Saturday, December 3, 2022
Home HEALTH Letter from the editor: New products

Letter from the editor: New products

Sometime during the pandemic, I found myself in the Apple store in Austin. I needed a replacement for my MacBook Air and the nice lady who helped me suggested I add a $400 Apple Watch to my purchase.

“Why would I need a watch?” I asked. Little did I know then about the watch I’ve come to trust to monitor my heart, track my exercise, and send my calls to voicemail. How did I live without an Apple Watch?

What I never saw before that day in Austin was some hype about the Apple Watch. I’m pretty immune and pretty resistant to hype. All those Apple projects in the Steve Jobs era were not sold to us because of hype, but because of their actual performance in the market. They filled needs we didn’t know we had.

Food Safety News gets a steady stream of new product launches. I won’t say that we don’t occasionally stray into a new product topic, but our policy is to avoid them. Yes Food Safety News If you are writing about a new product, the implication is that the new product will be safe.

There’s no way we can know without significant market exposure.

We are attentive to the signs. We were shocked two years ago when Pennsylvania-based Beyond Meat bet its “future of food” on safety-challenged China for the production of its plant-based products. We were also not surprised last week when Bloomberg released photos of Beyond Meat’s source plant that appeared to show evidence of mold, listeria, and other food safety uses.

Multiple positive tests for listeria were said to have occurred over the past year and a half. And wood, metal and plastic were reportedly found in the product. Beyond Food was able to point to its continued good standing with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The company that produces a plant-based meat substitute is clearly not having a good year, its startup deal with McDonald’s blew up, its net loss for the year is $97.1 million, and it laid off 19 percent of its workforce.

There was a lot of anticipation from others when Beyond Meat landed the deal to put its “McPlant” burger in 600 McDonald’s for a six-month pilot program. But not enough McD customers tried the “McPlant” burger, or, more worryingly, those who tried it were put off by the taste. Either way, the pilot failed.

There is also speculation that people stuck at home during the pandemic tried meat substitutes bought at their grocery store and were not satisfied. Those reactions may be why Beyond Meat’s sales are stagnating. Not a good sign for the young company.

Beyond Meat is just one of the many plant-based startups out there. Lab-grown meat and poultry from animal cells is another new product area. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has not yet signed on.

While there has been hype about plant-based alternatives, the growth of meat and poultry in labs is likely to be higher as measured by VC and PR firms under contract. Investors in UPIDE FOODs, for example, include SoftBank Group, Temasek, Norwest and Threshold Ventures, Tyson Foods, Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, Kimbal Musk, Whole Foods, and others.

When you’re keeping an eye on all the new product launches that stem from campaigns where billions are at risk, it can seem like the wind never stops blowing. But it is one more reason why we must be careful not to get caught up. We need to constantly look at the food safety angle that these plant-based and lab-based offerings must overcome or they will die.

I think the key to the safety of these lab-grown offerings will be the labs themselves. It only takes a little bit of memory to remember billion-dollar lab scandals.

That’s why we’re going to focus on food safety and not the type of these new product offerings. It would be foolish to do otherwise.

(For a free subscription to Food Safety News,click here)

[ad_2]

RELATED ARTICLES

Georgia Supreme Court reinstates state ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy

Georgia Supreme Court reinstates state ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy

Adderall and amoxicillin shortages raise questions about transparency at Big Pharma

Critical shortages of the ADHD drug Adderall and the antibiotic amoxicillin have left families reeling as the medications their loved ones need become harder...

Humberside Police judged ‘outstanding’ five years after being classified as failing | politics

A police force has gone from being classified as a failure five years ago to receiving the highest ratings in the modern era from...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Georgia Supreme Court reinstates state ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy

Georgia Supreme Court reinstates state ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy

Adderall and amoxicillin shortages raise questions about transparency at Big Pharma

Critical shortages of the ADHD drug Adderall and the antibiotic amoxicillin have left families reeling as the medications their loved ones need become harder...

Humberside Police judged ‘outstanding’ five years after being classified as failing | politics

A police force has gone from being classified as a failure five years ago to receiving the highest ratings in the modern era from...

Readers discuss Trump devotees, Republican love of guns and healthy eating – New York Daily News

Medford, LI: On successive news days this Thanksgiving week, I read that US Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate...