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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6 Brands Embracing the Plant-Based Eating Phenomenon

6 Brands Embracing the Plant-Based Eating Phenomenon

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

Eating vegan — or at least trying out a part-time vegan diet — has officially gone mainstream. Thanks to a new generation of health- and environmentally-conscious celebrities that include everyone from actress Kate Mara to pop star Ariana Grande and even rapper Wacka Flocka, more consumers are embracing the benefits that come along with plant-based eating.

According to U.S. News and World Report, a diet heavy in fruits and veggies may help ward off chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. And with new studies showing that processed meats like ham, salami and sausage may cause certain types of cancers, it’s no wonder plant-based diets are on the rise, especially among millennials.

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8 Ways to Get Customers to Eat Their Vegetables

8 Ways to Get Customers to Eat Their Vegetables

By Jim Berman, Foodable Industry Expert

Baby Boomers insist on a healthier slant. Gen X-ers feel more connected to their food. And Millennials just want whatever they want. As such, chefs are digging into vegetables with gusto and reckless abandon. Perceived as healthy with playful takes on flavor and an interesting medium of which the kitchen can explore, vegetables are really starting to matter. Beet carpaccio was once an anomaly. All-vegetable menus were reserved for the eclectic, granola eating, hemp wearing hippy crew that proliferated after California spa cuisine washed across the country emanating from Alice Waters and the likes of the nouvelle movement. Avocado toast was panned as an overpriced, New York joke. Vegetable is again hip. Very hip. Not just hipster, either. Cauliflower steaks are virtually one step away from Lone Star’s menu. Gramercy Tavern is touting vegetable creations that rival appeal much like the seared scallops do in the proliferating gastro pub or even in the local sports’ bar. Vegetables are appealing on all levels, carry lower food cost, and can often showcase culinary craftsmanship. So how does the jump happen to get them from the oft-relegated sidelines to the center of the plate? Beef is always expensive. Seafood? The same. Dirt crops are grounded in a modicum of price stability, especially when figuring seasonality. Produce is that unique commodity that is best consumed when prices are lower. There is a reason why strawberries are so expensive in, say, January

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