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Genetically modified food controversies

Genetically modified food controversies are disputes over the use of foods and other goods derived from genetically modified crops instead of conventional crops, and other uses of genetic engineering in food production.

The key areas of controversy related to genetically modified food (GM food or GMO food) are whether such food should be labeled, the role of government regulators, the objectivity of scientific research and publication, the effect of genetically modified crops on health and the environment, the effect on pesticide resistance, the impact of such crops for farmers, and the role of the crops in feeding the world population.

The safety assessment of genetically engineered food products by regulatory bodies starts with an evaluation of whether or not the food is substantially equivalent to non-genetically engineered counterparts that are already deemed fit for human consumption.[6][7][8][9]

This began an enduring concern over the purity and later 'naturalness' of food that evolved from a single focus on sanitation to include others on added ingredients such as preservatives, flavors and sweeteners, residues such as pesticides, the rise of organic food as a category and, finally, concerns over GM food.

Specific perceptions include a view of genetic engineering as meddling with naturally evolved biological processes, and one that science has limitations on its comprehension of potential negative ramifications.[35]

An opposing perception is that genetic engineering is itself an evolution of traditional selective breeding, and that the weight of current evidence suggests current GM foods are identical to conventional foods in nutritional value and effects on health.[36][37]

In the United States support or opposition or skepticism about GMO food is not divided by traditional partisan (liberal/conservative) lines, but young adults are more likely to have negative opinions on genetically modified food than older adults.

Food writer Michael Pollan does not oppose eating genetically modified foods, but supports mandatory labeling of GM foods and has criticized the pesticide-heavy monoculture farming enabled by certain GM crops, such as glycosphate-tolerant ('Roundup-ready') corn and soybeans.[53]

PABE also found that the public does not demand 'zero risk' in GM food discussions and is 'perfectly aware that their lives are full of risks that need to be counterbalanced against each other and against the potential benefits.

Protests during this period against Calgene's Flavr Savr GM tomato mistakenly described it as containing fish genes, confusing it with DNA Plant Technology's fish tomato experimental transgenic organism, which was never commercialized.[60][61]

which assesses public attitudes about biotech and the life sciences, found that cisgenics, GM crops made from plants that are crossable by conventional breeding, evokes a smaller reaction than transgenic methods, using genes from species that are taxonomically very different.[66]

The same survey found gender differences: 10% of men were extremely concerned, compared with 16% of women, and 16% of women were unconcerned, compared with 27% of men.

With respect to the question of 'Whether GMO foods were safe to eat', the gap between the opinion of the public and that of American Association for the Advancement of Science scientists is very wide with 88% of AAAS scientists saying yes in contrast to 37% of the general public.[75]

In May 2012, a group called 'Take the Flour Back' led by Gerald Miles protested plans by a group from Rothamsted Experimental Station, based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England, to conduct an experimental trial wheat genetically modified to repel aphids.[76]

Monsanto said that it respected people's rights to express their opinion on the topic, but maintained that its seeds improved agriculture by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving resources, such as water and energy.[82]

GMO Answers' resources included conventional and organic farmers, agribusiness experts, scientists, academics, medical doctors and nutritionists, and 'company experts' from founding members of the Council for Biotechnology Information, which funds the initiative.[91]

Generally, these conspiracy theories posit that GMOs are being knowingly and maliciously introduced into the food supply either as a means to unduly enrich agribusinesses or as a means to poison or pacify the population.

In this case, the plaintiff argued both for mandatory labeling on the basis of consumer demand, and that GMO foods should undergo the same testing requirements as food additives because they are 'materially changed' and have potentially unidentified health risks.

