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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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Distillery Based On Discarded Bread Offers Two Key Benefits

August 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A start-up distillery in California has come up with a novel scheme to make money while cutting food waste. The idea is to turn bread products that can no longer be given away into vodka. Misadventure & Co. picks up a thousand pounds of bread from a local food bank each week. The bread is past its expiration date, but still useable. It is combined in a giant blender, and mashed into a sort of sweet porridge. Yeast is added to eat the sugar and create alcohol. This “bread beer” is heated to extract the alcohol that is eventually turned into vodka. The bread products from the food bank are free, so the beverages made can be sold for less. And it’s also keeping tons of food out of landfills.
Greg Bledsoe, "Your Corner: Turning Old Cupcakes and Bread Into Vodka", NBC San Diego, August 18, 2017, © NBCUniversal Media, LLC
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Food-Pairing Technology Can Reduce Food Waste

August 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
IBM scientists believe the same artificial intelligence technology that beat Ken Jennings in Jeopardy can also be applied to cut food waste. For now, the advanced algorithm they have developed pairs unexpected ingredients based on flavor compounds, viz., a pudding made with porcini mushrooms, or a burrito made with chocolate and edamame. The scientists say they can expand food-matching or food-pairing software beyond that, however, using the same algorithm to provide personalized meal plans that would reduce food waste and create varied meals for people who have severe dietary constraints. [Image Credit: © IBM Chef Watson ]
Catherine Ho, "Can a Computer Configure Food Pairings to Cut Down on Waste?", The San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2017, © Hearst Corporation
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Judge: Plaintiff In Added-Sugar Suit Against Kellogg Has An Adequate Case

August 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A federal judge in California has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Kellogg, agreeing essentially with the plaintiff that most of the claims made by the company about the nutritional value and wholesomeness of its breakfast cereals seem to be refuted by the fact that they contain “excess added sugar.” Judge Lucy Koh dismissed five of the claims because she agreed they were essentially harmless advertising “puffery.” But she allowed claims regarding 24 other products to move forward because “these products contain at least one statement that the court found was not pre-empted, non-misleading, or puffery as a matter of law." The case is Hadley v. Kellogg Sales

Company.  [Image Credit: © Kellogg ]
Matthew Renda, "Kellogg Can’t Duck Class Action Over Cereal Labels", Courthouse News, August 15, 2017, © Courthouse News Service
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Americans Support More Humane Methods Of Raising Chickens For Food

August 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Eighty-three percent of Americans say they want food companies to reduce “the suffering” of chickens raised for food, according to a poll. Americans oppose growing chickens so quickly they can’t bear their own weight; oppose live-shackle slaughter; and oppose extreme crowding in cages. They support keeping chicken litter clean and providing environmental enrichment, such as straw bales and pecking objects. NRG Research Group singled out Tyson Foods for censure, noting that its poultry-raising standards “fail to adequately address the most pressing chicken welfare issues.” [Image Credit: © Mercy for Animals ]
"Four Out Of Five Americans Want Restaurants And Grocers To End Cruel Factory Farming Practices", News release, Mercy For Animals, August 13, 2017, © Mercy For Animals
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Plan To Increase Royalty-Free Draw Of NZ Spring Water Sparks Debate

August 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Chinese-owned company has stepped into a big puddle of controversy in New Zealand with an application to draw as much as 580 million liters of spring water – royalty free – for bottling and selling in China. Commercialization of spring water is a prickly issue a month ahead of national elections. The leader of the country’s labour party is promising to crack down on royalty-free use of limited water resources. Creswell NZ Ltd., a subsidiary of Nongfu Spring, currently draws two million liters of water a year for bottling.
Matt Shand, "Chinese Company Seeks Consent to Draw 580 Million Litres of Pristine Spring Water", Stuff, August 13, 2017, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Use Of Biodegradable Materials Is Changing The Packaging World

