Hurricane Matthew devastates North Carolina’s chicken industry

Hurricane Matthew devastates North Carolina’s chicken industry

By Matt Sabas   

This week’s top food and agriculture stories:

1. Hurricane Matthew devastates North Carolina’s chicken industry. Millions of chickens have died due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew, reports Reuters. “Flooding from Hurricane Matthew has killed up to 5 million poultry birds in North Carolina, most of them chickens, the state’s top environmental official said on Wednesday, hurting a major contributor to its economy,” writes Tom Polansek. “Agriculture is the state’s top industry, contributing about $84 billion to the economy, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The department has confirmed 1.8 million poultry have died, mostly chickens, spokesman Brian Long said. The total is expected to increase, he added.”

2. U.S. farmers are pouring out millions of gallons of milk. U.S. farmers have poured out tens of millions of gallons of milk due to the 2016 glut, writes Kelsey Gee in the Wall Street Journal. “More than 43 million gallons’ worth of milk were dumped in fields, manure lagoons or animal feed, or have been lost on truck routes or discarded at plants in the first eight months of 2016, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That is enough milk to fill 66 Olympic swimming pools, and the most wasted in at least 16 years of data requested by The Wall Street Journal.”

3. Cookie dough recall expands. Food Safety News reports that cookie dough recalls have expanded over listeria fears. “At least four companies have issued ice cream recalls — Blue Bunny, Blue Bell, Chocolate Shoppe and Publix — because of a cookie dough recall that could cause dozens of secondary recalls from as yet unnamed companies. It’s the second time in less than a month that Blue Bell Creameries has recalled ice cream because of potentially contaminated cookie dough from Aspen Hills Inc. of Garner, IA. The iconic Brenham, TX-based Blue Bell discovered Listeria monocytogenes during product testing at one of its production plants in September, resulting in the recall of two flavors across several states.”

4. Ireland enacts a soda tax. Ireland plans to issue a soda tax, which is expected to raise the cost of soda by about 6 percent, according to the Irish Examiner. “Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced a tax on sugar sweetened drink to come into effect in April 2018. This is in line with a similar plan in the UK, Mister Noonan said he thought it was ‘prudent’ to align the two. He added much analysis needs to be undertaken between now and then; therefore, a public consultation is starting now.”

5. New study: Beer might be good for you. Hoppy beers are potentially more healthy than other types of beer, reports the International Business Times. “Beer has been the alcohol beverage of choice for Americans, despite the reputation of too much consumption causing a “beer belly.” However, a recent study has found that unhealthy results are not always the case when drinking the alcoholic beverage. Researchers from Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany, who published a study in Oxford’s Alcohol and Alcoholism Journal on Sept. 22, used a binge-drinking mouse model which found that mice that drank beer with hops experienced less liver damage than those who were exposed to other beverages like beer without hops and ethanol alcohol.”

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