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Period: April 1, 2017 to May 1, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Kraft Heinz Sets Social Responsibility, Sustainability Targets

As part of its mission to become “the best food company,” Kraft Heinz has expanded a commitment to three goals it believes will have the greatest global impact: combatting global hunger and malnutrition, boosting supply chain sustainability and protecting the environment. It will strive to meet these goals by: donating a billion nutritious meals to needy people by 2021; buying palm oil products in an ethical, transparent and sustainable manner (and only 100 percent certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil); and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste in its operations 15 percent globally by 2020 (baseline 2015).

"Kraft Heinz Strengthens Corporate Social Responsibility Commitments in Support of Vision to ‘Grow a Better World’", News Release, Kraft Heinz, March 21, 2017

Nestle Shows How To run A Dairy Factory With Waste Water

To celebrate World Water Day recently, Nestlé issued a press release describing the water conservation efforts of one of its factories in Mexico. The Nestlé dairy facility became the company’s first “zero water” manufacturing site in the world. Located in the central, water-stressed state of Jalisco, the factory turned off the taps completely, transforming its water consumption from 1.6 million liters a day to zero. The factory no longer draws water from the ground or water mains. It gets all its water from the milk it processes. It takes fresh cow’s milk – 88 percent water – heats it at low pressure to remove some of its water content. The steam is condensed, treated and used to clean the evaporating machines. The water is collected again, purified and recycled again.

"A Significant Drop", News release, Nestlé, March 22, 2017

Portland Ice Cream Parlor Uses Discarded Flavor Ingredients In Its Products

A small-batch ice cream shop in Portland, Ore., with a reputation for adventurousness in flavor combinations, is applying its expertise to a social/environmental cause – namely, food waste. Salt & Straw’s June menu will be featuring flavors of food that were otherwise destined for the trash bins. Included in the offerings at the artisan eatery, for examples, will be rum-soaked spices salvaged from the nearby East Side Distilling company, including Moroccan peppercorns, Sri Lankan cinnamon, Mexican vanilla, and California orange peel. The flavors will be re-steeped in cream and blended into frozen treats. Local food redistributors and anti-food waste organizations Urban Gleaners and the Portland Fruit Tree Project are collaborating with Salt & Straw on the project. 

"American Ice Cream Parlor is Making Flavors from Recycled Food", Stuff, April 06, 2017

New Bottle Is Edible, Compostable, And Spherical

Three London, U.K.-based university design students have developed a sphere-shaped gelatinous bottle, both edible and compostable, that they feel is ready for its market debut. An alternative to plastic bottles – and a potential solution to accumulation of them in landfills – Ooho is being developed by Skipping Rocks Lab. It is based on a technology known as spherification. A ball of ice is dipped in calcium chloride and brown algae extract. It forms a spherical membrane that keeps holding the ice as it melts and returns to room temperature. The membrane is edible – it can be flavored – and compostable. The company sees sales potential at cafes and outdoor events, like festivals and marathons, in fact anyplace people consume a lot of packaging in a short time.

"This Edible Water Bottle Is How You’ll Drink In The Future", Fast Company, April 10, 2017

Fighting Food Waste Has Become A Scottish Obsession

Scots, especially those who dine out frequently, have come to terms with the fact that more than 53,000 tons of food are wasted each year in Scottish restaurants, and two-thirds of it could have been prevented. If they were ever skittish (or snooty) about using doggie bags or boxes, for instance, they are much less so now. More than 100 restaurants have committed to Scotland’s Good to Go scheme, under which eateries automatically pack leftover food in branded boxes and give it back to diners. A small change, yes, but experts say it could keep more than 800,000 edible leftover meals a year out of trash bins. It’s just one of the initiatives that have won Scotland a growing reputation as a leader in food waste prevention. 

"How Scotland Has Food Waste All Wrapped Up", The Grocer, April 10, 2017

There’s Gold In That There Food Waste, In The Bay Area Anyway

San Francisco Bay area entrepreneurs and established companies are paying close attention to food waste and discarded food manufacturing byproducts, especially the kind that can be turned into a profitable new product. ReGrained, for example, “upcycles” spent grain from craft breweries into granola bars that are now sold in regional grocery stores. Forager Project’s basic business is making juice, yogurt and nut milk. But it recently figured out that the vegetable pulp it was composting from its juice-making business would make good veggie chips. Its products are now sold at Whole Foods and Safeway. 

"A group of savvy entrepreneurs has started companies based on upcycling food byproducts", San Francisco Business Times (California), April 13, 2017

Campus Food Giveaway A Big Success At Johns Hopkins

A Johns Hopkins University undergraduate partnered with a recent graduate to launch a project to give away food left over from campus events as a way to keep edible leftovers out of the dumpsters. Sponsors of campus events were surveyed to see if they were receptive to the idea, and 70 percent said they were. Students themselves were overwhelmingly in favor. Nemo Keller and Leana Houser then conducted a trial of the Free Food Waste Remediation initiative during the recent spring open house weekend (SOHOP) at the Homewood campus (Baltimore, Md.). Initially the idea was to just donate leftover food to worthy causes, but the logistics were too complicated. They instead tried email blasts to students, telling them when and where the food was available. It worked because, after all, “Who doesn’t want free food?” Keller said. 

