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Onsite Digestion Machine Could Help Restaurants Convert Food Waste To Power

November 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A start-up company that was spun off from a British university has developed a prototype of an onsite anaerobic digestion machine that uses microbes to convert restaurant and hospital food waste to biogas. The gas can then be used to create electricity for heat or power. The U.K. has more than 200 anaerobic digestion plants, but this is the first onsite solution. The entrepreneur who developed the prototype and launched the company out of her doctoral research is seeking the funding needed to commercialize the project within a year.  [Image Credit: © IntelliDigest ]
"University Spin-Out Turns Food into Electricity", Heriot-Watt University, November 10, 2017, © Heriot-Watt University
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Foods Meet FDA Pesticide Residue Standards That May Be Badly Out Of Date

November 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA reported that almost all domestic food, and 90 percent of imported food, it had tested was free of pesticides residues. Foods tested included almonds, fish, milk, soybeans, apples, cabbage, etc. Pesticide chemical residues were higher than federal tolerance levels in less than two percent – 15 out of 835 – of domestic food samples and less than 10 percent of import samples. However, the FDA tolerance levels may be too low, since they are usually set for healthy adult males, and they are years out of date anyway. They should be higher for pregnant women and children, according to the Pesticide Action Network, which advocates buying organic foods when possible.
Susan Salisbury, "Pesticides in Our Food Supply: What the Latest FDA Report Found", Palm Beach Post, November 08, 2017, © Cox Media Group
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British Chefs Donate Waste For Composting, Then Growing Produce For Restaurants

November 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A self-styled “food waste farmer” is teaching British chefs to rent plots of land, donate their waste food for composting, then grow crops for use by their restaurants. About ten London chefs are renting 1,100-square-foot gardens owned by Indie Ecology, which are worked by farmers to organically grow whatever fruits, vegetables, and flowers the chefs want. The goal of former chef Igor Vaintraub is to help transform the way chefs think and act about their impact on nature and the environment.  [Image Credit: © Vermont Compost Company ]
"Plotting to convert waste into taste", The Sunday Telegraph (London), November 05, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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An Expanding Global Population Requires Smarter Agriculture, Food Engineering

November 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As world population grows by 83 million people annually, by 2030 there will be a billion more people to feed on planet Earth. That can’t be accomplished without some serious innovation in food production and agriculture. The solution entails advanced technology and "precision agriculture" – digital solutions and advanced data analytics – that would boost crop production efficiency and improve yields, cuts costs, and increase crop resilience. Use of drones and robotics would reduce labor and energy intensity with remote, automated crop monitoring. Another way to expand the food base is by engineering meat protein that tastes like the real thing but requires much less land to produce than beef.  [Image Credit: © Whole Foods Market ]
Alison Coleman, "From Plantburgers to Cutting Food Waste: How to Feed the Next Billion", Raconteur, November 05, 2017, © Raconteur Media Ltd.
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Food Donations Up 20 Percent In Italy Since 2016 Food Waste Law

November 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Italians are donating 20 percent more food to charities since the enactment of a law designed to curb food waste, a politician says. The law, which went into effect in September 2016, expanded the types of foods that could be donated beyond products with a long shelf life. Cooked food, fruits and vegetables, much of it sourced from produce markets, cruise ships, and sporting events. can now be donated to the needy, said Maria Chiara Gadda.  [Image Credit: © Forgotten Harvest ]
"Donations Up 20% after Food-Waste Law", ANSA, November 03, 2017, © ANSA
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Lucozade Could Replace Its Unrecyclable Drinks Packaging

November 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British beverage company Lucozade Ribena Suntory says it is assessing what it can do about its purportedly unrecyclable drinks packaging. The U.K. Recycling Association recently singled out the company’s Lucozade Sport bottle as one of the worst offenders in the food and beverage packaging industry because it is “so confusing to computer scanners” and “often just gets chucked away.” In addition, the polymer sleeve the brand uses can be recycled, but only at one center in the U.K. After a dressing down by a government environmental committee, the company said it was meeting with recycling experts to find a solution to the problem.
Sid Hayns-Worthington, "Lucozade Poised to Change ‘Villainous’ Packaging after Recycling Criticism", Resource, November 02, 2017, © Resource Media Limited
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It’s Official: Hydroponic Cultivation Is Organic

