduction number; the second is the serial interval. The short serial interval of COVID-19 means emerging outbreaks will grow quickly and could be difficult to stop, the researchers said.

“Ebola, with a serial interval of several weeks, is much easier to contain than influenza, with a serial interval of only a few days. Public health responders to Ebola outbreaks have much more time to identify and isolate cases before they infect others,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, a professor of integrative biology at UT Austin. “The data suggest that this coronavirus may spread like the flu. That means we need to move quickly and aggressively to curb the emerging threat.”

Meyers and her team examined more than 450 infection case reports from 93 cities in China and found the strongest evidence yet that people without symptoms must be transmitting the virus, known as pre-symptomatic transmission. According to the paper, more than 1 in 10 infections were from people who had the virus but did not yet feel sick.

Previously, researchers had some uncertainty about asymptomatic transmission with the coronavirus. This new evidence could provide guidance to public health officials on how to contain the spread of the disease.

“This provides evidence that extensive control measures including isolation, quarantine, school closures, travel restrictions and cancellation of mass gatherings may be warranted,” Meyers said. “Asymptomatic transmission definitely makes containment more difficult.”

Meyers pointed out that with hundreds of new cases emerging around the world every day, the data may offer a different picture over time. Infection case reports are based on people’s memories of where they went and whom they had contact with. If health officials move quickly to isolate patients, that may also skew the data.

“Our findings are corroborated by instances of silent transmission and rising case counts in hundreds of cities worldwide,” Meyers said. “This tells us that COVID-19 outbreaks can be elusive and require extreme measures.”

Source: EurekAlert!

Invisible Plastics in Water

Jacob Thorington wrote . . . . . . . . .

A Washington State University research team has found that nanoscale particles of the most commonly used plastics tend to move through the water supply, especially in fresh water, or settle out in wastewater treatment plants, where they end up as sludge, in landfills, and often as fertilizer.

Neither scenario is good.

“We are drinking lots of plastics,” said Indranil Chowdhury, an assistant professor in WSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who led the research. “We are drinking almost a few grams of plastics every month or so. That is concerning because you don’t know what will happen after 20 years.”

The researchers, including graduate students, Mehanz Shams and Iftaykhairul Alam, examined what happens to tiny, nanoscale plastics that are making their way into the aquatic environment. They have published their work in the high-impact journal, Water Research.

It’s estimated that every day about eight trillion pieces of microplastics go through wastewater treatment plants and end up in the aquatic environment.

These little bits of plastic can come from the degradation of larger plastics or from microbeads that are used in personal care products.

A recent study showed that more than 90 percent of tap water in the U.S. contains nanoscale plastics that are invisible to the human eye, Chowdury said.

In their study, the researchers studied the fate of nanoparticles of polyethylene and polystyrene, which are used in a huge number of products, including plastic bags, personal care products, kitchen appliances, disposable drinking cups and packaging material. They examined how the tiny plastic particles behaved under various chemistries, ranging from salty seawater to water containing organic material.

“We’re looking at this more in a fundamental way,” Chowdury said. “Why are they becoming stable and remaining in the water? Once they’re in different types of water, what makes these plastics remain suspended in the environment?”

The researchers found that while acidity of water has little impact on what happens to nanoscale plastics, salt and natural organic matter are important in determining how the plastics move or settle. What is clear is that tiny plastics are staying in the environment with unknown health and environmental consequences, he said.

“Our drinking water plants are not sufficient at removing these micro and nanoscale plastics,” he said. “We’re finding these plastics in the drinking water but we don’t know why.”

Chowdury and his team are now studying techniques for removing the plastics from water and have recently received a grant from the State of Washington Water Research Center for that work.

In the meantime, he encourages people to lessen the impact of nanoscale plastics by reducing their use of single-use plastics.

“Reuse plastics as much as possible,” he said.

Source: Washington State University

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