Thinly sliced: Bayer’s market value may have plummeted, but its profits are still piling up
This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most noteworthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.
Outbreak. Three years ago, snipers prowled the Norwegian countryside in helicopters and snowmobiles, killing 2,400 reindeer that were in danger of catching chronic wasting disease—and becoming zombie deer. Then, last year, a moose in Finland tested positive. You know what happened next. Or do you? In a four-part series, a consortium of radio stations are tracking how this strange disease has spread across the globe.
Made in the shade. As global temperatures rise, we have to start thinking about shade as a vital component of public health, and a physical resource to be shared by all. Including sea animals. A new study finds that flounder, crabs, lobsters, and other shallow-water fish are dying at twice the rate of their land-based counterparts, simply because there are fewer aquatic places to hide from the sun. And as the waters heat up, the fish are just “sitting there, floating around in this soup of warm water, with nowhere to go,” a scientist tells Inside Climate News. Diminished food supplies are yet another file in the annals of climate change-related environmental injustice.
A bitter pill. Since the glyphosate lawsuits earlier this year, Bayer’s market value has plummeted, losing $34 billion. Now, Reuters reports, the agriculture giant is facing lawsuits from 13,400 plaintiffs seeking damages from exposure to the herbicide. What’s clear, though, is that it’s still making money—maybe from the stuff that doesn’t kill weeds. Last quarter, the company pulled in over $4.6 billion in earnings, exceeding expectations.
Horse ahead of the cart. Sure, alternative protein is cool, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We may never see a lab-grown T-bone steak. And Big Meat might not be playing nice with the plant-based sector, after all. In one of the first signs of a fissure in a relatively new alliance, Axios discovers that TysonFoods, one of the world’s biggest chicken companies, has sold its stake in Beyond Meat after some culture clash. It’s possible that Tyson is getting ready to make its own competing vegetarian product.
Gutted. Dentists are noticing a rise in eroded enamel that has coincided with kombucha’s meteoric rise to a billion-dollar market. What’s the connection? The drink is loaded with acid that aids the growth of bacteria and yeast. Also, the mass-market versions—the ones that taste good—are loaded with sugar. (Like mom said, pop rots your teeth.) One dentist tells Salon that all you kombucha lovers—Amy Kombuchars?—should rinse your mouth out with water after you drink, in order to avoid tooth decay.