The paper produced a public uproar and demonstrations, however by 2001 multiple follow-up studies had concluded that 'the most common types of Bt maize pollen are not toxic to monarch larvae in concentrations the insects would encounter in the fields' and that they had 'brought that particular question to a close'.[123]

Concerned scientists began to patrol the scientific literature and react strongly, both publicly and privately, to discredit conclusions they view as flawed in order to prevent unjustified public outcry and regulatory action.[123]

The group submitted a statement to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2009 protesting that 'as a result of restrictive access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology'.[125]

While favoring protection of intellectual property rights, the editors called for the restrictions to be lifted and for the EPA to require, as a condition of approval, that independent researchers have unfettered access to genetically modified products for research.[126]

2011 analysis by Diels et al., reviewed 94 peer-reviewed studies pertaining to GMO safety to assess whether conflicts of interest correlated with outcomes that cast GMOs in a favorable light.

They found that financial conflict of interest was not associated with study outcome (p = 0.631) while author affiliation to industry (i.e., a professional conflict of interest) was strongly associated with study outcome (p <

According to Marc Brazeau, an association between professional conflict of interest and positive study outcomes can be skewed because companies typically contract with independent researchers to perform follow-up studies only after in-house research uncovers favorable results.

2013 review, of 1,783 papers on genetically modified crops and food published between 2002 and 2012 found no plausible evidence of dangers from the use of then marketed GM crops.[13]

examined 21 published studies of the histopathology of GI tracts of rats that were fed diets derived from GM crops, and identified some systemic flaws in this area of the scientific literature.

They analysed over 1.000 studies over the previous 30 years that GM crops have been available, reviewed 700 written presentations submitted by interested bodies and heard 80 witnesses.

A second paper was retracted in March 2016 after The University of Naples concluded that 'multiple heterogeneities were likely attributable to digital manipulation, raising serious doubts on the reliability of the findings'.[138]

In 2010, the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation reported that 'The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g.

In a 2016 review, Domingo concluded that studies in recent years had established that GM soybeans, rice, corn, and wheat do not differ from the corresponding conventional crops in terms of short-term human health effects, but recommended that further studies of long-term effects be conducted.[144]

GM foods are not tested in humans before marketing because they are not a single chemical, nor are they intended to be ingested using specific doses and intervals, which complicate clinical study design.[8]

In 1999, Andrew Chesson of the Rowett Research Institute warned that substantial equivalence testing 'could be flawed in some cases' and that current safety tests could allow harmful substances to enter the human food supply.[150]

The same year Millstone, Brunner and Mayer argued that the standard was a pseudo-scientific product of politics and lobbying that was created to reassure consumers and aid biotechnology companies to reduce the time and cost of safety testing.

Kuiper examined this process further in 2002, finding that substantial equivalence does not measure absolute risks, but instead identifies differences between new and existing products.

Kuiper noted practical difficulties in applying this standard, including the fact that traditional foods contain many toxic or carcinogenic chemicals and that existing diets were never proven to be safe.

This lack of knowledge re conventional food means that modified foods may differ in anti-nutrients and natural toxins that have never been identified in the original plant, possibly allowing harmful changes to be missed.[9]

For example, corn damaged by insects often contains high levels of fumonisins, carcinogenic toxins made by fungi that travel on insects' backs and that grow in the wounds of damaged corn.

survey of publications comparing the intrinsic qualities of modified and conventional crop lines (examining genomes, proteomes and metabolomes) concluded that GM crops had less impact on gene expression or on protein and metabolite levels than the variability generated by conventional breeding.[160]

In a 2013 review, Herman (Dow AgroSciences) and Price (FDA, retired) argued that transgenesis is less disruptive than traditional breeding techniques because the latter routinely involve more changes (mutations, deletions, insertions and rearrangements) than the relatively limited changes (often single gene) in genetic engineering.

GMO proponents note that because of the safety testing requirements, the risk of introducing a plant variety with a new allergen or toxin is much smaller than from traditional breeding processes, which do not require such tests.