August 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Companies in the food, beverages, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals industries are heavy users of returnable bulk shipment packaging, including pallets, bulk boxes, barrels, and plastic drums. It’s a $9 billion market that depends heavily on synthetic, petroleum-based plastics – the bane of the enviro-conscious world. Companies like Dow Chemical and Braskem, experimenting with environmentally-friendly packaging materials, are investing in bio-based polymers and biomass. New packaging options have led to another emerging trend that offers an ancillary benefit to vendors: they are more easily customizable in terms of height, length, and breadth. [Image Credit: © Returnable Packaging Resource ]
Matt Hamer, "Three Trends in Returnable Packaging", BakingBusiness.com, August 11, 2017, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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New Spray Coating Preserves Fruits Much Longer

August 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An advanced plant-based technology developed by South Korean scientists not only adds nutrients to fruits, it prolongs their shelf life. The technology comes in the form of a five-second spritz coating of Iron (III)-tannic acid-metal-organic coordination complex (Fe(III)-TA-MOC) for fruits. The spray forms a five nanometers-thick layer (more after additional coats). A field test that analyzed the post-harvest shelf-life of mandarin oranges found that, after 28 days of storage at 77ºF, more than a quarter of the uncoated mandarin oranges (10 out of 37) were rotten and covered with mold. Those spray-coated remained edible. A similar test on strawberries found that, after 58 days of storage at 77ºF, 56.3 percent of sprayed fruit were edible, but only 6.3 percent of the unsprayed. [Image Credit: © Ji Park et al.]
Ji Park et al., "Antimicrobial spray nanocoating of supramolecular Fe(III)-tannic acid metal-organic coordination complex: applications to shoe insoles and fruits", Scientific Reports, August 11, 2017, © Park et al.
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Health Consciousness Leads List Of Trends Affecting Beverage Makers

August 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage manufacturers are responding to a number of consumer trends in the U.K. this year, not the least of which is health consciousness. Governments and nutrition advocates globally have thoroughly demonized sugar, and brands have responded appropriately. PepsiCo responded with Naked Juice and the Tropicana Essentials Probiotics line. The company’s zero-sugar Pepsi Max was rebranded to Pepsi Zero Sugar in the U.S. Coca-Cola rebranded and reformulated Coke Zero to make Coke Zero Sugar. Red Bull introduced several exotic zero-sugar flavors targeting younger consumers. Other trends affecting beverage companies include drinks with functional ingredients, demands for sustainable packaging, and a significant increase in young teetotalers in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.
Kasia Kossakowska et al., "Health-Conscious Millennials Turn to Zero-Calorie Drinks", BeverageDaily.com, August 10, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Recycling Instructions Added To Nestlé Waters NA Bottles

August 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA says it is putting “How2Recycle” instructional labels on its 16-ounce U.S. bottled water brands, including Pure Life, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Ozarka, and Arrowhead. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a membership-based collaborative comprising businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies, created the “How2Recycle” label in 2012. The label is used by more than 65 brands and retailers, and can be found on thousands of products.
"Nestlé Waters North America Launches New Recycling Labeling across all Major U.S. Bottled Water Brands", News release, Nestlé Waters NA , August 09, 2017, © Nestlé Waters NA
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Sodexo Commits To Cage-Free Boiled Eggs, Pork From Open Pen-Raised Sows

August 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food services company Sodexo has added hard-boiled eggs to its commitment to use only cage-free shell and liquid eggs by 2025. The company says 70 percent of its egg use will be cage-free by spring 2018. The company also announced that 12,500 organizational customers in the U.S. will begin to source open-sow-housed pork products this fall to improve the humane treatment of animals in its supply chain. The moves all under the company’s Better Tomorrow 2025 roadmap for improved corporate responsibility. [Image Credit: © Sodexo ]
"Sodexo Cracks its Commitment to Buy Cage-Free Eggs and Open Sow Housed Pork in the U.S.", News release, Sodexo, August 08, 2017, © Sodexo
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Lucky British Pod People In Sainsbury’s Food Waste Test

