Every Friday I post the most interesting vegan news articles and blogs I’ve read. This week in vegan news …
1. Whole Foods to label all genetically modified food by 2018
Whole Foods made headlines last week for becoming the first major grocery chain in the United States to mandate labeling of all genetically engineered foods in their stores by 2018. While most responded favorably, some wondered why they would have to wait a full five years.
“While this is a step in the right direction, Whole Foods’ customers shouldn’t have to wait another half decade to get common sense labeling of genetically engineered ingredients in their products that they sell unlabeled every day,” said Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now, an organization that has helped push for labeling in California and Washington.
On a practical level it will take five years for all the suppliers to switch over to non-GMO foods, wrote Mike Adams at Natural News. He added that any brand–particularly ones marketing themselves as natural–that is willing to accept a GMO label will essentially be committing “brand suicide.”
Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb spoke to Bloomberg Businessweek last year about the higher costs associated with providing consumers more transparency. “I suppose there will always be a market for the cheapest possible food, but issues around water quality, farm workers, all that stuff, keep surfacing. There will be no place to hide in terms of what your practices are and what you’re doing.”
2. Dairy industry petitions the FDA to use artificial sweeteners without labeling
Milk consumption continues to decline and the industry is looking for new ways to boost sales, like providing low-calorie versions of their product using artificial sweeteners. “The dairy industry is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to change the standard of what qualifies as milk,” wrote Allison Aubrey for The Salt. “The industry wants the iconic MILK label to remain on the front of the package, without any mention of the reduced calories–or the added artificial sweeteners.”
Since the petition to not label artificial sweeteners was acknowledged by the FDA, many of the public comments have been critical, including headlines like, Poison in the Food Chain: The Health Impacts of Aspartame, and other people saying the industry is part of the food mafia and that “it’s all a big lie, laced with secret chemicals and false claims.”
The dairy industry says its petition is misunderstood, and a spokeswoman speaking on behalf of the petitioners believes that despite the criticism, the “request will be given FDA backing.”
3. Saturday Night Live goes vegan with giant, dancing block of tofu
Justin Timberlake hosted SNL, and those expecting the usual viral clips involving music were not disappointed. Vegans everywhere were sharing a sketch where Timberlake “played a mascot for a vegan restaurant waging a turf war against an irate sausage slinger. As a giant piece of singing and dancing tofu, Timberlake rapped about his love of kale, quinoa, and tofu mayonnaise.”
Watch the video below (after the short Hulu ad):
4. Vegan love, controversy, and “torture”
After 17 seasons of the The Bachelor, someone finally found love with a vegan. According to Elizabeth Brown, “Miss Catherine Giudici, the intended of bachelor Sean Lowe, is a vegan and a vegetarian foods blogger” from Seattle.
One person not feeling the vegan love is singer Lily Allen. She was “raked over the coals on Twitter by animal rights activists upset by her supposed plan to slaughter a pig meant to help raise money for charity,” wrote Josh Grossberg. After calling some of the critics “loonies” and “hippies,” she later clarified by saying she was not slaughtering the pig for charity. They were all going to be slaughtered and eaten anyway, and she was simply offering to name the pig after the lucky winner, then send them the meat once the pig was killed.
It’s not just Lily Allen upset with the vegans. A man convicted of attempted murder is claiming his constitutional rights have been trampled because, among other things, “jail deputies ‘systematically tortured’ him by making him eat vegetarian meals.”
I’ve heard of people’s cooking being bad, but torture?
I spend each morning reading the latest headlines in the world of vegan news. Every Friday I’ll post the most interesting vegan news articles and blogs I’ve read. Want more? Read last week’s vegan news column: Meatless Schools, Organic Food, B12 and the Difficulty of Being Vegan. Or see an archive of all the vegan news.