A similar approach has been tried in ryegrass, which produces pollen that is a major cause of hay fever: here a fertile GM grass was produced that lacked the main pollen allergen, demonstrating that hypoallergenic grass is also possible.[167]

These cases have been used as evidence that genetic modification can produce unexpected and dangerous changes in foods, and as evidence that safety tests effectively protect the food supply.[12]

It was also found in Japan and South Korea.[172]:20–21 Starlink corn had only been approved for animal feed as the Cry9C protein lasts longer in the digestive system than other Bt proteins raising concerns about its potential allergenicity.[173]:3 In 2000, Taco Bell-branded taco shells sold in supermarkets were found to contain Starlink, resulting in a recall of those products, and eventually led to the recall of over 300 products.[174][175][176]

Two studies on the possible effects of feeding animals with genetically modified food found no residues of recombinant DNA or novel proteins in any organ or tissue samples.[183][184]

Another concern is that the antibiotic resistance gene commonly used as a genetic marker in transgenic crops could be transferred to harmful bacteria, creating resistant superbugs.[190][191]

A 2012 review of 12 long-term studies and 12 multigenerational studies conducted by public research laboratories concluded that none had discovered any safety problems linked to consumption of GM food.[196]

A 2009 review by Magaña-Gómez found that although most studies concluded that modified foods do not differ in nutrition or cause toxic effects in animals, some did report adverse changes at a cellular level caused by specific modified foods.

Dona and Arvanitoyannis' 2009 review concluded that 'results of most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause some common toxic effects such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, or reproductive effects and may alter the hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters'.[198]

Flachowsky concluded in a 2005 review that food with a one-gene modification were similar in nutrition and safety to non-modified foods, but he noted that food with multiple gene modifications would be more difficult to test and would require further animal studies.[183]

In 2007, Domingo's search of the PubMed database using 12 search terms indicated that the 'number of references' on the safety of GM or transgenic crops was 'surprisingly limited', and he questioned whether the safety of GM food had been demonstrated.

However, Vain found 692 research studies in 2007 that focused on GM crop and food safety and found increasing publication rates of such articles in recent years.[204][205]

Domingo and Bordonaba reviewed the literature again in 2011 and said that, although there had been a substantial increase in the number of studies since 2006, most were conducted by biotechnology companies 'responsible of commercializing these GM plants.'[206]

In 2016, Domingo published an updated analysis, and concluded that as of that time there were enough independent studies to establish that GM crops were not any more dangerous acutely than conventional foods, while still calling for more long-term studies.[207]

The reasons included lack of a plausible hypothesis to test, lack of knowledge about the potential long-term effects of conventional foods, variability in the ways humans react to foods and that epidemiological studies were unlikely to differentiate modified from conventional foods, which come with their own suite of unhealthy characteristics.[209][210]

These mandate that each tested intervention must have a potential benefit for the human subjects, such as treatment for a disease or nutritional benefit (ruling out, e.g., human toxicity testing).[211]

In 2007, 2009, and 2011, Gilles-Éric Séralini published re-analysis studies that used data from Monsanto rat-feeding experiments for three modified maize varieties (insect-resistant MON 863 and MON 810 and glyphosate-resistant NK603).

and that Séralini's Sprague-Dawley rats were inappropriate for a lifetime study (as opposed to a shorter toxicity study) because of their tendency to develop cancer (one study found that more than 80% normally got cancer).[249][250][251][252]

A 2002 review of the scientific literature concluded that 'the commercial large-scale cultivation of current Bt–maize hybrids did not pose a significant risk to the monarch population' and noted that despite large-scale planting of genetically modified crops, the butterfly's population was increasing.[280]

A group of academic scientists criticized the analysis, writing: 'We are deeply concerned about the inappropriate methods used in their paper, the lack of ecological context, and the authors’ advocacy of how laboratory studies on non-target arthropods should be conducted and interpreted'.[284]

To the extent that agrochemicals impact biodiversity, modifications that increase their use, either because successful strains require them or because the accompanying development of resistance will require increased amounts of chemicals to offset increased resistance in target organisms.

