5@5: Learning to love GMOs? | Uber expands grocery delivery

Learning to love GMOs

Very few genetically modified fruits and vegetables are on grocery store shelves today, but that could change drastically as scientists find ways to tweak aspects of our favorite fruit and vegetables with regard to their antioxidant levels, nutrient density and shelf life. As this article from The New York Times puts it, “Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, G.M.O.s have remained wildly unpopular with consumers, who see them as dubious tools of Big Ag, with potentially sinister impacts on both people and the environment.” The big difference now is that the changes being made don’t have much to do with creating a seed that can withstand certain herbicides and pesticides, but rather are targeted toward making consumers healthier and cutting down on food waste.

Uber expands grocery delivery to 400 cities

Uber has more than doubled the number of cities where it delivers groceries, marking the first major expansion of its grocery delivery service since its 2020 launch. The company’s on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery is now available in 400 cities, including New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. This push for grocery delivery is the direct result of Uber’s partnership with Albertson’s (owner of Safeway, Vons and more), according to The Verge, and despite fierce competition from the likes of Amazon the company expects to be able to offer the service to customers nationwide by the end of the year.

Is Oatly really eco-friendly?

Here, Slate dives into the contentious issue of oatmilk maker Oatly’s funding sources, which include Blackstone, a major private equity firm that has been plagued by controversies regarding the housing crisis and the environment and whose chief executive is a major Trump campaign donor. When faced with consumer backlash over the decision to accept money from Blackstone, Oatly responds with statements along the lines of “every dollar invested in them is good for the planet.” However, Oatly’s upcoming involvement with China has raised further concerns wth regard to human rights and the country’s dismal environmental record. If the company isn’t careful, investors may move onto the next shiny plant-based milk consumers want, which would cement Oatly as a fad of yesteryear.

Nature’s Fynd raises $350M Series C for its microbial protein

The alternative protein market keeps getting more innovative, and investors are taking note. Take Nature’s Fynd, for instance: this up-and-coming startup in the space makes protein from microbes that originated in geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park and just raised a $350 million Series C round of funding. The round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, with participation from both new and existing investors—Blackstone Strategic Partners among them. This brings the total amount raised by Nature’s Fynd to more than $500 million. The Spoon reports.

Rise in shellfish-related food poisoning is likely linked to extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently stated that a fresh outbreak of vibriosis—an illness associated with eating raw or undercooked shellfish—is linked to the heat dome that devastated the Pacific Northwest in late June; the number of lab-reported vibriosis cases for the month of July, 52, is the highest ever recorded for the month (somewhere in the realm of five cases would be considered normal). When temperatures climbed above 100 degrees across the region, some researchers estimated that around 1 billion sea creatures perished along the coastline, with many mussels, clams, and oysters split open and cooked right on the shore. Eater has the scoop.

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