November 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic farmers are hopping mad over a recent 8-7 decision – a final ruling, in fact – by the National Organic Standards board that vegetables grown hydroponically do not violate the principles of organic farming. The farmers argue that organic farming is all about “soil health, regenerating the soil,” and not about growing vegetables in nutrient-filled fluids. Hydroponic farmers, however, say their methods are more environmentally sound. Tomatoes, for example, can be grown with three to five gallons of water per pound of production. Growing tomatoes in open fields can use up to 37 gallons of water. Open field cultivation "uses more water, more land, destroys more natural habitat. I mean, what is the true essence of organic?" The government-appointed board advises the USDA on rules for the organic industry.  [Image Credit: © NDSU ]
Dan Charles, "Hydroponic Veggies Are Taking Over Organic, And A Move To Ban Them Fails", National Public Radio, November 02, 2017, © npr
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P&G To Spend $2.5M On Solar Panels For Chinese Pampers Factory

November 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. announced plans to invest $2.5 million in upgrading the electrical system at a Pampers factory in Luogang, China, with 8,500 rooftop solar panels. The system, which is expected to reduce both energy costs and pollution, will be designed, built, and maintained by Asia Clean Capital, which will also will cover all of the expense of the equipment. The solar panels will cut the plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions by 22 tons, carbon dioxide emissions by 34,733 tons, and water consumption by 64,835 tons over the life cycle.  [Image Credit: ©   Pampers ]
Barrett J. Brunsman , "P&G to install massive solar power system at plant", bizjournals.com , November 01, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Australian Scientists Create Machine That Turns Unsold Produce Into Healthy Snacks

October 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at Australia’s national science agency CSIRO have developed an extrusion machine that can turn agricultural food waste into healthy snacks, cooking ingredients, soup premixes, etc. Powders produced [left] can be used in smoothies, dips, sauces, spreads, pasta, noodles, or bakery items. Growers could use the machine to generate a secondary income line by turning unharvested produce – e.g., broccoli or carrots – that might otherwise be left on the field into high-value food ingredients or healthy snack products, scientists said. According to CSIRO, the machine is ready for commercialization; the agency is demonstrating it to growers to determine the level of interest.
Lyndal Reading, "Food Waste: Excess Crops Become Base for Healthy Snacks", The Weekly Times, October 31, 2017, © The Herald & Weekly Times Pty Limited
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Food Retailer Partners With Iowa Farmers To Obtain GMO-Free Pork

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
California food retailer Raley's has launched a program to offer non-GMO and antibiotics-free pork in its stores. The company has partnered with supplier American Homestead Pork, a group of 35 family farms in Iowa whose animals have never been given antibiotics or growth-promoting chemicals, and have never been caged. Family-owned Raley’s says it now offers more than 15,000 natural and organic foods. [Image Credit: © Raley's ]
Alissa Marchat, "Raley’s Partners With American Homestead To Offer GMO-Free Pork", The Shelby Report, October 30, 2017, © The Shelby Report
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Re-Used Bread Offers Many Benefits, Including Waste Reduction

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Disturbed by the amount of bread wasted around the world every year – about 1.2 million tons – a New Zealand university professor figured out a way to take unsold bread from supermarkets and make new loaves. Collaborating with food company Goodman Fielder, Aydin Berenjian [left] developed a day-long process that produces one ton of fermented bread that has a high profile of essential amino acids, high resistance starch, and a higher shelf life – up to seven days. It tastes like a cross between white bread and sourdough, and because the microbes used in the fermentation system are all probiotics, the bread benefits the digestive and immune systems.  [Image Credit: © University of Waikato ]
Caitlin Moorby, "Researcher Recycles Stale Bread Into New Loaves", Stuff, October 30, 2017, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Big Food Agrees To Clarify Food Expiration Labels

October 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fifty of the biggest players in the food industry, led by Campbell, Walmart, Kellogg, and Nestlé, are changing their expiration labels exclusively to “Use By” over the next three years. That means that by 2020, consumers will not have to deal with confusing labels that say “Sell By,” “Display Until,” or “Best Before.” The companies, all members of the Consumer Goods Forum Board, unanimously approved the change after concluding that confusing labeling that leads to premature disposal is one of the leading causes of food waste around the world. About 40 percent of food that is bought in the U.S. is thrown out often unnecessarily. About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted annually around the world, contributing to eight percent of greenhouse gases. [Image Credit: © General Mills ]
Leanna Garfield, "Walmart and Nestlé are spearheading a Massive Change in Food Expiration Dates", Business Insider, October 26, 2017, © Business Insider Inc.
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Nestle Bolsters Commitment To More Eco-Friendly Water Usage