August 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British retail grocery chain Sainsbury’s is testing a device dubbed a “Fresh Pod” that sits in a household refrigerator and absorbs ethylene gas emitted by fresh produce as it ages, helping to keep it fresher four times longer. The technology, already in use in many commercial fridges, could help reduce the average £700 ($900) of food binned by U.K. homes every year. A village council in the U.K. won £32k ($41k) from Sainsbury’s to test the devices among its citizenry as part of the company’s five-year food waste initiative. [Image Credit: © Fresh Pod ]
Megan Tatum, "Sainsbury's to Fund Thousands of Food Waste-Cutting Fridge Pods in Suffolk", The Grocer, August 01, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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New Coke Ads Deliver Recycling Message Through Animation

July 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new Coca-Cola stop-motion ad showing in the U.K. uses more than 1,500 recycled Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Smartwater and Honest Tea bottles and cans to get across the notion that the packaging is not only recyclable, it is recyclable over and over. The pun-packed ads, created by Ogilvey & Mather Berlin, tell of a romance between a Coke Zero Sugar bottle and a Fanta bottle who are separated, but continuously re-united, via recycling. The ads, to be shown in movie theaters and on social media platforms throughout the summer, are expected to reach 35 million Britons by the end of the year.
Simon Gwynn, "Coke dishes out verbal pun-ishment in quirky animated love story encouraging recycling", Campaign Live UK, July 29, 2017, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Active Organic Chickens Offer Perdue Some Major Benefits

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Poultry producer Perdue Farms is spurning traditional ways of growing chickens. Some long-time opponents – namely, animal welfare advocates – seem to approve. Representatives of the Humane Society of the U.S., Compassion in World Farming, and Mercy for Animals were positively impressed during a recent tour of facilities. They saw windows and light, and chickens flapping their wings and running around. The bright, airy environment and activity of the birds are very different from current methods of raising poultry. But Perdue acknowledges it’s not all about chicken welfare. The meat from more active, organically grown chickens is higher quality, more tender, and a different color. “Activity is the key,” says CEO Jim Perdue.
Dan Charles, "Perdue Farms Signs Up For A Chicken Welfare Revolution", National Public Radio, July 27, 2017, © npr
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PepsiCo Partners With Recycling Advocate

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo is collaborating with and funding the nonprofit Recycling Foundation’s efforts to increase recycling rates through local and national work. Less than half of recyclables in U.S. homes are being collected: 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons every year. The Recycling Partnership has helped more than 400 local communities improve curbside recycling for 17 million households. Last year, PepsiCo announced it would strive to redesign all its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025, and to partner to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates. [Image Credit: © PepsiCo ]
"PepsiCo Joins the Recycling Partnership", News release, PepsiCo, July 27, 2017, © PepsiCo, Inc.
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Growth Returns To Asian FMCG Market

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
FMCG growth in Asia is accelerating, according to researcher Kantar Worldpanel, with the personal care care segment leading the way. The overall pace of growth reached 3.4 percent in the first quarter, up from 3.3 percent in 2016, due largely to the strong health & wellness and convenience sectors. Value growth in food was up about 0.8 percent over last year.  But beverage growth was flat, indicating that consumers are “rationalizing their spending.” Dairy growth was healthy (4,2 percent), as was homecare (3.2 percent), but both were slower than a year ago. Personal care grew 9.6 percent, a major spurt over a year ago. “Self-pampering and indulgence remained important to consumers,” the company said.
"Asia Consumer Insights Q1 2017", Report, Kantar Worldpanel, July 27, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Consumer Watchdog Accuses Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Of “Greenwashing”

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The director of the Organic Consumers Association says Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand continues to “greenwash” its products, advertising them as “all natural” though they are contaminated with herbicides. The association recently sent samples of Ben and Jerry’s top-selling ice-cream brands to an independent testing lab for analysis. The lab found that 10 out of 11 samples tested positive for Roundup (glyphosate and AMPA) herbicide contamination. Cherry Garcia was the only flavor that tested negative for glyphosate or AMPA. Testing of nationally-distributed organic ice cream brands found that three out of four tested negative for Roundup contamination. The Whole Foods' 365 brand was found to be contaminated with glyphosate. [Image Credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
Ronnie Cummins, "Only One Out of 11 Popular Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors Tested Negative for Cancer-Causing Herbicide Glyphosate", AlterNet, July 26, 2017, © Independent Media Institute
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Senate Bill Would Ban Use Of Brain Damaging Pesticide

