Kraft Heinz Is Partnering with The Not Company to Develop New Co-branded Plant-based Products

Anna Starostinetskaya wrote . . . . . . . . .

Dairy-free Kraft singles and meatless Oscar Mayer hot dogs might soon be a reality thanks to a new, groundbreaking partnership. International consumer goods company Kraft Heinz just entered a joint venture with food-technology startup TheNotCompany (“NotCo”) to create a more sustainable food system by developing next-level plant-based products.

Kraft Heinz will operate the joint venture under the name The Kraft Heinz Not Company and meld its extensive industry knowledge, connections, and iconic brand portfolio with NotCo’s technologies, namely its artificial intelligence-powered discovery platform that develops plant-based alternatives that mimic animal products on a molecular level. Together, Kraft Heinz and NotCo will develop co-branded products at an accelerated pace and scale, making this joint venture one that could lead to major plant-based changes in the global food system.

“The joint venture with NotCo is a critical step in the transformation of our product portfolio and a tremendous addition to our brand design-to-value capabilities,” Miguel Patricio, CEO of Kraft Heinz, said in a statement. “It helps deliver on our vision to offer more clean, green, and delicious products for consumers. We believe the technology that NotCo brings is revolutionizing the creation of delicious plant-based foods with simpler ingredients.”

The Kraft Heinz Not Company will be headquartered in Chicago with research and development facilities in San Francisco. Overall, the goal of this joint venture is to “reshape the food landscape and set a new standard for plant-based innovation.”

Source: VegNews


Study Questions the Role of Vitamin D2 in Human Health but Its Sibling, Vitamin D3, Could be Important for Fighting Infections

In a collaborative study by the Universities of Surrey and Brighton, researchers investigated the impact of vitamin D supplements – D2 and D3 – taken daily over a 12-week period on the activity of genes in people’s blood.

Contrary to widely held views, the research team discovered that both types of vitamin D did not have the same effect. They found evidence that vitamin D3 had a modifying effect on the immune system that could fortify the body against viral and bacterial diseases.

Professor Colin Smith, lead-author of the study from the University of Surrey, who began this work while at the University of Brighton, said:

“We have shown that vitamin D3 appears to stimulate the type I interferon signalling system in the body – a key part of the immune system that provides a first line of defence against bacteria and viruses. Thus, a healthy vitamin D3 status may help prevent viruses and bacteria from gaining a foothold in the body.

“Our study suggests that it is important that people take a vitamin D3 supplement, or suitably fortified foods, especially in the winter months.”

Although some foods are fortified with vitamin D, like some breakfast cereals, yoghurts, and bread, few naturally contain the vitamin. Vitamin D3 is produced naturally in the skin from exposure to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet UVB light, while some plants and fungi produce vitamin D2.

Many people have insufficient levels of vitamin D3 because they live in locations where sunlight is limited in the winter, like the UK. The Covid-19 pandemic has also limited people’s natural exposure to the sun due to people spending more time in their homes.

Professor Susan Lanham-New, co-author of the study and Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey, said:

“While we found that vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 do not have the same effect on gene activity within humans, the lack of impact we found when looking at vitamin D2 means that a larger study is urgently required to clarify the differences in the effects. However, these results show that vitamin D3 should be the favoured form for fortified foods and supplements.”

The study will be published in Frontiers in Immunology.

Source: University of Surrey

What’s for Lunch?

Vegan Lunch Set at Café 369 in Chiba, Japan

The main course is Stir-fried Veggie Meat with Miso Sauce. The price is 1,000 yen (plus tax).

Staying Fit May Keep Alzheimer’s at Bay

Steven Reinberg wrote . . . . . . . . .

If there was something you could do to ward off Alzheimer’s disease, would you do it?

If so, a new study has a suggestion: Get moving.

Participants who were most physically fit were 33% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than the least fit, the researchers found. And those whose fitness was below the most fit were, depending on their level of fitness, 26% to 13% less likely to develop the mind-robbing disease than the least fit.

