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Food in the Metaverse, Cell-Cultivated Psychedelics + More

Image source: New York Times Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health,…

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Image source: New York Times

Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.

Food is becoming a growing presence in the world of NFTs and the metaverse. The Sims has evolved into a world where players can farm, forage, cook and learn about the many ways people experience food.

Chicago’s Back of the Yard Algae Sciences has developed a cell-cultivated alternative to psychedelics made from toad venom, whose popularity has exploded and had devastating impacts on toad populations and their habitats.

Last but not least, business has boomed during the pandemic for Kroger, but that success has not trickled down to its vast work force of nearly 500,000 employees – a number of whom have reported being homeless, receiving government food stamps or relying on food banks to feed their families.

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Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.


1. How The Sims Became the Internet’s Most Exciting Place to EatNew York Times

The 22-year-old life simulation video game has evolved into a world where players can farm, forage, cook and learn about the many ways people experience food.

 

2. Are Psychedelics the Next Big Trend in Cellular Agriculture?Green Queen

Chicago’s Back of the Yard Algae Sciences has developed a cellular agriculture alternative to psychedelics made from toad venom from algae heme.

 

3. The Hidden Ways Companies Raise PricesWall Street Journal

Businesses are passing their rising costs on to consumers with new fees, truncated services and reduced contents in packaged goods, which don’t always show up in inflation data.

 

4. USDA Invests $1B in Climate-Smart AgricultureFoodtank

The initiative includes cover crops, low-till or no-till farming, agroforestry, rotational grazing and reforestation, among others, as examples of possible climate-smart conservation practices.

 

5. Business Booms at Kroger-Owned Grocery Stores, but Workers Are Left BehindNew York Times

A number of the stores’ nearly 500k employees have reported being homeless, receiving government food stamps or relying on food banks.

 

6. Why Famous People Are Joining Food Tech Advisory BoardsFood Dive

Hollywood A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher, former government officials and other household names are working with companies, lending their expertise and cachet.

 

7. 7Shifts Raises $80M in Funding Round Fast Casual

The platform helps restaurant operators connect all aspects of their HR processes. Investment comes on the heels of a significant year of growth in 2021, adding over 10k locations and over 400k workers to its platform.

 

8. Endless West Raises $60M to Expand Its Molecular Spirits TechnologyForbes

The company is looking to work with spirits brands of all sizes, to help them cut back on production costs while boosting sustainability. Its investment will double its production capabilities.

 

9. Empty Shelves Sapped Food Retailers of $82B in CPG Sales Last YearFood Dive

Lost revenue opportunities peaked during the fall, when surging Covid-19 infections depressed on-shelf availability and pushed unrealized sales to $1.7b per week.

 

10. It’s Time to Hold Agrifood Corporates Accountable for Their Climate Commitments. This List May HelpAFN

AFN has compiled an extensive list of agrifood corporate climate commitments and pledges such as net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and regenerative ag.

 

11. Insect Ingredient Producer Raises $57M in InvestmentsPet Food Processing

The company develops its sustainable ingredients from the larvae of the black solider fly, which are fed organic waste from the food industry. It plans to use investment to expand internationally and further its R&D into insect-based ingredients.

 

12. Cooks Venture Announces $50M Investment from PIUSMeat + Poultry

The investment will help underwrite its proprietary broiler breed, which will expand the genetics program and build out infrastructure.

 

13. Korea: Envisioning Partners Closes on $64M Fund for Climate Tech StartupsTechCrunch

The firm now has $140m in investments in companies including Novoloop, Circ, Green Li-ion, Reco and Mission Barns.

 


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The post Food in the Metaverse, Cell-Cultivated Psychedelics + More appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

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