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Seven Democratic senators have introduced legislation to ban the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos, that has been found to cause brain damage in children. The Trump administration’s EPA recently denied a petition to ban the chemical on March 29. A federal appeals court on July 18 denied a petition by green groups to force the agency to reverse its decision and enact the ban. The bill, the “Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017,” was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and six other Democrats. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, attorneys general in seven states have formally objected to the EPA’s refusal to ban the pesticide.
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, "This Harmful Pesticide Should Have Been Banned Years Ago. Now It Could Finally Happen.", Natural Resources Defense Council, July 25, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Coca-Cola India Has Adapted To New Retail Landscape - Krishnakumar

July 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola’s India business says his company, one of the oldest in the world, has been able to overcome the inertia that often accompanies tradition and heritage by changing its business strategy when necessary to connect with consumers. This has meant expanding beyond a one-brand identity. According to T. Krishnakumar, consumer behavior in India has changed along with changes in retail. Mom-and-pop stores have evolved into a complex environment of more organized and larger-format stores. Today’s “hyper-productive” consumers are interested in traditional and local products, as well as new cultures and senses. Technology creates opportunities for companies, but it also heightens consumer expectations of brands. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola India ]
Ruhail Amin, "Coca-Cola's India mission is to grow beyond a single-brand company: T Krishnakumar", exchange4media.com, July 24, 2017, © exchange4media.com
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Company Says Sweet Potato-Based Sweetener Is More Healthful Than HFCS

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A North Carolina food ingredients company that specializes in pioneering applications of sweet potatoes grown in the state has developed a sweetener it says is a more healthful alternative to high-fructose corn syrup and honey. “Carolina Sweet,” developed by Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, is a 75-Brix (a measurement of sweetness), vegetable-based clean label sweetener that is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. CIFI says it naturally adds consistency, allowing for the reduction or elimination of thickening agents.
"Sweetening with Sweet Potatoes: Carolina Sweet Replaces Undesirable Ingredients", News release, Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, July 19, 2017, © Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients
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U.K. Relaxes Overly Cautious “Use By” Dates On Food Packaging

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Calling current rules overly cautious, the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency has issued draft guidelines urging supermarkets to scrap “use by” dates on packages of food that wouldn’t cause poisoning in favor of “Best Before” dates. The proposed rules also state that packaging should tell customers how to store food, and should display the snowflake logo to indicate that a product can be frozen. The goal is to reduce the 7.3 million tons of food a year, two million tons of which is due to it “not being used in time.” The guidance is “under consultation” until August. ][Image Credit: © NHS (UK]
Liz Dunphy, "Supermarkets are Told to Stop Telling Shoppers to Throw Away 7.3m Tons of Good Food Every Year by Scrapping 'Use By' Dates", Mail Online, July 17, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Courts Pass “Natural” Food Cases To FDA, Which Dithers About Definition

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food-related class action lawsuits have been rising over the last nine years, but dropped eight percent last year. A law firm that keeps track of the suits said the decline last year could be the result of the FDA grappling with the claim “natural.” There were 145 lawsuits filed in 2016, mostly in California and New York, alleging false labeling related to ingredients or the type of processing used in a product. The decrease in lawsuits seems to be related to the frequent application of the “primary jurisdiction” doctrine in food litigation. A judge can stay or dismiss actions pending an administrative agency’s resolution of a matter, viz., the FDA’s ongoing exploration of the definition of “natural." [Image Credit: © FDA ]
Deanna Pogorelc, "Fewer ‘Natural’ Lawsuits in 2016", New Hope Network, July 17, 2017, © Penton
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Proposed N.Y. City Rules Require Large Retailers To Cull Compostables From Trash

