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Indian American scientist discovers way to eat meat without killing animals



n-SCIENTIST-LABORATORIES-large570WASHINGTON, (Diya TV) — A team led by Indian-American scientists has been hard at work, developing a contamination-free meat from animal cells in a laboratory that can be harvested between 9 and 21 days. The new technique could likely spell an end to the large scale slaughtering of animals worldwide.

And that’s precisely the angle scientist Uma S Valeti has pitched while surging ahead in the attempt of large scale commercialization of the method.

“It is sustainable as well as cruelty free,” Valeti, a cardiologist and co-founder of Memphis Meats, told Huffington Post’s “Pardon the Interruption.”

Additionally, the meat grown in Valeti’s lab does not carry the health side effects like bacterial contamination, or high saturated fat or the big environmental issues that come along with it, he said. “We are growing meat which is safer, healthier, more sustainable,” Valeti said.

How did it begin? Valeti, from India’s southeastern coastal border state of Andhra, said he and his colleagues first took identified cells from a targest animal which are capable of renewing themselves. These cells are then provided with oxygen and nutrients such as sugars and minerals, he said. All of this allows for the rapid growth cycle, between 9 and 21 days. The efforts of his team have gained the attention of venture capitalists — Valeti said they are working on pork, beef and chicken products, as these three meats that have highest consumption and also have the highest environmental and health impact.

Dr. Uma S. Valeti

Dr. Uma S. Valeti, Indian American scientist

Test runs have already began for the developed beef products, he said.

“We are motivated by the thought that people can buy it off the shelf,” he said.

“Our goal is to be in restaurants in three years and retail in five years. In 2021, we want to be in retail or even earlier,” he said.

The first base of manufacturing these products will be based in the U.S., but Valeti said he is also exploring the option of establishing additional facilities in India and China, as the two nation’s have already expressed interest in the new technology.

“The meat that we are growing is identical at the molecular and cellular level,” he said, adding that his product detaches the concept of slaughter of an animal to eat a meat – be it beef, chicken or goat.

“Cultured meat will completely replace the status quo and make raising animals to eat them simply unthinkable,” he said.

As a trained cardiologist, Dr. Valeti was educated at the Mayo Clinic, and serves as an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota and president of the Twin Cities American Heart Association. He and Nicolas Genovese, a stem cell biologist, founded Memphis Meats together — Genovese is also a restauranteur, he owns a chain of barbeque restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I grew up in a meat eating family. From the very young age, I always thought, why do we eat the meat the way we do,” he said referring to the slaughter of animals to eat meat.

Information from the Huffington Post contributed to this report.


Mc Donalds to launch Masala Dosa burgers and Anda Bhurji



Masala Dosa Burger

MUMBAI (Diya TV) — ‘Dosas’ are a breakfast staple in South Indian and most recently, fast food giant McDonald’s announced the launch of Masala Dosa burgers in an attempt capture the breakfast market in India. Of Course, making dosas at home every morning can be one tiresome job, and the option of grabbing a ‘McDonald’s Masala Dosa burger’ could be just want the people want!

McDonald's Masala Dosa Burger, Picture Courtesy: Mc Donalds

McDonald’s Masala Dosa Burger

McDonald’s, is the largest fast food chain in India and the breakfast items include more than just the Masala Dosa Burger with a side of Molagai podi (chili powder) sauce, there are options such as ‘Anda Bhurji’ aka as scrambled eggs with a bun and hash browns and waffles.

McDonalds has been in the Indian market for two decades successfully adapting the brand’s taste profiles to the Indian palette with options such as Aloo Tikki Burger & Masala Fries. This latest attempt however is not just about adapting to the regions taste buds but really going after breakfast marketshare.

  “Breakfast convenience on the go will increase as more people enter the segment. As a western pick service restaurant, we are going to grow the Indian breakfast market dramatically,” says the Vice-Chairman of Westlife Development who runs over 240 McDonald’s restaurants.

Scrambled eggs with Bun

Scrambled eggs with Bun


While McDonalds seems confident with their brand new addition, Twittersphere has its own thoughts…

All kidding aside, Banana chips sound delicious! However, for Devaiah Bopanna, this globalization of Indian food may require looking foreign policy measures.. ?

“We continue to look at inspiration from Indian cuisine and bring it as a McDonald’s format which will give you flavors from the west but the familiarity of Indian,” said Amit Jatia, vice-chairman of Westlife Development, which runs McDonald’s outlets in west and south India.

There are more than 400 McDonald’s restaurants in over 65 Indian cities, and the company may well be looking to grow further in the enormous market after selling most of its China business earlier this week.

The Economic Times contributed to parts of this report. 