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Seeking to quell environmental criticism of its water packaging and transport practices, Nestlé SA announced it is strengthening ties with the Alliance for Water Stewardship, whose certification process involves committing to improve water usage and gather data on water collection. The AWS will monitor whether 20 sites meet its standards on water use by 2020. Four of Nestlé’s water bottling plants in Pakistan and California are AWS-certified. Bottled water competitor Danone recently said it plans to make Evian the first major carbon-neutral spring water brand.
Corinne Gretler and Robert Williams, "Nestle Seeks Sustainable Label for More Water-Bottling Sites", Bloomberg , October 25, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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NRDC Pinpoints Sources, Amounts Of Food Waste In Three U.S. Cities

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) research explores how much food is being wasted in Denver, Nashville, and New York City, as well as where and why food is discarded, what types of food are wasted, and how much of that food was potentially edible. NRDC says food is the largest component of waste sent landfills in the U.S. –  nearly 22 percent. Organic solid waste in landfills generates the global warming pollutant methane. But it also indicates how much water, land, energy, money, labor, and other resources are being wasted in growing, processing, distributing, and storing that food. For the study, NRDC collected data from each city’s restaurants, food wholesalers, food manufacturers, grocers, and hotels. Six hundred households kept track of discarded food for a week.
Darby Hoover, "What, Where and How Much Food Is Wasted in Cities", Blog entry and report, Natural Resources Defense Council, October 25, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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San Francisco Requires Reporting Of Antibiotics Contained In Grocery Store Meat

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The San Francisco board of supervisors has passed a law requiring larger grocery retailers in the city report the type of antibiotics used in raw meat products they sell. Grocery stores with 25 locations or more will have to report antibiotic use by their suppliers to the city Department of the Environment. The department’s website would make the information available to consumers. Meat and grocery industry representatives have panned the law as costly, unnecessary, and potentially confusing to consumers. Last month, in a victory for the meat industry, the U.S. Congress repealed a law requiring that packages of pork and beef sold in grocery stores be labeled with country of origin. 
"San Francisco to Require Stores to Report Meat Antibiotics", SF Gate, October 25, 2017, © Hearst Communications, Inc.
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Clean Snacking Trend Will Boost U.S. Candy Market

October 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Researcher Packaged Facts forecasts a comeback for the sluggish U.S. candy market, thanks to the commitment by the industry’s biggest players to “clean snacking.” Both Hershey and Mars have announced commitments to “responsible ingredient sourcing” and “natural flavors.” Sales of candy products in the U.S. will surpass $41 billion by 2020, about 60 percent of which will come from chocolate candy sales. Packaged Facts defines “clean snacking” as a “balanced approach to nutrition” that includes snacks and sweets in moderation. [Image Credit: © Hershey's ]
Douglas Yu, "Nestlé, Hershey, Mars’ Shift to Clean Snacking Fuels US Candy Market Rebound: Packaged Facts", ConfectioneryNews.com, October 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Milk Producer Group Adds Examples Of “Fear-Based” Labeling To Its List

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA., has added more items to its list of foods found to be misleadingly labeled “non-GMO,” “no added hormones,” etc. The organization has launched a “Peel Back the Label” campaign targeting “fear-based” labeling such as non-GMO on foods or products that contain no DNA to modify – e.g., table salt – and “no added hormone” labels on poultry products that are already barred from adding hormones by federal law. New examples of deceptive labeling include canned sliced carrots with "non-GMO" labels, a "GMO-free" label on lettuce, and mandarin oranges. None of these foods have ever been genetically modified, the group says. [Image Credit: © non-GMO Project ]
"Dairy Industry Group Decries 'Fear-Based' Labeling", Rapid City Journal Media Group, October 22, 2017, © Rapid City Journal Media Group
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EU Guidelines Set Priorities For Preventing, Eliminating Food Waste

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The European Union’s new food waste guidelines target food donation to reduce spoilage and help poor people gain greater access. Nearly one-quarter of Europeans – 119.1 million people – in 2015 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion; 42.5 million of these were not able to afford a quality meal every second day. The idea behind the guidelines is to limit the generation of surplus food at each stage in the food supply chain (i.e., production, processing, distribution, and consumption). If this cannot be accomplished, the guidelines suggest, then edible food surplus should be redistributed for human consumption “where safe to do so.” [Image Credit: © European Union  ]
Katy Askew, "Europe Puts Food Waste in the Spotlight", FOODnavigator.com, October 18, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Many British Shoppers Would Choose Supermarkets Based On Food Waste Practices