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New York City’s Sanitation Department, unveiling new rules implementing a goal to cut landfill dumping to zero over the next 13 years, is requiring chain restaurants and big retail stores to split waste into compostable materials and just plain garbage. Any restaurant bigger than 7,000 square feet, big box stores with more than 50 locations, and grocery stores bigger than 10,000 square feet, will need to separate out compostables. The fine is $100 per infraction. There is a six-month public comment period for the rules. [Image Credit: © NY City ]
Aaron Holmes, "Large Chain Businesses Must Separate Compost Under New City Rules", New York Daily News, July 17, 2017, © NYDailyNews.com
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SodaStream’s Frontal Assault On Bottled Water

July 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Israel-based SodaStream International is challenging the bottled water industry – particularly PepsiCo, Nestlé and Coca-Cola – with a new marketing campaign that features a fictional futuristic anthropologist explaining to schoolchildren about the “homoschlepiens” species. Those would be people of the distant past who bought sparkling water in environment-damaging plastic bottles. This confuses the children who, of course, use SodaStream machines to get their sparkling water. The ad dovetails with a couple of consumer trends: spurning carbonated sugary drinks, and embracing eco-friendly packaging and products. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi admitted to Wall Street analysts recently that the industry is seeing "profound change." [Image Credit: © SodaStream International ]
Lindsay Rittenhouse, "Our Biggest Soda Rivals Are Prehistoric and They Keep Trying to Shut Us Up: SodaStream CEO", TheStreet.com, July 16, 2017, © The Street, Inc
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It Takes A Village To Reduce Food Waste

July 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Composting is crucial to the fight against food waste, says a University of Iowa student and environmentalist. The practice would help cut the 18,000 tons of food waste that annually ends up in the Iowa City landfill. Composting involves different agencies and organizations, from food co-ops to supermarkets to local governments. But the best advice on reducing food waste is fairly simple. It comes from food journalist Michael Pollan who tells people to buy fresh ingredients in smaller quantities more often. It essentially means mindful thriftiness.[Image Credit: © OregonMetro.gov ]
Dot Armstrong, "Armstrong: Local Composting Will Help Reduce Waste", The Daily Iowan, July 13, 2017, © The Daily Iowan
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Enterprise Software Company Tackles Food Waste, Small Farm Management

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Enterprise IT software giant Cisco Systems says its products are being used to solve food waste and farm management problems. A start-up company that helps manufacturers and farms make use of extra food raised $2.5 million to buy Cisco's enterprise software. Boston-based tech start-up Spoiler Alert’s cloud-based software links food producers, food banks, and pantries. The company helps them track food they throw away or donate. In addition, Cisco’s software has helped smaller and rural farms connect their “Farm from a Box” units with Wi-Fi capabilities and an Internet of Things (IoT) system to optimize everything from water and energy use to guidance on farm management. [Image Credit: © Spoiler Alert ]
Stephanie Chan, "Technology that Helps Reduce Food Waste", News release, Cisco Systems, July 12, 2017, © Cisco Systems
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Coca-Cola Set To Boost Amount Of Recycled Plastic In Its Bottles

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In response to environmental pressures and concerns, Coca-Cola in the UK announced it will increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50% by 2020, up from a current target of 40% by 2020 for its UK and European operations. Many environmentalists believe the target is inadequate, Greenpeace UK points out that other bottlers are already at 50% and are aiming to be at 100% by 2020. Greenpeace estimates that the top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled plastic in their products, with none are aiming to use 100% across their global production.
"Coca-Cola to increase amount of recycled plastic in its bottles", The Guardian, July 12, 2017, © The Guardian
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Australia’s CSIRO, Veggie Producers Put Wonky Produce To Work

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s national research body hopes to stop the waste of $1.7 billion worth of wonky – i.e., ugly, misshapen – vegetables considered unfit for the supermarket by transforming them into saleable, nutritious food products. CSIRO is working with vegetable growers to grab the culled uglies, initially carrots and broccoli, and turn them into shelf-stable fermented products, nutrient-dense powders, and kids’ snack foods. A commercial participant in the project, Fresh Select, says it want to reduce the 15-20 percent of its produce that is unmarketable to five percent. It’s good for business sustainability and it reduces food waste. [Image Credit: © CSIRO ]
Lucinda Jose, "Ugly Vegetables Get a Fair Go as Food Scientists Strive to Cut Waste", ABC News (Australia), July 11, 2017, © ABC
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L’Oréal Uses Bioprinting To Create Live Skin Tissue For Cosmetics Testing