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Whole Foods invests in Instacart at 2014 valuation



Whole Foods
Whole Foods

Whole Foods are investing in the grocery delivery company Instacart.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — As more Whole Foods customers began to avoid the store and get their deliveries to their front door, the high-end supermarket chain is taking a stake in the four-year-old startup.

The company authorized the sale of new equity earlier this year, letting Whole Foods Market Inc. buy shares in the startup in conjunction with an expanded partnership, said people familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Analysis by private stock market operator Equidate, based on a regulatory filing, pegged the total equity authorization at about $36 million.

The shares added to Instacart’s previous funding round at the same share price from late 2014, which valued the company at about $2 billion, according to the filing.

Before the Whole Foods investment, the San Francisco-based startup had raised more than $270 million. Instacart and its peers have benefited from a shift in an overcrowded food delivery market this year. Grocery delivery startups have received more investor dollars than companies that deliver prepared meals, a reversal from previous years, according to research firm CB Insights.

However, as the fundraising market becomes more competitive overall, startups are making cuts and emphasizing how close they are to supporting themselves with their own earnings. Instacart is no exception: Apoorva Mehta, the startup’s chief executive officer, said on stage this month at a TechCrunch conference that his company will be cash-flow positive in the next 12 months. He also dismissed questions about whether Instacart would sell to Whole Foods. “It just doesn’t make sense for us to even think about selling to a grocery store,” Mehta said.

Whole Foods and Instacart first partnered services on a delivery program in 2014 and has since expanded to more than 25 markets across the U.S. It allows customers to order food and other products directly from the Whole Foods website and have them delivered.

Grocery delivery is a key initiative as Whole Foods tries to claw its way out of its biggest sales slump since 2009. As conventional grocers have expanded their organic offerings and pushed prices down, Whole Foods has suffered under the weight of its reputation for being overpriced. That’s added pressure on the grocer to make its shopping experience more convenient.

“With more outlets for natural and organic foods, they don’t drive as far, and they don’t come as frequently,” John Mackey, the co-CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, said during a presentation in June. “They just want convenience as the overriding value. I think that Whole Foods wants to compete for those customers to be sure, and we have a lot of things in the works.”

Walter Robb, the other CEO, said on a recent earnings call: “We feel really good about the partnership with Instacart and the results we’re seeing.”

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Indian-American youngsters attend fifth annual Kids’ State Dinner



First Lady Michelle Obama addressing the 56 winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge at the 2016 Kids’ State Dinner held in the East Room of the White House.

First Lady Michelle Obama addressing the 56 winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge at the 2016 Kids’ State Dinner held in the East Room of the White House.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — One of the most exciting and endearing events at the White House, the Kids’ State Dinner was hosted this year by First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to recognize winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe contest for children to promote cooking and healthy eating.

This year, three young members or the Diaspora took their talents to Pennsylvania Avenue to be recognized for their winning recipes in 2016. Shakthi Ramachandran, 8, for her chicken tikka pita with cucumber raita; Priya Patel, 10, for cooking a healthy and delicious Tex-Mex veg-head lasagna; and Abhijith Jenkins, 11, for his tropical vacation with catfish and quinoa delicacy.

All 56 contest winners were welcomed to the White House by the First Lady, the young aspiring chefs were treated to a meal with Mrs. Obama. “You guys blew us away with your creativity and your skills in the kitchen,” she said to the assembled youngsters.

The White House recipe contest is part of her “Let’s Move” initiative to keep kids healthy. Since 2012, the initiative has hosted five such dinners, welcoming more than 270 young people and their families to the White House. More than 6,000 recipes have been reviewed as a direct result of the program.

“And, of course, we ate a whole lot of good food,” the First Lady added.

About her recipe, Shakthi said “My dad is from India and I like Indian food, especially chicken tikka masala.” She’s also a fan of eating a lot of vegetables. “This recipe combines all these things and is very tasty and delicious. In the summer, most of the vegetables we eat are from our garden. The cucumber raita dressing makes it delicious.”

Young Priya revealed a secret at the dinner: She was the first to concoct her recipe back home. But she had a little inspiration.

“I was first inspired to make this recipe by my Mom. She always tells us to add vegetables to everything we make and to experiment,” she said, adding, “you can substitute any veggies and fruits you like. The possibilities are endless. My Mom says not having or liking one ingredient is not an excuse to not try a recipe or to buy fast food.”

Mrs. Obama implored the children to continue with their cooking habits, and to get their friends involved as well.

“I know you guys can do this”, she said. “I see this every year. I see the work of kids, the magic you all do. People change because of kids. They change how they eat. They change the way they think. They change the way they see one another. You guys are so powerful and you don’t even know it.”

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