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Vegan fake-meat takes China by storm

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Vegan fake-meat takes China by storm

The country that currently consumes about half of the world’s pork is rapidly moving toward a vegan revolution. 

China has an $86 billion meat market and is responsible for eating 28% of the global supply, with the average Chinese person devouring 11 pounds of meat annually. But that may soon change, The Guardian reports. 

This change is apparently due to a cultural and market shift toward more environmentally aware middle-class consumers, who are beginning to prioritize saving the planet over eating pork daily as a sign of affluence and success. 

Increasingly, there is a domestic market for Chinese individuals and institutions that are “willing to pay more” for meat alternatives because “they know they’re getting a healthier product that’s helping ensure the future of the planet their children are inheriting,” Franklin Yao, CEO of a plant-based mince producer in Shanghai, told the Guardian. “That’s priceless.”

Beyond financial status concerns, meat subs are carving out a slice of the market thanks to a new generation of consumers increasingly worried about by international food-related crises such as COVID-19 and African swine fever.

China’s plant-based meat market was estimated at 6.1 billion yuan ($937 million USD) in 2018 and projected to grow by 20 to 25% annually, according to 2019 report from the Good Food Institute.

Although the alternative-meat market is currently small in the country, Yao predicts it will soon be saturated and mainstream.

“Chinese consumers are actively looking for more sustainable products,” he told The Guardian. “While the link between meat and the environment is still weak among the majority of the population, the interest is there and China learns fast.”

The Chinese government is on board: In 2016, authorities pledged to bring down carbon emissions partially by asking citizens to cut back on their meat consumption. To advertise the request, the country launched a public campaign with action star Arnold Schwarzenegger and director James Cameron but it has done little to promote the cultural shift since. 

Fast-food purveyors are also on board, with international chains now offering Chinese buyers vegan menu options, from KFC’s vegan chicken nuggets to Burger King’s Impossible Whopper and Starbucks’ various Beyond Meat dishes. 

Chinese companies are also betting on the fake meat trend, although production costs for plant-based proteins can be prohibitively higher than those for real meat. The founder of Hong Kong’s OmniFoods is hopeful that in-the-works domestic factories will help fix this. 

“Obviously, minimizing logistics and middle parties and creating economies of scale will have a big impact on the value chain,” David Yeung said. “As we cut these expenses in China, we foresee a significant price drop.” 

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The best of the barbs traded at first NYC mayoral debate

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The best of the barbs traded at first NYC mayoral debate

The Zoom forum for the first televised Democratic primary mayoral debate didn’t stop the rival candidates from slinging mud across their computer screens, prompting leading candidate Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to declare at one point, “Ohhh they’re feisty!”

Here are some of the sharpest barbs from the showdown for the June 22 election :

“Don’t get me involved in your daddy’s problems,” City Comptroller Scott Stringer told former Obama housing director Shaun Donovan, whose rich father has given millions to an outside group supporting his son’s long shot bid.

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“With all due respect Ray, no one has that experience of really making sure we come back specifically from a crisis that you helped create in the Great Recession,” Donovan told former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, who shot back that he had “zero to do with anything involved in the mortgage crisis.”

McGuire then cited his 13 years as the head of Citi’s corporate and investment banking unit. “You know what they call that in my neighborhood? They call that receipts. He has blank checks,” McGuire blasted back at Donovan.

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“Mr. Donovan, we would hate to use the mute function on anyone,” questioner Josefa Velazquez from the news outlet The City said when the candidate interrupted her.

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“I helped swing those two races in Georgia that have helped deliver the Senate,” Andrew Yang boasted, attempting to make up for his lack of a voting record in local NYC elections.

“That is disrespectful and appalling to Stacey Abrams and those black women who organized on the ground. He needs to stop saying that. They won that fight,” Adams retorted.

“Given how close the race was let’s agree that anyone who spent a dollar or made one phone call helped contribute to the outcome there,” moderator Errol Louis interjected to stop the back-and-forth.

