On Friday, the three men were charged with stealing more than $US600,000 ($860,000) worth of wild succulents from public lands and attempting to smuggle them into Asia, where a lucrative black market for the trendy houseplants is flourishing. The bust, which led to the seizure of more than 3700 plants - weighing 300 kilograms - was part of a larger crackdown on succulent poachers who are believed to be part of international smuggling rings. Overseas, the plants retail for as much as $70 each, according to wildlife officials, and are a highly prized consumer good among the growing middle class.
One major fast-food chain that has not ruled out selling a plant-based burger is McDonald’s. A few months ago, the company worked with Nestlé to test a meatless patty in Germany, the Big Vegan TS. For now, though, top McDonald’s executives seem unconvinced that bringing the burger to the United States makes financial sense.