July 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA may not require it, but L’Oréal says it has ended live-animal testing of new cosmetics and has turned to alternatives such as EpiSkin, a lab-grown human flesh-like tissue available in more than 100,000 samples representing numerous ethnicities. And lately the company has partnered with biotech Organovo to apply advanced 3-D bioprinting technology (left) to create skin tissue with hair follicles. The technology would allow mass production of skin tissue for lab testing. It is not unlikely that the 3-D printed tissue will become, like EpiSkin, a profit center for L’Oréal. [Image Credit: © L’Oréal  ]
Laura Goldman, "L’Oreal Grows Human Skin to Replace Animal Testing", Care2, July 08, 2017, © Care2.com, Inc.
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Restaurant Reduces Food Waste Through Efficient Purchase, Preparation

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Brooklyn, N.Y., Japanese restaurant is expert at cutting food waste. Chef and owner Yuji Haraguchi’s Okonomi restaurant is so efficient at buying and using ingredients that he discards only two bags of trash a day. Every effort is made to use all parts of whatever meat and fish are purchased each day. For example, he buys locally caught fish from his own fish shop. The meat of the fish is used to make for Okonomi's Japanese-style breakfast and lunch. The head and bones are simmered for ramen stock that will be served at dinner. On a recent day, Okonomi served 69 breakfast meals and 59 bowls of ramen to 130 diners. Only one bag of garbage was tossed out at the end of the day. [Image Credit: © Okonomi ]
Fred Katayama , "Nothing Goes to Waste at Okonomi", Reuters, July 07, 2017, © Reuters
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U.K. Supermarket Chain Experiments With Smart Food Label

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is testing an advanced labeling technology to help customers avoid tossing edible food in the waste bin before its time. The company sticks a color changing label to packets of its own brand sliced ham. The smart label changes from yellow to purple the longer the packet has been open. It is sensitive to temperature as well, because an open pack of ham has a relatively long fridge life when kept below 5º C (41º F). The new label is being used on ham packages in all 601 stores and will be expanded to other foods if consumers like it. [Image Credit: © Sainsbury's ]
Lauren O'callaghan, "Sainsbury’s Launch Colour Changing LABEL on Ham Packets to Reveal When Meat is OFF", Sunday Express, July 04, 2017, © Express Newspapers
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New York City Expands Organic Waste Collection Program

July 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The N.Y. City Department of Sanitation is expanding its organics program of curbside collection of food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste to more residential areas. The expansion to more neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx means two million residents will be able to participate. The department's goal is to make the program available to all New Yorkers by the end of 2018, through either curbside service or neighborhood drop-off sites. The "organic" waste collected is turned into compost, a soil amendment, or renewable energy. [Image Credit: © NY City ]
"July Update: More than 2 Million New Yorkers Now Have Access to NYC Organics Curbside Program", NYC Department of Sanitation, July 03, 2017, © NYC.gov
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Sales Of Sustainable Cocoa-Based Confectionery Products To Reach $9 Billion

June 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sales of cocoa-based products that feature labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest alliance will reach $8.9 billion in 2017, according to Euromonitor, and are expected to grow 1.3 percent through 2020 because certification schemes build consumer confidence in cocoa-related products. Chocolate confectionery products make up the bulk of total sales of cocoa products that carry sustainable trade and farming labels. “Without investment in sustainable production, the future of the global cocoa industry is uncertain,” a Euromonitor analyst said.
Douglas Yu, "Chocolate Confectionery Contributes Most to Value Sales of Sustainable Cocoa Products: Euromonitor", ConfectioneryNews.com, June 29, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Advanced Card Technology Ensures Food Safety, Prevents Waste

