Monsanto-Backed Start-Up Will Soon Produce First Gene-Edited Fruit

Monsanto-Backed Start-Up Will Soon Produce First Gene-Edited Fruit

Agriculture giant Monsanto has just invested $125 million into gene-editing startup Pairwise.

The alliance may allow for Monsanto to introduce the first produce made with the blockbuster gene-editing tool, CRISPR. The CRISPR tool allows scientists to target specific problem areas within the genome of a living thing and tweak the DNA to adjust the taste, shelf life, and other attributes of the product.

Monsanto has long been criticized for its role in popularizing genetically modified organisms and for being one of a handful of companies that produced "Agent Orange," a carcinogenic herbicide.

However, most scientists agree that GMOs are safe to eat and that they have played a significant role in helping farmers grow more food on less land. Scientists are already using CRISPR to edit the genes of plants and animals to make them healthier and more resistant to heat and disease.

Monsanto and Pairwise aim to get some of the first fruits and vegetables made with CRISPR on grocery-store shelves within 5 to 10 years.

"Crispr is far and away technically more efficient and more effective at doing the kinds of things we want," Bob Reiter, Monsanto's global vice president of research and development strategy, told Business Insider.

It is partially due to CRISPR's accuracy that the US Department of Agriculture has chosen not to regulate close to a dozen crops edited with CRISPR as GMOs. Instead, the crops have essentially been given a green light, meaning companies can move forward with development.

Read more about this story at “Business Insider.

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Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices Again, Food Stocks Drop in Response

Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices Again, Food Stocks Drop in Response

Amazon is at it again. The company has released a new list of price cuts at Whole Foods, the grocery chain the technology acquired in June.

A media frenzy has ignited since the acquisition as Amazon continues to change the food industry forever. The company’s aggressive plans to conquer the food sector is influencing more grocery chains and even restaurants to jump on the on-demand delivery bandwagon.

On Wednesday, Amazon made a few announcements sending shock waves through the industry. Whole Foods will be selling turkeys to Amazon Prime members for 50 cents less than non-Prime member price.

Besides the discount for Prime, the grocery chain is cutting prices on a list of items at all stores, most of which are holiday staples. The items include organic russet, potatoes, organic sweet potatoes, value pack boneless skinless chicken breasts, canned pumpkin, Chobani yogurt, and more.

“These are the latest new lower prices in our ongoing integration and innovation with Amazon, and we're just getting started," said John Mackey, Whole Foods' co-founder and CEO, in a press release announcing the new sales. "In the few months we’ve been working together, our partnership has proven to be a great fit."

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The Majority of Americans Hate to Cook, Presents a Problem for the Grocery Business

The Majority of Americans Hate to Cook, Presents a Problem for the Grocery Business

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion and predictions about the future of the restaurant industry as meal-kit companies gain popularity and as grocery stores offer more options for the on-the-go consumer. 

While we recently predicted that Amazon will evidently eat up restaurant market share, the grocery business is still seeing a slump as less Americans are cooking today.

According to recent research done by Eddie Yoon, a consultant for consumer packaged goods companies, only 10% of consumers love to cook. The majority of consumers, 45% hate it and 45% feel so-so about the activity.  

Interestingly enough, consumers may be watching more food-focused television, but this is not inspiring them to get in the kitchen and cook. 

So should restaurants really be that threatened by Amazon's recent purchase of Whole Foods?

"Despite all the buzz about the growth of pre-prepped meal kits like Blue Apron, or the promise of Whole Foods under Amazon’s management, cooking itself is on a long, slow, steady decline. The top 25 food and beverage companies have lost $18 billion in market share since 2009. Grocers are watching customers make fewer trips to stores, and many chains are in a prolonged price war, with prices declining 1.3% last year," writes Yoon for the "Harvard Business Review."

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Amazon Is Headed For the Grocery Store Industry

Amazon Is Headed For the Grocery Store Industry

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

There’s no doubt Amazon has been killing it in the world of online retail. From books to bedding, jewelry to sports equipment, there is virtually nothing you can’t order from beloved Amazon.com.

Well, except for maybe certain types of groceries, but that may be about to change. 

Thanks to the tech giant’s grocery delivery project, Amazon Fresh, consumers now have a more convenient way to shop for food online. Still, not every consumer may feel comfortable buying raw meat or fresh produce without seeing it first.

Enter the Amazon grocery store. 

According to Wall Street JournalAmazon plans to open branded brick-and-mortar stores that are, “designed to capture the large share of people who prefer to pick out their produce or bring home their groceries on the way home from work.”

As for the customer who’s all about avoiding the grocery store at all costs, Amazon has them covered too. 

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Sneak Peek: Whole Foods Elevates Grocery Shopping With an In-Store Bar

Whole Foods means different things to different people. For some, it marks an occasion of self-indulgence. For others, it’s part of a regular routine of grocery shopping.

But Whole Foods is not a “regular” type of grocery store. While it certainly has been slammed for its prices, the chain continuously aims to provide an experience for shoppers unlike any other. In one of Whole Foods’ South Florida locations, this comes in the form of housing a bar in the store, called The Watering Hole.

Get a sneak peek above, and make sure to look out for the full episode, coming soon!