China aims to phase out sale of live poultry at food markets

China on Friday vowed to gradually phase out the slaughter and sale of live poultry at food markets, in a move welcomed by animal rights activists amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came as China stepped up inspections of wholesale food markets and outlawed the sale and consumption of wildlife, after a recent COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing was traced to a major agricultural wholesale market.

The virus is believed to have emerged at a market that sold live animals in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

“China will restrict the trading and slaughter of live poultry, encourage the mass slaughter of live poultry in places with certain conditions, and gradually close live poultry markets,” said Chen Xu, an official at the State Administration of Market Regulation, at a press briefing.

Live poultry kept in cages is a common sight in agricultural wholesale food markets and “wet markets” —

Read More

When coronavirus threatened to close this food court restaurant, neighbors rallied to save it

DES MOINES, Iowa – From her padded stool perch in the corner of her restaurant, Vietnam Cafe, owner Brenda Tran reigns over the food court – part mama bear, part perpetual party host.

On a typical day, Tran watches new customers settle into tables and chow down, sometimes running into the dining room to hold impromptu lessons on the finer points of Vietnamese cuisine. Swirl your pho noodles like spaghetti! Lean down and slurp the broth!

She chats with her “mall walkers” as they nosh on her special Vietnamese egg sandwiches. After losing her father a decade ago, she considers them her “American parents,” an honor they take to heart.

She beckons over “the kids,” teens either suspended or cutting class from the local high school. She tells them her story, how she survived the Vietnam War and came to Iowa as a refugee, not knowing a lick of English

Read More

William Blair Commentary- Plant-Based Protein: More Than a Fad?

Earlier this year, a major global food and agriculture company announced the launch of private-label plant-based meat products, which will help retail food and foodservice businesses more easily capture a share of the growing plant-based protein market.

That said, the company has also invested $7 billion in animal protein over the past five years, which it says reflects the importance of keeping all protein options on the table.

This dichotomy illustrates the conundrum facing investors seeking to stay atop consumer trends on the food industry. In our opinion, plant-based protein is not a fad, but it likely won’t materially change the food landscape, either–at least in the long term. COVID-19 closures of some meat packing plants is disrupting some meat supply, resulting in higher prices. This may at least temporarily accelerate demand for alternatives including plant-based meats.

How is the industry likely to develop? Who wins and who loses? In

Read More

China pushes traditional remedies amid outbreak

Covid-19 has given new momentum to Beijing's push to internationalise traditional medicine
Covid-19 has given new momentum to Beijing’s push to internationalise traditional medicine

As scientists race to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, Beijing has been championing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a way to treat the disease.

A recent white paper released by the Chinese government claimed that 92% of the country’s Covid-19 cases were treated in some way with it.

TCM is one of the world’s oldest forms of medical practice and includes a range of treatments from herbal concoctions to acupuncture to Tai Chi.

It is hugely popular in China across the generations, although occasionally fierce debates erupt online about its use.

Experts say China is seeking to expand the appeal of TCM both at home and abroad, but healthcare professionals remain sceptical of its usefulness.

Overall effectiveness inconclusive – US

China’s National Health Commission has a special TCM chapter in its coronavirus guidelines, while state media have

Read More