October 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A survey by British charity Tearfund found that three quarters of consumers said they would be more likely to shop at supermarkets if they knew the stores reducing food waste, and a third said they definitely would. In fact, eighty percent said they would consider changing where they shopped for food if their store wasn’t doing enough to curb waste. As part of the organization’s Renew Our World campaign, thousands of people have taken an online pledge to waste less food at home and urge their supermarket to play their part too.
"Four Out Of Five People Would Consider Changing Supermarkets over Food Waste", News release, Tearfund, October 16, 2017, © Tearfund
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Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [Image Credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017, © Cargill
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New Beverage Dispensing Technology Being Tested In U.K.

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners is testing its Coke Freestyle fountain dispensers among students and staff at the University of Reading in the U.K. The machines work with refillable containers sold by the school that have RFID technology and microchips that interact with Validfill dispensing software. Customers choose from more than 100 brands, including Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, and Fanta, as well as low- and zero-calorie varieties, caffeine-free and still drinks. The technology ensures payment, keeps track of refills, and ranks drinks on popularity.
Andy Morton, "Coca-Cola European Partners to track refillable bottles on UK university campus", Just-Drinks.com, October 09, 2017, © Just-Drinks.com
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Nissin Reformulates Top Ramen Products For Health-Conscious Noodle Buyers

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Instant ramen maker Nissin Foods said consumer demand for simpler, more healthful food products was the force behind its decision to reformulate its Top Ramen product line with less salt, no added monosodium glutamate (MSG), and “fewer artificial ingredients.” The company says the reformulation – the initiative is dubbed “Noodle Zen” – means an improved nutritional profile without loss of “great taste” or a price increase. Specifically, the products now have 15 percent less sodium, no added MSG, and no artificial flavors.  [Image Credit: © Nissin ]
"Nissin Foods Top Ramen Finds Noodle Zen with Updated Recipe", News release, Nissin, October 09, 2017, © Nissin Foods
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San Francisco Grocery Delivery Service Uses AI To Cut Food Waste

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
San Francisco Bay Area food delivery service Farmstead, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, sources and delivers exact amounts of food in less than an hour in an effort to cut grocery industry food waste. Farmstead’s AI software helps customers select food items from a “carefully curated array of local farm produce and grocery products.” AI calculates and predicts users' habits to know exactly how much food to order from local sources daily, weekly, seasonally, and annually. Customers can choose one-hour, same-day and weekly services. Customers who are part of a weekly eco-optimized delivery route, their order is delivered for free. Otherwise delivery is $3.99; one-hour delivery is $4.99. [Image Credit: © Farmstead ]
"Farmstead Launches Nation's First Sustainable Digital Grocer in San Francisco", News release, Farmstead, October 05, 2017, © Farmstead
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P&G To Launch Fairy Bottle In UK Made Of Ocean And Recycled Plastic

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble is cooperating with TerraCycle to develop a new Fairy Ocean Plastic Bottle made from 100% recycled plastic and ocean plastic that will be launched in the UK in 2008. The company expects to make 320,000 bottles, the largest production run of recyclable dish soap bottles in the world made using ocean plastic. The project aims boost P&G’s sustainability and to drive awareness of the issue of ocean plastic pollution, inspire consumers to participate in beach clean-ups and recycle household waste. [Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]
"Procter & Gamble launches new Fairy Ocean Plastic bottle made from 100% recycled plastic and ocean plastic", Procter & Gamble, October 05, 2017, © Procter & Gamble
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Airline Reclassifies Unopened Snacks, Beverages As Safe For Future Use

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a bid to not only save costs but also reduce food waste, Air New Zealand has launched a program to recycle sealed and unopened beverages and snacks. Project Green, a collaboration of the airline, its catering partner, and the Ministry for Primary Industries, allows reclassification of unopened in-flight food and beverage products so they can be redistributed on future flights. So far more than 40 such products are included in the reclassification scheme. In the first month, the airline diverted 266,000 plastic cups, 480 kg of sugar packets, and 3.5 tons of bottled water from landfills – 13 tons total.
"Air New Zealand Recycling Unopened Snacks Instead of Sending Them to the Dump", New Zealand Herald, October 04, 2017, © NZME. Publishing Limited
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Wal-Mart Expands Sustainability Chemistry Policy, Demands Safer Products From Suppliers