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Mortician shares details of working with dead people on TikTok

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Mortician shares details of working with dead people on TikTok

She sees dead people — daily.

A young mortician has gone viral on TikTok, sharing macabre trade secrets and talking about the most difficult parts of working with the dead.

Eileen Hollis grew up in Syracuse, New York, living above her family’s business, Hollis Funeral Home, according to People. The 31-year-old went on to follow in her father’s footsteps and studied mortuary science.

During her four-year career, she has performed “over 1,000 services” for the dead, which include embalming, cremation, hair and makeup. Her straightforward conversations about death and the morbid details of her job — from the weird smells to wiring jaws shut — have made Hollis a TikTok sensation.

In one video, she walks her 410,000 followers through the embalming process while doing her morning skincare routine.

“Because my hands are so small, I got to reach in and hold someone’s brain. So that was interesting,” she brags while holding a face serum that looks a lot like blood.

But Hollis claims that the job isn’t “as gruesome as [people] think” but can get difficult, telling People that “infant deaths are extremely hard.”

She also appreciates the chance to destigmatize conversations about death, debunk myths and inform people of their options. Viewers often have questions for her ranging from curious — like “what happens if someone dies wearing contact lenses?” or “how do you get makeup to look natural when the skin is stiff?” — to much more graphic — like “is it true you break people’s bones to position them in a coffin?” or “where do tampons go and who takes them out?” — which she gladly answers.

“You’re not morbid,” she assured one follower who asked about pregnant people dying. “It’s normal to be curious.”

Hollis’ unconventional look, with her pink hair, tatted skin and cat eye glasses, has been called “unprofessional and disrespectful,” she told People, by some in the industry that aims to stick to tradition. But working in the profession is just as integral to her identity — and part of her roots.

“I love working with my dad,” which she says is her favorite thing about being a mortician. Hollis lives nearby her father’s funeral home, but actually plans to move out of her “Hobbit house” and back into her family home to eventually take over the business — a growing trend for young people who are taking over the mortuary business.

In fact, Hollis isn’t the only TikTok mortician as #DeathTok is a growing niche community of viewers fascinated with the macabre. Other young death professionals have taken to the app to discuss the eerie tricks of the trade including @mybloodygalentine and @mortedeanubis.

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‘American Idol’ finalist Caleb Kennedy out after video surfaces

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'American Idol' finalist Caleb Kennedy out after video surfaces

“American Idol” top-five finalist Caleb Kennedy has left the show after a video surfaced showing him next to someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood.

A representative for the show confirmed to The Post that Kennedy will no longer be moving forward in the competition.

The singer, 16, posted a statement about his departure on Instagram Wednesday.

“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise but I am no longer gonna be on ‘American Idol,’” he wrote. “There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”

The remaining finalists include Willie Spence, Grace Kinstler, Chayce Beckham and Casey Bishop.

Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, gave a statement to MSN claiming that the video was taken when Kennedy was 12 and inspired by a movie he had seen.

“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” Guy said. “This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ and they were imitating those characters. It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know that’s how it looks. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.”

On Tuesday, Kennedy had posted an upbeat message on Instagram, thanking his followers for their support. “Hey guys! So glad to have y’all on the journey with me through #Americanidol,” he wrote. “Also really happy to be in the studio working on songs!! I love you guys so much!!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTEQXN6WZak

On the most recent episode this past Sunday, May 9, Kennedy performed a throaty version of the Coldplay song “Violet Hill,” plus an original tune, “Mama Said,” according to Heavy.com.

Mid-afternoon Wednesday, the show posted a Twitter teaser that Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas would mentor finalists in the upcoming episode on Sunday, but it did not mention Kennedy’s move.

It’s not the only shocking exit this season on “American Idol.” Wyatt Pike, 20, left the competition series after making the top 12, citing “personal reasons.”

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