Published farm data involved in the trials showed that seed-eating birds were more abundant on conventional maize after the application of the herbicide, but that there were no significant differences in any other crop or prior to herbicide treatment.[290]

2005 study, designed to 'simulate the impact of a direct overspray on a wetland' with four different agrochemicals (carbaryl (Sevin), malathion, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and glyphosate in a Roundup formulation) by creating artificial ecosystems in tanks and then applying 'each chemical at the manufacturer's maximum recommended application rates' found that 'species richness was reduced by 15% with Sevin, 30% with malathion, and 22% with Roundup, whereas 2,4-D had no effect'.[293]

A 2011 study based on a survey of 1,000 randomly selected farm households in five provinces in China found that the reduction in pesticide use in Bt cotton cultivars was significantly lower than that reported in research elsewhere: The finding was consistent with a hypothesis that more pesticide sprayings are needed over time to control emerging secondary pests, such as aphids, spider mites, and lygus bugs.[299]

Crop-to-weedy transfer refers to the transfer of genetically modified material to a weed, and crop-to-wild indicates transfer from a genetically modified crop to a wild, undomesticated plant and/or crop.[303]

In most countries environmental studies are required before approval of a GMO for commercial purposes, and a monitoring plan must be presented to identify unanticipated gene flow effects.

In 2004, Chilcutt and Tabashnik found Bt protein in kernels of in a refuge (a conventional crop planted to harbor pests that might otherwise become resistant a pesticide associated with the GMO) implying that gene flow had occurred.[308]

The data in this paper was later described as originating from an artifact and the publishing journal Nature stated that 'the evidence available is not sufficient to justify the publication of the original paper', although it did not retract the paper.[316]

A 2010 report stated that the advent of glyphosate-resistant weeds could cause GM crops to lose their effectiveness unless farmers combined glyphosate with other weed-management strategies.[323][324]

The country relies on a 'complex but relaxed' combination of three federal agencies (FDA, EPA, and USDA/APHIS) and states' common law tort systems to manage coexistence.[341]:44 The Secretary of Agriculture convened an Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) to study coexistence and make recommendations about the issue.

The members of AC21 included representatives of the biotechnology industry, the organic food industry, farming communities, the seed industry, food manufacturers, State governments, consumer and community development groups, the medical profession, and academic researchers.

that any serious losses lead to a crop insurance program, an education program to ensure that organic farmers put appropriate contracts in place and that neighboring GMO farmers take appropriate containment measures.

Traceability has become commonplace in the food and feed supply chains of most countries, but GMO traceability is more challenging given strict legal thresholds for unwanted mixing.

A 2014 meta-analysis covering 147 original studies of farm surveys and field trials, and 15 studies from the researchers conducting the study, concluded that adoption of GM technology had reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, with the effect larger for insect-tolerant crops than herbicide-tolerant crops.[349]

Some doubt still remains on whether the reduced amounts of pesticides used actually invoke a lower negative environmental effect, since there is also a shift in the types of pesticides used, and different pesticides have different environmental effects.[350][351]

The development of glyphosate-tolerant (Roundup Ready) plants changed the herbicide use profile away from more persistent, higher toxicity herbicides, such as atrazine, metribuzin and alachlor, and reduced the volume and harm of herbicide runoff.[353]

That study cited a 23% increase (.3 kilograms/hectare) for soybeans from 1996–2006, a 43% (.9 kg/ha) increase for cotton from 1996–2010 and a 16% (.5 kg/ha) decrease for corn from 1996–2010.[354]

Another study concluded that insecticide use on cotton and corn during the years 1996 to 2005 fell by 35,600,000 kilograms (78,500,000 lb) of active ingredient, roughly equal to the annual amount applied in the European Union.[364]

A Bt cotton study in six northern Chinese provinces from 1990 to 2010 concluded that it halved the use of pesticides and doubled the level of ladybirds, lacewings and spiders and extended environmental benefits to neighbouring crops of maize, peanuts and soybeans.[365][366]

PG Economics comprehensive 2012 study concluded that GM crops increased farm incomes worldwide by $14 billion in 2010, with over half this total going to farmers in developing countries.[380]

GM crops play a key role in intensive crop farming, which involves monoculture, use of herbicides and pesticides, use of equipment requiring large amounts of fuel and irrigation.