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it has expanded its sustainability chemistry policy for consumable products, as part of the retailer's efforts to improve transparency, promote better product formulations, and widen its selection of sustainable products. First launched in 2013, the program covers about 90,000 products from 700 suppliers. As part of the commitment, Wal-Mart expects its suppliers to completely disclose chemicals used as ingredients in their products, ensure their products come with safe ingredients, and integrate sustainability into their product manufacturing.
"Walmart Strengthens Sustainable Chemistry Commitment, Reports Progress in Safer Product Formulation", Wal-Mart, September 27, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Judge Okays Agreement That Frees FDA To Enforce Menu Calorie Count Rules

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA will begin enforcing in May 2018 long-delayed regulations that require chain restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores to include calorie counts on menus. A federal judge in Chicago approved an agreement reached by the nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, representing the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumers League, and the Dept. of Justice, to stay further proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Earthjustice targeting the FDA’s delays in enforcing rules finalized in 2014. The agreement was reached after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on August issued a statement assuring the litigants that there will be no further delays or changes to the menu labeling rules.  [Image Credit: © Earthjustice ]
"FDA Agrees to Enforce Menu Labeling Rule in May 2018", Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 27, 2017, © Center for Science in the Public Interest
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Restaurants Struggle To Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
It’s complicated, according to fast-food chains that would like to sell more antibiotic-free pork and beef products. A lot more of the chains – 14 of the top 25 – have committed to serving antibiotic-free chicken, and would like to expand to pork and beef, but it’s not easy, according to an advocacy group report. Because cows and pigs live longer, they are more likely to need antibiotics to treat sickness. On top of that, the beef and pork supply chain is huge compared to that for chickens. The advocacy groups gave Panera and Chipotle "A" grades for efforts to curb antibiotic use in most of the meat they serve. At least two million Americans become sick and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.  [Image Credit: © Agricultured ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "Restaurants Make Gains in Antibiotic-Free Chicken, But Not on Beef, Pork", Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Smart-Label Technology Could Generate Millions In Sales Soon

September 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A smart-label developed by a University of Strathclyde business spin-out helps consumers track the freshness of purchased foods. Insignia Technologies is seeking funding to fast-track the commercialization of the technology, which was tested on a popular Sainsbury's cooked ham product in 1,100 shops in the U.K. The labels monitor time and temperature using a color-changing smart plastic that alerts consumers when food is nearing the end of its edible life. Executives at Insignia believe the business could generate £10 million ($13.3 million) in sales within the next three years. [Image Credit: © Insignia Technologies ]
Kevin Scott, "Smart Label to Cut Food Waste could Save Shoppers £150m", The Herald, September 25, 2017, © The Herald
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Nestlé’s Deals With U.S. Communities Result In Mostly Free Water Worth Billions

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is the biggest bottled water supplier globally in terms of sales, ahead of Coca-Cola, Danone, and PepsiCo. In 2016, U.S. bottled water sales reached $16 billion, up nearly 10 percent from 2015, outpacing soda sales as consumers increasingly seek convenience and healthful options, and worry about tap water safety. Nestlé dominates by accessing U.S. water sources spring by spring – at very low cost – promising communities jobs and new infrastructure in exchange for tax breaks and access to the scarce resource. The company pays a municipal rate for the water, or a nominal extraction fee. ($200 in Michigan.) Nestlé battles grass-roots resistance – “it rankles many because the natural resource gets hauled out of local watersheds for private profit” – with legal action.
Caroline Winter, "Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For", Bloomberg Businessweek, September 21, 2017, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Tesco Own-Label Suppliers Commit To Food Waste Transparency

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Major own-label food suppliers to British supermarket chain Tesco have agreed to start publishing their food waste data within the next year. CEO Dave Lewis called the commitment by 24 of the company’s biggest suppliers “pivotal.” Lewis said he believed that many other suppliers and retailers would follow suit in the next weeks and months. Suppliers were apparently influenced by a WRAP organization report in March that showed investments in curbing food waste earned positive returns. For every £1 invested in reducing food waste, WRAP reported, half the business sites had at least a £14 return. WRAP is a nonprofit organization whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. [Image Credit: © Tesco ]
Ian Quinn, "Tesco CEO Hails Waste Agreement with Two Dozen Suppliers a 'Pivotal Moment'", The Grocer, September 21, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Eco-Conscious Millennials Support Boxed Water’s Environmental Solution