"Free Food Initiative Reduces Waste on Campus", The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, April 13, 2017

Companies Succeeding As “Upcyclers” Of Discarded Food, Processing Waste

A food industry census conducted by the nonprofit coalition ReFED has found an “explosion” since 2014 in the number of new companies developing and marketing products from food -- and food processing -- waste. Eleven such companies existed in 2011, twice that two years later, and now there are more than five times that number (64 total). They’re selling fish cakes made with undesirable fish species, jams and other products made from ugly fruit, beer from stale bread, flour from discarded coffee fruit, chips from juice pulp, vodka distilled from leftover strawberries, and other “upcycled” products. According to the executive director of ReFED, when companies began to take a close look at how much food was being wasted, “the economics of food waste solutions began to look a lot more attractive.” 

"The Hot New Trend in Food is Literal Garbage", The Washington Post, April 19, 2017

L'Oreal USA Starts Building Commercial Solar Array In Kentucky

L’Oreal USA started building a commercial solar array at its manufacturing plant in Florence, Kentucky. Expected to be completed by September 2017, the array will feature 4,140 solar panels. L’Oreal USA expects the solar array, which is being built by contractor Scenic Hill Solar, will give the company 1.42 megawatts of renewable solar power, locking in electricity costs for the next 30 years.

"P&G competitor begins construction of massive Greater Cincinnati solar project", Cincinnati Business Courier, April 20, 2017

Egg Yolks, Whites And, Yes, Shells – They’re All Good For You

Eating food waste is a solution to the food loss problem that few people talk about. But one food writer says egg shells, usually tossed in the bin but also increasingly composted, can be processed at home and eaten. There are the obvious environmental benefits to that scheme, but there are also nutritional benefits. The main one being, of course, the essential nutrient calcium, in the form of calcium carbonate. The first step is to boil the shells to rid them of bacteria. Then bake them, grind them to a fine powder, and add to foods such as bread, pizza dough and spaghetti. But be aware that the average adult needs only one gram of calcium a day. More than that can be harmful. 

"The Reason Why You Should Be Eating Your Eggshells - and How to Prepare Them Safely", Daily Mirror, April 20, 2017

Feeding America Fights Hunger And Food Waste With New Technology

A large food rescue and hunger relief organization has launched a novel technology that takes the complexity out of donating food. Feeding America’s free MealConnect platform identifies food that might have gone to waste – e.g., a small load of meat from a local butcher, a box of tomatoes from a farmers market, etc. – and, using a clever algorithm, directs the rescued food to the appropriate Feeding America food pantries and meal programs. Food businesses of all sizes can post surplus food on MealConnect. A $1 million grant from General Mills has helped develop the technology, and will also help support efforts to expand MealConnect to communities across the country. The Feeding America network serves 46 million people nationwide through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries and feeding programs. 

"Feeding America Launches MealConnect Technology Platform to Help Reduce Food Waste and End Hunger", News release, Feeding America, April 20, 2017

Danish Supermarkets Look For Ways To Cut Food Waste In Half By 2030

Although Danish holding company Dansk Supermarked says only 2.5 percent of the food it buys for its constituent grocery chains is discarded, that still adds up to more than 33,400 tons of mostly edible perishables a year. Seventy percent comprises fruit, vegetables and bread, a lot of which is converted to animal feed or biomass. The company hopes to change all of that, and cut food waste in half by 2030, with the help of new ideas, processes and technology. Its employees will dialogue with customers, suppliers, and organizations fighting against food waste. Customer support is certainly there, the company says: a survey found that 44 percent of Danes believe conquering food waste would go a long way toward reducing man-made climate change. 

"Supermarket Chain Ups its Efforts to Reduce Food Waste", CPH Post, April 25, 2017

U.K. Supermarket Chain Launches Coffee Grounds Giveaway Program

A Morrisons supermarket is giving away spent coffee grounds collected from its in-store café to its green thumbed customers. The grounds are bagged by the store, and there is no limit to the number a customer may take. Coffee grounds make great fertilizer, either in composting, or simply placed around plants in the garden. Grounds are rich in nitrogen, and encourage the growth of beneficial micro-organisms. They are also said to attract earthworms. Morrisons uses 316 tons of coffee beans to make 18 million cups a year in its cafés. The coffee recycling program will be expanded nationwide in late April.

"Used Coffee Ground Waste to Help to Fertilize Largs’s Gardens", Largs & Millport News, April 26, 2017

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