Ag News: Cell-Grown Meat Grows and Vegetable Imports Climb
**Investments in cell-grown meat development grew sixfold in 2020.
www.agrimarketing.com reports, there are about 70 cell-based meat startups around the world today, up from just four in 2015.
Now, the burgeoning industry wants the Biden administration to boost alternative proteins as part of its fight against climate change, helping to curb negative trends like deforestation and overuse of antibiotics.
Congress could fund research to help drive down costs and the President could lean on the FDA and USDA to accelerate regulatory approvals.
**COVID-19 didn’t slow U.S. imports of fresh vegetables in 2020. In fact, the pandemic may have fueled demand as U.S. imports of fresh vegetables rose by 13%.
According to www.thepacker.com, new USDA data for 2020 shows the total U.S. import value of 23 major fresh vegetables was $9.7 billion, up 13% from 2019.
Import values of asparagus, celery, endive and carrots were down, but every other vegetable commodity tracked scored higher.
**As Americans have renewed their interest in gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers who grow seeds for home gardeners have seen demand increase.
Farmers and seed companies say the more-popular seeds include specialty vegetables and herbs, pollinator-friendly plants and crops that grow well in small spaces.
Farmers who grow seed for commercial-scale farms say that side of the business has been less stable because of pandemic-related uncertainties.