“This is more independent evidence that good heart health is the best path toward good brain health,” said Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health in New York City.

Gandy, who was not involved in the study, noted that both maintaining normal blood pressure and blood flow to the brain are important in heart health and brain health.

“We have learned through other data, however, that overaggressive blood pressure control in the elderly is not always a good thing, so the situation is very complex, and each study must be scrutinized individually,” he said.

The new study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, scheduled for April 2-7 in Seattle. The researchers, led by Dr. Edward Zamrini of the Washington VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., collected data on nearly 650,000 veterans in the Veterans Health Administration database, average age 61, who were followed for approximately nine years. The participants were divided into groups from least fit to most fit.

“One exciting finding of this study is that as people’s fitness improved, their risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreased — it was not an all-or-nothing proposition,” Zamrini said in a meeting statement. “So people can work toward making incremental changes and improvements in their physical fitness, and hopefully that will be associated with a related decrease in their risk of Alzheimer’s years later.

“The idea that you can reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease by simply increasing your activity is very promising, especially since there are no adequate treatments to prevent or stop the progression of the disease,” Zamrini added. “We hope to develop a simple scale that can be individualized so people can see the benefits that even incremental improvements in fitness can deliver.”

Research presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Claire Sexton, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association, cautioned that this study can’t prove that physical fitness prevents Alzheimer’s disease, only that there seems to be a connection.

Taking this limitation into account, this study asks if physical fitness is associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. “These results indicate the answer is yes and, importantly, the authors found that in this study population, there was no maximum level of benefit — the more fit the study participants were, the lower the risk,” Sexton said.

She noted that a study called the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk — known as U.S. POINTER — is getting underway.

The hope is that this study can help show that lifestyle can have a positive effect on preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Sexton explained.

This two-year clinical trial will evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that target multiple risk factors can protect cognitive function in older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline. The interventions in the study encourage increased exercise, a healthy diet, thinking and social stimulation, and self-management of heart and vascular health, she said.

“If the U.S. POINTER interventions prove effective, this study will lead the way in the development of an accessible and sustainable community-based program for prevention,” Sexton said.

Source: HealthDay

Cheesy Bean Pie


1-3/4 lb haricot beans, tinned
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 pinch brown sugar
1 dash malt vinegar
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
dash olive oil
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1 lb filo pastry
3/4 oz butter, melted


1 lb cottage cheese
11 oz feta
3 eggs
1/2 oz dill
1 onion, chopped
pinch salt
pinch pepper


  1. Make the baked beans. Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until soft
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the sugar, vinegar and chopped tomatoes and stir through. Drain the beans, add to the pan and pour in 1/2 cup of water. Simmer until the sauce reduces slightly, approximately 5-10 minutes
  5. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. To assemble the pies, brush 1 sheet of filo pastry with butter and lay another on top. Brush the second layer and place a third layer on top – you should be left with 1 triple-layered sheet.
  7. Cut the layered sheet into 4 evenly-sized rectangles and set aside.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 to make 4 more rectangles – so 8 in total. Set aside while you prepare the cheese filling.
  9. Preheat the oven to 374°F.
  10. Add the cottage cheese to a large bowl and crumble in the feta. Beat the eggs and pour into the bowl, stirring to combine.
  11. Mix in the dill and chopped onion. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.
  12. Line each individual pie dish with a prepared filo pastry rectangle – so the excess pastry hangs over the edge of the dish. Add 5 tbsp of baked beans to each dish, then spoon in the cheese mixture until almost full.
  13. Fold in the overhanging pastry edges to seal and brush the tops with a little more melted butter. Gently score the top of each pie in a criss-cross pattern, ensuring not to pierce all the way through the pastry.
  14. Bake the pies for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden and the filling is hot. Serve immediately

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Chef Dominic Chapman

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