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Here is what makes Impossible burgers possible

Steve Murphy

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Here is what makes Impossible burgers possible

You may have observed a meatless burger ‘bleed’ when you take a bite of it.

Well, that is a feature which firms like Impossible Foods introduced after years of research. The red color of the veggie patty before its cooking is a part of its appeal, letting it resemble raw meat.

As per Biochemist Smita Shankar, an engineered ingredient is utilized to give the unique bleeding effect to the veggie patty.

What is the ingredient?

To make a replica of a meat patty, the firm scanned plants and looked for molecules that mimic the protein which makes meat blood red. Impossible Foods finally settled upon something known as soy leghemoglobin, a protein observed in soy plants’ root.

Though the official Impossible Foods website endorses its meatless foods, Shankar said that no plant is really used in the process of making the protein. Instead, the firm inserts synthetic variations of the soy DNA sections into yeast. This, in turn, results in the yeast producing soy leghemoglobin during the fermentation process.

This ingredient is intended to be less than one percent of the veggie patty.

Do the new ingredients need approval?

Several ingredients do not need an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval. Firms often take the help of scientific experts in order to declare ingredients as GRAS (generally recognized as safe).

According to Impossible Foods, soy leghemoglobin successfully met this requirement back in the year 2014.

The FDA says that firms are responsible to make sure the safety of the food they sell. However, the agency has the right to determine an ingredient as not safe, the FDA further said.

But still, groups such as Environmental Defense Fund and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have constantly criticized the structure which lets firms self-declare safety determinations.

Advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against this structure.

Notably, Impossible Foods is not just utilizing soy leghemoglobin in its patties. The firm recently announced about it using the protein in a new fishless recipe.

Steve Murphy has handled various businesses throughout his career and has a deep domain knowledge. He founded Report Door in an attempt to bring the latest news to its readers. He is glued to the stock market most of the times and just loves being in touch with the developments in the business world.

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Disney execs promise ‘real change’ amid George Floyd protests

Michael Leahy

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Disney execs promise ‘real change’ amid George Floyd protests

Disney’s top brass weighed in on the the protests over the killing of George Floyd, as well as the devastating toll communities of color have taken in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney executive chairman Bob Iger, along with CEO Bob Chapek and company senior vice president and chief diversity officer Latondra Newton circulated a letter to employees Sunday night expressing their grief over the recent events. They joined Netflix, ViacomCBS, Warner Bros. and other media companies in expressing their solidarity with the black community.

In a letter called “Resolve in a Time of Unrest,” the trio said they are “struggling to make sense of the recent tragedies that leave us feeling overcome with sorrow.” They cited the killing of Floyd, as well as other instances of “lethal attacks and harassment of unarmed black citizens in our nation,” as well as the pandemic, which has ravaged the African-American community and “pushed the issues of racial disparity into the open.”

“While we don’t have all the answers, we resolve to use our compassion, our creative ideas and our collective sense of humanity to ensure we are fostering a culture that acknowledges our people’s feelings and their pain,” Chapek, Iger and Newton said.

“We also realize that now more than ever is the time for us all to further strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion everywhere,” the executives promised. “We intend to keep the conversation going, not just today, but for as long as it takes to bring about real change,” they concluded.

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Black businesses hit hard by COVID-19 fight to stay afloat

Michael Leahy

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Black businesses hit hard by COVID-19 fight to stay afloat

Detroit — Stephanie Byrd agonized over temporarily laying off nearly the entire staff at her family’s trio of Detroit businesses when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

But she’s not just concerned about the impact on their bottom line.

She’s worried other black-owned businesses will struggle to withstand another wave of economic uncertainty, following decades of inequity that made it hard for many to flourish in the first place.

“Most of the people I know who have businesses and are black are terrified right now,” said Byrd, whose family owns Flood’s Bar & Grille, The Block restaurant and the city’s Garden Theater. “There could be a new wave of black businesses that are able to reinvent themselves post-pandemic, but black businesses could also be wiped out for the most part within a black city. What would it look like without black-owned businesses?”

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted black Americans, infecting and killing them at higher rates across the nation. But experts say the pandemic has also exacerbated existing economic disparities and raised fresh concerns about the survival of black businesses, many of which have been the backbone of cities like Detroit and Atlanta for years.

They also worry the pandemic could widen the existing black wealth gap. According to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finance, the median white family net worth of $171,000 is about 10 times greater than that of a black family’s, which is $17,150.

Jessika-Katherine Naranjo Colina, left, and Bernard Kanjoma, who co-own the graphic design and marketing firm Naranjo Designs, pose for a photo in Detroit.

AP

Virus Outbreak Black Businesses

Jessika-Katherine Naranjo Colina, left, and Bernard Kanjoma, who co-own the graphic design and marketing firm Naranjo Designs, pose for a photo in Detroit.

AP

Stephanie Byrd

Stephanie Byrd, co-owner of The Block, poses for a photo with chairs on the tables while the restaurant is closed due to the coronavirus in Detroit.

AP

Stephanie Byrd

Stephanie Byrd, co-owner of The Block, poses for a photo with chairs on the tables while the restaurant is closed due to the coronavirus in Detroit.

AP

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Black businesses historically have struggled to gain access to financing due to discriminatory lending practices and a lack of relationships with big banks. But civil rights leaders and historians say their struggles are also rooted in the simmering effects of racism and Jim Crow-era laws that enforced racial segregation and denied black people equal opportunities.

“Structural racism has created an environment where black businesses are starved for capital,” said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, a civil rights and urban advocacy organization.