Some scientists suggest that a second Green Revolution including use of modified crops is needed to provide sufficient food.[395][396]:12 The potential for genetically modified food to help developing nations was recognised by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, but as of 2008 they had found no conclusive evidence of a solution.[397][398]

Skeptics such as John Avise claim that apparent shortages are caused by problems in food distribution and politics, rather than production.[399][400][401]:73 Other critics say that the world has so many people because the second green revolution adopted unsustainable agricultural practices that left the world with more mouths to feed than the planet can sustain.[402]

Pfeiffer claimed that even if technological farming could feed the current population, its dependence on fossil fuels, which in 2006 he incorrectly predicted would reach peak output in 2010, would lead to a catastrophic rise in energy and food prices.[403]:1–2

GM crops are as natural and safe as today's bread wheat, opined Dr. Borlaug, who also reminded agricultural scientists of their moral obligation to stand up to the antiscience crowd and warn policy makers that global food insecurity will not disappear without this new technology and ignoring this reality would make future solutions all the more difficult to achieve.[406]

The study found that herbicide-tolerant crops have lower production costs, while for insect-resistant crops the reduced pesticide use was offset by higher seed prices, leaving overall production costs about the same.[411]

study unusually published as correspondence rather than as an article examined maize modified to express four traits (resistance to European corn borer, resistance to corn root worm, glyphosate tolerance and glyfosinate tolerance) singly and in combination in Wisconsin fields from 1990–2010.[416]

Bushel per acre yield changes were +6.4 for European corn borer resistance, +5.76 for glufosinate tolerance, −5.98 for glyphosate tolerance and −12.22 for corn rootworm resistance.

Two economists have said that the seed companies' market power could raise welfare despite their pricing strategies, because 'even though price discrimination is often considered to be an unwanted market distortion, it may increase total welfare by increasing total output and by making goods available to markets where they would not appear otherwise.'[422]

About 250 family farmers, consumers and other critics of corporate agriculture held a town meeting prior to the government meeting to protest Monsanto's purchase of independent seed companies, patenting seeds and then raising seed prices.[425]

However, for non-hybrid GM crops, such as GM soybeans, seed companies use intellectual property law and tangible property common law, each expressed in contracts, to prevent farmers from planting saved seed.

For example, Monsanto's typical bailment license (covering transfer of the seeds themselves) forbids saving seeds, and also requires purchasers to sign a separate patent license agreement.[428][429]

A 2000 report stated, 'If the rights to these tools are strongly and universally enforced - and not extensively licensed or provided pro bono in the developing world - then the potential applications of GM technologies described previously are unlikely to benefit the less developed nations of the world for a long time' (i.e.

A series of independent tests by different experts confirmed that the canola Mr. Schmeiser planted and grew in 1998 was 95 to 98 percent Roundup resistant.'[440]:para 63–64 After further negotiations between Schmeiser and Monsanto broke down, Monsanto sued Schmeiser for patent infringement and prevailed in the initial case.

Schmeiser appealed and lost, and appealed again to the Canadian Supreme Court, which in 2004 ruled 5 to 4 in Monsanto's favor, stating that 'it is clear on the findings of the trial judge that the appellants saved, planted, harvested and sold the crop from plants containing the gene and plant cell patented by Monsanto'.[440]:para 68

GM crops have been the source of international trade disputes and tensions within food-exporting nations over whether introduction of genetically modified crops would endanger exports to other countries.[443]

Prior to the new federal rules taking effect, while it does require pre-market approval, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not required GMO labeling as long as there are no differences in health, environmental safety, and consumer expectations based on the packaging.[466][467][468] The

had passed laws in 2013 and 2014 respectively, which would have required GMO food labels if Northeast states with a population of at least 20 million had passed similar laws (and for Connecticut, representing at least four states).