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite the huge presence of bottled water globally, Boxed Water CMO Rob Koenen says the company will make inroads by building relationships with consumers, especially eco-conscious Millennials, to grow its packaging business and “make a positive impact on the planet.” A key strategy is engaging with consumers who are responsive to the sustainable packaging message. According to Koenen, the company’s social media community generates lot of the content as they share how they enjoy Boxed Water in their daily life. Millennials want solutions to environmental problems and will support solutions through purchasing decisions. “Consumers understand the depth of our commitment and that drives their loyalty,” Koenen says.
Hal Conick, "Why Boxed Water’s Brand Resonates with Millennials and Gen Z", American Marketing Association, September 20, 2017, © American Marketing Association
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USDA Says Its Organic Police Are Slacking Off

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The inspector general of the USDA has found that agency officials tasked with monitoring imported foods labeled “USDA Organic” have been sleeping on the job, allowing, for example, millions of pounds of imported conventional soybeans and corn to reach U.S. grocery stores with bogus certified-organic labels. The audit of the Agricultural Marketing Service determined that the agency could not “provide reasonable assurance” that those items from abroad are actually “from certified organic foreign farms and business.” The inspector general suggested that the USDA needs to find a way to get the organic food-monitoring staff to do its job properly. [Image Credit: © USDA ]
Clint Rainey, "USDA Warns That Millions of Pounds of Fake ‘Organic’ Imports Are Pouring Into U.S.", Grub Street, September 20, 2017, © New York Media LLC
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Food Industry Giants Seek Label Standardization Within Three Years

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An organization that represents 400 consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in 70 countries has proposed that food date (viz., "sell by," use by," etc.) labels be standardized and streamlined globally within three years to help customers reduce the amount of edible food thrown out by households. The “Call to Action” from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a Paris-based group with offices in Tokyo and Washington, D.C., requires retailers and food producers to focus on numbers of labels, inclusion of expiration dates for perishable items and food quality indicators for non-perishable items, and educating consumers on what date labels mean. The CGF includes companies like Tesco, Kellogg, Walmart, Campbell Soup, Bimbo, Pick n Pay, Nestlé, Carrefour, and Unilever. [Image Credit: © Consumer Goods Forum ]
"Companies Commit to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020, Reducing Food Waste", The Consumer Goods Forum, September 20, 2017, © The Consumer Goods Forum
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Kroger’s New Mission: No Food Waste, No Hunger

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Kroger Co. has embarked on a new corporate mission to reduce food waste and hunger in the communities where its stores operate by 2025. CEO Rodney McMullen noted that 42 million Americans struggle with hunger while 72 billion pounds of food end up in landfills every year. Kroger's Zero Hunger-Zero Waste plan includes commitments to: establish a $10 million innovation fund to address hunger and food waste; speed up food donations to provide three billion meals by 2025; donate not just food, but also balanced meals; and advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and shorten lines at food banks, and lobby governments on programs for recycling, composting and sustainability. [Image Credit: © Kroger ]
"Kroger Announces Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan", News release, Kroger Co., September 19, 2017, © Kroger Co.
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Thai Beverage Recognized For Eco-Achievements

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
ThaiBev joined the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World and Emerging Markets indices after it was awarded perfect scores from the yearly RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). The DJSI World Index represents the top 10 percent of the largest 2,500 companies in the S&P Global BMI. The company In 2016 recorded 12 percent less water withdrawal per hectoliter of finished goods, and recycled 10 percent of water resources it used.
"ThaiBev joins DJSI's World Index", Singapore Business Review, September 19, 2017, © Charlton Media Group
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Revamped Headquarters Reflect Coca-Cola’s New Corporate Mores

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has worked with international architect Gensler to renovate its 60-year-old headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. The idea was to provide workspaces that promote creativity, productivity, and engagement for the 13,000 employees who work there, and to visually represent the company’s transformation to a “true total beverage company.” Gensler and the company came up with a “Mainstreet Experience,” creating communal space out of the ground floors of six buildings and physically linking the buildings into a network. The 350,000 square feet of office space now features conference rooms, cafes, lounges, treadmill desks, sit-stand workstations in communal areas, soft seating, and two acres of outdoor space with patios and courtyards.
Diana Budds, "Coca-Cola’s Headquarters Have A Refreshing New Look", Fast Company Design, September 18, 2017, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Grocery Chain Tackles Food Waste With End-Of-Day Half-Price Bread