Juliet Walker, founder of University of Texas at Austin’s Center of Black Business, History, Entrepreneurship and Technology, said black enterprises existed even prior to the Civil War. They especially thrived during a “golden age” from 1900 to 1930 in areas such as Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District, known as Black Wall Street. But those moments were short-lived.

Tulsa’s once-thriving African American business community was destroyed in 1921 when a racist white mob killed hundreds of black residents. Black residents attempted to rebuild in the decades that followed, only to see their work erased during urban renewal of the 1960′s.

“Blacks were able to establish successful business enterprises during the age of slavery where black people had no political or economic rights,” Walker said. “Yet, here we are today and the position of blacks in business differs very little from the position of blacks during the age of slavery.”

Detroit was once home to Black Bottom and Paradise Valley — two predominantly African American neighborhoods, the latter of which had more than 350 black-owned businesses and a music scene that drew the likes of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday.

Both were wiped out in the 1950′s and 1960’s, when a nearly all-white city government allowed the construction of a freeway system through the heart of the neighborhoods.

Jamon Jordan, a black historian based in Detroit, said the pandemic could have a similar crushing impact on black American businesses.

“Each time this happens, the amount of energy and time it takes to recreate something that’s even as simple as what was destroyed is monumental,” Jordan said. “Even though the coronavirus isn’t the fault of a single per son or leader, the impact of the devastation on the African American community is part of a long legacy of discrimination and segregation for black people and black businesses.”

Some black business owners have also expressed frustration with the Small Business Administration’s $659 billion Personal Paycheck Protection Program, which was meant to provide small businesses with loans to keep employees on their payrolls during the COVID-19 crisis. The initial round of funding ran out in just 13 days, with complaints over lag times and confusion over the application process. However, the SBA made improvements in its second round and more than $100 billion remains available.

But the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group that works to end predatory lending practices aimed at low-income communities, said challenges remain.

“This is just a new public health crisis and economic crisis that is coming after so many decades and centuries of structural inequality,” said Ashley Harrington, the center’s federal advocacy director and senior counsel.

National Business League President and CEO Ken Harris said his team has been fielding hundreds of questions from members who are struggling to survive. The league, founded in 1900 by Booker T. Washington, is launching its own $1.8 million digital platform to help business owners gain access to funding.

“It’s going to be a rebuilding process and we’re going to have to focus on economic recovery,” Harris said.

Pinky Cole, the African American owner of the popular Atlanta-area Slutty Vegan restaurants and food trucks, said she’s been able to shift toward being a carryout business but others haven’t been so lucky. Through her Pinky Cole Foundation, she’s been paying the rent for small businesses that are struggling.

“Black-owned businesses, we’ve always landed at the bottom of the totem pole as it relates to resources,” Cole said. “We put our blood, sweat and tears into these businesses and everything you’ve worked hard for can be lost in a matter of days.”

Several business companies and entrepreneurs, including Facebook, Magic Johnson and Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, have announced plans to help businesses owned by people of color, but some worry the assistance might come too late.

The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, which represents minority-owned firms that serve the country’s automotive industry, took matters into its own hands and worked to identify lenders willing to help small firms.

“The difference for minority businesses is they can’t walk into a bank and get the same treatment and if anything, I believe COVID-19 has exposed much of our disparity,” said Michelle Sourie Robinson, the council’s president and CEO.

OneUnited Bank, the nation’s largest black-owned bank, announced its participation in the Small Business Administration program in April to help minority-owned businesses gain access to the stimulus funding.

“A lot of our customers as well as businesses who are in the community, I’ve counted on one hand the number that actually applied and got funded,” said Teri Williams, president and chief operating officer. “Our community was really getting shut out.”

On Thursday, the SBA announced it was setting aside $10 billion exclusively for Community Development Financial Institutions, which work to expand economic opportunity in minority and other under-served communities.

Bernard Kanjoma and his fiancée Jessika-Katherine Naranjo Colina, who co-own the graphic design and marketing firm Naranjo Designs, said they received an $8,000 loan May 5.

Kanjoma, who emigrated to the United States from Malawi, said their 12-person team has seen an 80% drop in business but they’re identifying creative ways to weather the crisis.

“We have been heavily impacted and it’s been challenging but I felt like all the hardships that I went through with immigration and everything else to be where I am now, this is something that is just going to blow over,” Kanjoma said.

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Fiat Chrysler to list robot-making business after Peugeot merger

Michael Leahy

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Fiat Chrysler to list robot-making business after Peugeot merger

Fiat Chrysler said it planned to list its robot-making business, giving new details on Monday about the future of Turin-based Comau, which it already planned to spin off.

Comau will be spun off shortly after FCA completes its merger with Peugeot maker PSA and its shares distributed to shareholders of the new group.

The deal to create the world’s fourth-largest carmaker is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of next year.

FCA said that it had appointed Paolo Carmassi as Comau’s new chief executive to pursue the listing.

For the past four years Carmassi ran scientific equipment maker Malvern Panalytical, a unit of Britain’s Spectris, and previously worked for more than 20 years at Honeywell, it said.

It also appointed Alessandro Nasi, a board member of Exor, the holding company of Italy’s Agnelli family which controls FCA, as Comau’s new chairman.

Exor is set to become the largest single shareholder of the combined group after FCA’s merger with PSA, and Comau’s top shareholder after its listing.

“The appointments … are a significant step forward for Comau as it prepares for life as a public company,” FCA Chief Executive Mike Manley said in a statement.

Fiat Chrysler shares were up 3.9 percent, at $9.18, in mid-afternoon trading.

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