Rather, these initiatives are driven by a variety of factors, ranging from the persistent perception that such foods are somehow 'unnatural' and potentially dangerous to the desire to gain competitive advantage by legislating attachment of a label meant to alarm.

Groups such as the Union of Concerned Scientists and Center for Food Safety that have expressed concerns about the FDA's lack of a requirement for additional testing for GMO's, lack of required labeling and the presumption that GMO's are 'Generally Recognized as Safe' (GRAS), have questioned whether the FDA is too close to companies that seek approval for their products.[49]

In May 2003, the US and twelve other countries filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization that the EU was violating international trade agreements, by blocking imports of US farm products through its ban on GM food.[citation needed]

In late 2007, the US ambassador to France recommended 'moving to retaliation' to cause 'some pain' against France and the European Union in an attempt to fight the French ban and changes in European policy toward genetically modified crops, according to a US government diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks.[501][502]

Marsh reported the seed and plants to his local organic certification board, and lost the organic certification of some 70 per cent of his 478 hectare farm.[506]

In its summary judgment, the court found that approximately 245 cut canola plants were blown by the wind into Marsh's property, Eagle's Rest.[507]:2 However, Baxter's method (swathing) was 'orthodox and well accepted harvest methodology'.[507]:5 'In 2011, eight GM canola plants were found to have grown up as self-sown volunteer plants on Eagle Rest', which 'were identified and pulled out', and 'no more volunteer RR canola plants grew on Eagle Rest in subsequent years'.[507]:4 The summary judgment stated that the loss of organic certification 'was occasioned by the erroneous application of governing NASAA Standards applicable to NASAA organic operators as regards GMOs (genetically modified organisms) at the time'.[507]:4 and that '[t]he absence of a reliable underlying evidentiary platform to support a perpetual injunction against swathing was a significant deficiency'.[507]:6

petition filed May 17, 2013, by environmental group Greenpeace Southeast Asia and farmer-scientist coalition Masipag (Magsasaka at Siyentipiko sa Pagpapaunlad ng Agrikultura) asked the appellate court to stop the planting of Bt eggplant in test fields, saying the impacts of such an undertaking to the environment, native crops and human health are still unknown.

The Court of Appeals granted the petition, citing the precautionary principle stating 'when human activities may lead to threats of serious and irreversible damage to the environment that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish the threat'.[513]

Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration in June 2013 and on September 20, 2013 the Court of Appeals chose to uphold their May decision saying the bt talong field trials violate the people's constitutional right to a 'balanced and healthful ecology'.[514][515]

The Supreme Court on December 8, 2015, permanently stopped the field testing for Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) talong (eggplant), upholding the decision of the Court of Appeals which stopped the field trials for the genetically modified eggplant.[516]

However, as of 2010, newer genetic engineering technologies like genome editing have allowed scientists to modify plant genomes without adding foreign genes, thus escaping USDA regulation.[517]

During the same period, about 9.5 million people died per year in India from other causes including malnutrition, diseases and suicides that were non-farming related, or about 171 million deaths from 1995 to 2013.[528]

Activists and scholars have offered a number of conflicting reasons for farmer suicides, such as monsoon failure, high debt burdens, genetically modified crops, government policies, public mental health, personal issues and family problems.[529][530][531]

The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 states that 'every package containing the genetically modified food shall bear at the top of its principal display panel the letters 'GM.'' The rules apply to 19 products including biscuits, breads, cereals and pulses, and a few others.

Meet Tastewise, The Company That Knows The Next Food And Grocery Trends

With an estimated market size of $800 billion, the grocery retail industry is massive.

