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Period: December 15, 2017 to January 1, 2018
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

British Government Issues New Standards On Food Storage

The British government and anti-waste organizations have issued an advisory on ways to cut food waste through better storage practices. Supermarkets will be expected to use a new Little Blue Fridge icon for foods that should be kept chilled at home, or benefit from being kept in the fridge to prevent them going bad. The icon will be placed on many foods not typically kept in the refrigerator, including fruits like apples, pears, and oranges. In addition, supermarkets should only select a Use By date when there is a food safety concern. A Best Before date should be used otherwise. Stores must also include only one date label on any product, and no Display Until date. The anti-waste charity Wrap says businesses are also exploring whether the Open Life date on bagged salads could be extended so people would have an extra day to eat the salad once opened. 

"Keep Apples and Oranges in the Fridge and Not in the Fruit Bowl, New Guidance Says", The Telegraph, November 29, 2017

Book Provides Details Of Humane “Clean Meat” Technology

A new book, available for purchase in January, details the advanced technology behind “clean meat,” animal-based protein that is produced in a bioreactor using living cells from cattle. The cells are replicated to produce food-grade beef, bypassing the necessity of killing and butchering animals. The technology could redefine the entire animal agriculture industry, resulting in meat, eggs and dairy products that are identical to familiar animal protein foods. The new book is Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, by Paul Shapiro, vice-president of policy at the Humane Society of the United States.

"‘Clean Meat’ could be a Major Revolution for the Agriculture Sector", The Globe and Mail, November 30, 2017

How Online Grocery Shopping Could Worsen Food Waste Problem

The increase in the number of online food grocery options may exacerbate America’s food waste problem: 130 billion pounds of food are wasted a year. Online grocery sales are growing at an incredible pace. Amazon’s U.S. grocery sales, for example, surged 93 percent year-on-year to $575 million in the third quarter of 2017. But a new scientific paper by a Hofstra University professor says that trend could make the food waste problem even worse. Consumers shopping in a store invest energy and time buying food, and feel responsible for its use and disposal. But with online food purchases, that energy is transferred to the store’s employees. This impacts the “psychological ownership” of the food, reducing responsibility. And that leads to food waste.

"Could e-Commerce Boost Food Waste vs Conventional Retail?", FOODnavigator-USA.com, December 04, 2017

Reduction Of Food Waste Is Only One Benefit Of N.Y. City App

New York-based goMkt, which provides a multi-channel, end-to-end smartphone platform to manage food and organics waste streams, has launched a food shopping app designed to match consumers with retailers offering discounted food that could otherwise go to waste. Participating retailers advertise on the app in the form of discounted "flash sales." Once an offer is published, goMkt users can then make a purchase before heading to the retailer to pick up their items. Transactions are completed electronically, and thus seamlessly. Aside from the savings – and helping to reduce food waste – consumers connect with their favorite stores to easily find discounts and specialty items, as well as discovering new locations. 

"With U.S. Food Waste Topping $200 Billion a Year, goMkt Launches New Service ", News release, goMkt, December 12, 2017

Proper Marketing Could Boost Foods Made With Discarded Ingredients

A Drexel University study found strong evidence that value-added surplus food products (VASP) – made from discarded ingredients – would find consumer acceptance and even preference. In addition, the researchers said, converting surplus foods into value-added products would feed people, create opportunities for employment and for entrepreneurship, and lower the environmental impact of wasted resources. Specifically, the study found that participants: identified value-added foods as a unique category, separate from organic and conventional foods; preferred the label terms upcycled and reprocessed to other terms, such as rescued or reclaimed; and said consuming value-added products will generate greater benefits to others than themselves. 

"Finding Value in Surplus Food: Study Finds High Levels of Consumer Acceptance", FOODnavigator.com, December 14, 2017

Morton Salt Attacks Food Waste With Consumer Education Campaign

Morton Salt has launched a campaign to educate consumers about food waste and “create opportunities for broad-scale change.” The “Erase Food Waste” campaign includes a video directed by Oscar-nominated director Bryan Buckley that will be shown on digital and social platforms during the holiday season. The integrated campaign also includes out-of-home advertising, chef and influencer partnerships, and educational tools. At the heart of the campaign is the "Questions" video series, which sheds light on the food waste epidemic through biting social commentary. The idea is to challenge viewers to question the behaviors that lead to food waste at home, dining out or when shopping. The videos feature tongue-in-cheek scenarios that pivot to a powerful ending.

"Morton Salt is Getting Salty About Food Waste", News release, Morton Salt, December 18, 2017

Big Grocery Chains Can Do A Lot To Reduce Food Waste

Three business and management scholars writing in the Harvard Business Review suggest several ways large food retailers – Kroger, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Carrefour, Walmart, etc. – can help reduce food waste in their supply chain, stores, and communities. The four-pronged strategy includes the following suggestions: upgrade inventory systems with the latest technology; partner with farms, where seven percent of U.S. produce is left unharvested; modify or eliminate traditional store practices that increase waste, e.g., focusing too heavily on the cosmetics of produce; and team up with consumers, only three percent of whom attach a social stigma to throwing away food.

"How Large Food Retailers Can Help Solve the Food Waste Crisis", Harvard Business Review, December 19, 2017

Harnessing Information/Communication Technology To Study Food Sharing

Though urban food-sharing initiatives are gaining momentum in the U.S., not much is known about the impact of activities on cities or on the nation as a whole. There is very little data that can be shared with municipal governments or with the citizenry. ShareCity is trying to plug that data gap by collating information on the nearly 4,000 initiatives – especially those using information and communication technologies – identified in 100 cities in 43 countries. It created a project website with an accessible online database. The organization found that food sharing occurs not only in urban areas celebrated for being “smart cities,” but also in cities facing immense social, economic and environmental challenges. Ultimately, the database allows for more consistent and comparable analysis of how food sharing is accomplished globally. 

"Food Sharing as a Means to Reduce Waste and Boost Urban Sustainability", Phys.org, December 21, 2017

Fermentation Of Veggies: One Tactic In War On Food Waste

A farm family in Maine has hit upon a healthful and tasty solution to the food waste, especially vegetable waste, problem. Each day they take vegetables from their farm that were not sold at the local farmers market and ferment them using brine, or just salt, in jars stored for later consumption. Fermented vegetables are filled with nutrients, digestive enzymes and "good bacteria" known as probiotics, as are other fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, yogurt, and beet kvass (fermented beet juice). Says Mary Margaret Ripley: “It's inexpensive, it's a way to use extra vegetables before they go bad, and it results in healthy, flavorful food.”

"How to Reduce Waste with Fermented Vegetables", Bangor Daily News, December 27, 2017

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