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Norwegian grocery chain SPAR’s goal is to cut food waste by 270 tons a year. One of the tactics for achieving this is to offer unsold freshly-baked bread at half off an hour before closing. The company tested the idea in a few stores, without any advertising or marketing. Bread waste dropped by 16 percent, which adds to 270 tons a year. Trial participants noted a boost in foot traffic in the last hour of business in addition to positive comments from customers. Any unsold bread is given to pig farmers. The company is also spreading the word among its 259 other stores using in-store posters and shelf markers. [Image Credit: © SPAR Norway ]
"SPAR Norway’s Food Waste Reduction Scheme", SPAR International, September 18, 2017, © SPAR International
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Boxed Water’s Tree Planting Project Is Achieving Its Goals

September 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Boxed Water, which sells water in recyclable cartons made using paper from managed forests, says its partnership with the National Forest Foundation has been successful over the last three years. The company, through its #ReTree project, has committed to planting more than 600,000 trees within the 193 million-acre National Forest System, and a million trees by 2020. Boxed Water is available in 500 ml, 250 ml and 1 liter sizes.
"Boxed Water Plants More Than 600,000 Trees Through #ReTree Campaign", News release, Boxed Water, September 13, 2017, © Boxed Water
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Evian Certified As Carbon Neutral In U.S., Canada

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s bottled water brand Evian, sourced from a French Alpine spring, announced it has been audited and certified by the nonprofit Carbon Trust in the U.S. and Canada as a carbon neutral product. The certification marks a major step toward a goal of reaching worldwide carbon neutrality by 2020. To help reduce its carbon footprint, the brand uses environmentally friendly trains and ships to deliver product to North America. In addition, all Evian bottles and caps are fully recyclable; the company expects all packaging to have an average of 25 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) by the end of 2017 in North America.
"Evian Achieves Carbon Neutrality in the U.S. and Canada", News release, Danone, September 12, 2017, © Danone
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Particle Accelerator Technology Leads To Food Waste Savings

September 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Technology used in the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator is being used by supermarkets like the U.K.’s Morrisons chain, to curtail food waste. An algorithm developed by Michael Feindt of the AI firm Blue Yonder not only predicts the activity of quarks, it accurately predicts supermarket stock needs so they can reduce the amount of unsold food that ends up in landfills. The Blue Yonder system’s efficiency savings come close to 30 percent, Feindt says, a considerable achievement considering that British supermarkets tossed 235,000 tons of food into the waste bins in 2015. [Image Credit: ©   Blue Yonder]
Ben Chapman, "How Supermarkets Use Particle Physics to Save Thousands of Tonnes of Food Waste", Independent, September 11, 2017, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Battling Hotel Food Waste Starts With Event Buffets

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Experts from a global design firm analyzed each facet of a Florida hotel’s buffet operations – it handles more than 5,000 event buffets a year – finding to everyone’s surprise that half of the food put out for guests was left uneaten. Only 10 to 15 percent of the leftovers could be donated or repurposed because of food safety regulations: the rest ended up in the garbage. More waste was generated by coffee, juices, and other liquids. The executive chef at Orlando’s Hyatt Regency says some changes being tested include: sample plates of meats and cheese instead of large platters; single servings of yogurt instead of big bowls; smaller amounts of bread and butter instead of big baskets; and substituting finger pastries for whole cakes and pies. The changes have already cut food waste by ten percent without guest complaints.
Linda Himelstein, "Hotel Buffets, a Culprit of Food Waste, Get Downsized", The New York Times, September 08, 2017, © The New York Times Company
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Battle Over “Country Of Origin” Meat Labeling Rages On

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A lawsuit filed by groups representing American cattle growers alleges that USDA regulations that allow imported beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products” not only confuses consumers and harms farmers, they violate the Meat Inspection Act. The suit says meat products should be labeled with “country of origin.” American consumers agree: 90 percent in a recent survey said they favored country-of-origin labeling for fresh meat. Such labeling had been required in the U.S. until two years ago, when the World Trade Organization determined that the requirements discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock. [Image Credit: © Temperature Climate Permaculture ]
"Large Majority of Americans Strongly Support Requiring Origin Information on Fresh Meat", Consumer Federation of America, August 24, 2017, © Consumer Federation of America
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Helping Needy Families Eat Healthy, Save Money, Cut Food Waste