A challenge for any food company or retailer that operates in the food and grocery industry is not just understanding the consumer trends of today, but also identifying the trends of tomorrow.

The answer: It’s a combination of a number of factors, from the creative experimentation of chefs and home cooks, to the discovery of new products at an urban farmer’s market.

In his 2014 book “The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue,” Toronto-based food journalist, David Sax, suggested four major factors in food trends: popular culture, agriculture, chefs and health.

In part, there’s a cultural component, such as the rise in popularity of certain ethnic foods, which may be the result of both immigration factors and increased global travel.

Food trends 'have the ability to change laws and behaviors by the sheer nature of their popularity, shaping everything from economics to social policy well beyond the plate.” The recent bacon craze is a good example.

The bacon trend started because the pork industry wanted to increase bacon sales, (which had fallen off because of health food trends) so it worked with fast-food restaurants to develop pre-fried bacon that just needed to be warmed and used on a burger or sandwich.

Since understanding consumer food demands is crucial for both the restaurant and grocery industries, startups have begun to appear hoping to become the leader in the burgeoning industry.

Tastewise is a Tel-Aviv-based food tech startup that recently released a report that offers insights about today’s dining habits, both inside and outside the home, that can be used to predict future food fads.

The company created the report by using machine learning to analyze billions of critical food and beverage consumer touchpoints to discover people’s real-life interactions with foods.

When we pinpoint the analysis, which we can do with AI, we can see regional distinctions, for instance, Philadelphia diners want more organic options -- with a $53 million unmet opportunity which can be exploited by regular or virtual restaurants like UberEats” Tastewise calculated this demand by identifying the gap between the share of discussion of healthy food at home versus the conversations of healthy food offered at restaurants.

Food trend reports will enable all of them to provide meals that are in demand, and also vet new products their buyers are being pitched.” As a former Amazon executive, and one of the first people to recommend that Amazon acquire Whole Foods, I believe Whole Foods will certainly be expanding their prepared meals offerings.

Zhoug is also a sugar-free, gluten-free condiment made from 100% natural ingredients so it conforms with the keto and clean-eating diet trends.” (The tone of my voice gave away the fact that I had never heard of zhoug so Chen gave me a crash course on the topic).

This ensures the best culinary experience and, of course, more Instagrammable food moments.” The longer I spoke with Chen the more I realized that like many other industries, technology is about to have a major impact on the grocery and food industries, but in a good way.

Although not originally considered a topic Tastewise intended to focus on, I believe Tastewise can leverage data collected from social media to help companies like Facebook and LinkedIn identify food and other products that are trending.

6 (More) Bitcoin Myths Debunked

As a groundbreaking innovation, bitcoin naturally attracts skeptics just as strongly as it attracts supporters, and the technical and theoretical complexity of the digital currency can cause a considerable amount of confusion with those who are not ‘in the know’.

The result is that critics of bitcoin oftentimes fall back on one or two euphemisms to express why they think it will never succeed – simplified statements like “bitcoin is a ponzi scheme”

Whether it was the bubble of late 2013 or the recent dip below $300, a good chunk of the general public thinks of bitcoin only in terms of how volatile the price is and how good (or bad) of an investment it could be.

While governments around the world may still be figuring out how to approach digital currencies, many misinformed people fall into the trap of thinking that, like almost anything else we’re used to, bitcoin could be shut down by governments if one or more of them hoped to do so.

In addition to the retailers above, PayPal has announced partnerships with bitcoin companies and Microsoft recently began accepting bitcoin for a host of digital content like games and videos.

Once people realize that bitcoin can, indeed, be used to buy real things, they may not see what the digital currency has to offer that their incumbent payment methods like cash and credit cards don’t.

Typically, transacting bitcoin saves merchants 1-3% compared to transacting credit cards, and when compared to services like Western Union, bitcoin is clearly superior – especially for sending money abroad.

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