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A year-old food education program launched in Western Pennsylvania by the group 412 Food Rescue is helping families save precious dollars by giving them access to fresh food and teaching them how to cook it. Since last year, more than a hundred needy mothers have benefited from the training, which also includes nutrition education. By teaching people how to cook, they immediately begin saving money by not eating out, and they eat healthier. One participant said the training also meant that she cut waste of vegetables in half. [Image Credit: © 412 Food Rescue ]
Smitha Rajan, "Don’t Waste that Food — Oops, Dollar!", Post-Gazette, August 23, 2017, © Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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McDonald’s To Work Toward Antibiotics-Free Meat

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald's announced it will phase out use cattle and pigs raised with antibiotics important to human medicine. It has already begun phasing out antibiotics-raised chickens in its 14,000 U.S. restaurants and the 36,000 locations globally. Meat suppliers in the McDonald’s supply chain will still be allowed to use ionophores antibiotics because they are not used to treat humans. [Image Credit: © Union of Concerned Scientists ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "McDonald’s Vows to Serve More Antibiotic-Free Meat, Targeting Beef and Pork", Chicago Tribune, August 23, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Coca-Cola To Fund Search For Solutions To Citrus Greening Disease

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
With nearly all commercial orchards in Florida infected with citrus greening, a bacterial plant disease caused by an insect, Coca-Cola company announced it is funding collaborative research between Bayer and a nonprofit citrus research organization to find solutions to the problem. A Bayer crop scientist said unless such a solution is found, the Florida citrus industry could be dead within 10 to 15 years. Researchers will try to identify biological disease control solutions, or compounds that control the plants’ immune defenses. Bayer will have the rights to development and commercialization of any discoveries that result from the research.
Journey Staff, "Coca-Cola Supporting Research Partnership to Combat Citrus Greening", News release, the Coca-Cola Company, August 23, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Plenty Of Demand For Wonky Fruits And Vegetables

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Imperfect Produce, which sells subscriptions for delivery of blemished and misshapen fruits and vegetable, is expanding from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Portland, Ore., and eventually to the Seattle, Wash., area. The idea for the company came from the fact that most grocery stores won’t sell scarred plums or odd-shaped eggplants. They are discarded, even though they’re perfectly edible. The company gathers the unmarketable produce from 70 West Coast farms. After just three weeks of marketing in Portland, the service has added 1,500 new subscribers.
Cassandra Profita, "'Ugly' Produce Delivery Service Expands to the Northwest", Oregon Public Broadcasting, August 23, 2017, © Oregon Public Broadcasting
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Teaching Bars To Use Food Waste To Make Creative Cocktails

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian has teamed with a Canadian to teach bars and bartenders how to put cocktail ingredients destined for trash bins to good use. The two, who refer to themselves as “Trash Tiki,” travel the world with a pop-up bar spreading a message of sustainability, one cocktail at a time. The two have taught bartenders and bar owners how to get more use out of lime wedges after spritzing into gin-and-tonics, and how to use ingredients like coffee grounds, avocado pits, almond croissants, and fermented pineapple to make flavorful drinks. [Image Credit: © Trash Tiki ]
Talia Ricci, "From Trash to Tiki Cocktail: How a Travelling Pop-Up is changing the Way Bars Think About Waste", CBC News, August 23, 2017, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Canadian Zero-Waste Grocer Gets High Praise

August 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Ottawa, Canada’s first zero-waste grocery store encourages customers to bring their own reusable containers to carry off their purchases. The goal is to eliminate packaging waste while selling dry food, fresh produce, and cleaning and beauty supplies. Nu Grocery store owner Valrie Leloup has not only won praise from Canada’s environment minister – “taking real action to tackle climate change, protect the environment, and employ a bunch of people” – she believes she has changed her customers’ minds about the problem of food and packaging waste. "I think that this store has triggered something," she said. [Image Credit: © Idil Mussa/CBC ]
"Ottawa's First Zero-Waste Grocery Store Officially Opens", CBC News, August 20, 2017, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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PET Bottle Collection And Recycling Effort During Festival Proves Successful

August 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nearly 4.5 tons of empty, discarded plastic PET bottles that once contained water, fruit juice, and carbonated soft drinks, were collected for recycling during the recent Kataragama Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka. The effort, dubbed “Give Back Life” to the recyclable bottles, was supported and sponsored by Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd., which partnered with a local waste management company to place an array of 1,000-liter and 5,000-liter bins in accessible locations. The festival ran from July 24 through August 10.
"Coca-Cola “Gives Back Life” to 4.5 Tons of PET Bottles in Katharagama", Daily Mirror, August 18, 2017, © Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.
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