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, getting food to the table devours 10 percent of the U.S. energy budget, half of U.S. land, and 80 percent of fresh water. But 40 percent of the food in the U.S. – $150 billion a year – is never eaten. Natures Frequencies is well aware that the biggest concern of U.S. consumers who ponder whether – and when – to throw out food is safety.  With that in mind, the company developed the Food Freshness Card, a laboratory- and commercially-tested technology to keep food fresher longer. The card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs, encoding information on a substrate. It helps assist with freshness all along the food chain, from farm to retailer to the home. The card recently won the United Fresh Innovation Award for the best new food safety solution. [Image Credit: © Food Logistics ]
"The Food Freshness Card: The Newest Technology in the Food Industry Wins the 2017 United Fresh Innovation Award for Best New Safety Solution", News release, Nature's Frequencies, June 28, 2017, © Nature's Frequencies
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Chefs Show That So-Called Ugly Produce Is More Than Just Edible

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thirteen chefs from around the U.S. recently tackled a food waste-related challenge: how to transform 300 pounds of wonky or ugly produce – otherwise bound for the landfill – into enticing and delicious appetizers, salads, main dishes, sides and desserts. Their cache of dreadful edibles included purple cauliflower, cherries, shiitake mushrooms, pears, fingerling potatoes, shallots, kale and carrots, all salvaged from local farms. The dinner the chef teams prepared was the highpoint of a three-day sustainability "boot camp" run by the James Beard Foundation.  The organization is on a mission to cut the estimated 571,000 tons of food waste generated annually by U.S. restaurants and food service providers by one third. [Image Credit: © USAF ]
Lela Nargi, "Is It Really So Offal? 'Ugly Food' Boot Camp Entices Chefs and Diners", National Public Radio, June 23, 2017, © npr
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Large Firms Tell How They Eradicated Forced Labor In Supply Lines

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has published a report containing case studies from 12 member companies describing how they got rid of forced labor in their supply chains. CGF says forced labor is an endemic social problem in global supply chains and cannot be solved by one company alone. The Cola-Cola Company, Unilever, Nestlé S.A. and Tesco all shared their experiences in dealing with the global $150 billion problem. [Image Credit: ©   CGF]
Emma Jane Cash, "Industry giants unite to eradicate forced labour in global supply chains", Food Navigator, June 22, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Greenpeace Targets Coca-Cola – And Plastic Bottles – In Social Media Campaign

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Greenpeace has launched a Twitter initiative that turns Coca-Cola’s summer marketing campaign into an anti-plastic bottle promotion. The organization blames Coca-Cola, among other plastic bottle users, for clogging the waterways and shores of the world.  Coke’s summer campaign puts exotic beach locations on its bottles – the very same containers “that are polluting the beaches and rivers of many of these holiday hotspots.” Greenpeace is asking followers to photograph Coke bottles found on shores or in the water and Tweet the images using two special hashtags as a way to get Coke “to stop choking our oceans.” [Image Credit: © Pixabay ]
Louisa Casson, "Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy = a gift for the End Ocean Plastics campaign", Greenpeace.org UK, June 22, 2017, © Greenpeace
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Marks & Spencer Experiments With Laser-Coded Fruits, Vegetables

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British retailer Marks & Spencer has begun selling avocados labeled with lasers. The idea is to eliminate the need for paper stickers, and save 10 tons of paper and glue annually. M&S hopes other retailers will adopt the technology, not only for labeling avocados, but other fruits and vegetables. The lasered label includes the shop logo, best before date, country of origin and barcode entered at checkout. The intense light of the laser discolors only the top layer of the fruit, and does not affect the fruit itself. 
Katie Morley, "Avocados with Laser-Printed Labels Go On Sale at M&S in Bid to Cut Paper Waste", The Telegraph, June 20, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Don’t Want To Eat Ugly Carrots? Then Drink Them!

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Two Australian entrepreneurs have come up with a spirited answer to the problem of ugly carrots. Often discarded, either by farmers or grocers, the wonkier of the orange roots end up in the landfill or as animal feed. But two farmers’ wives – their husbands’ Queensland farms produce 350 million carrots a year – have turned the unwanted cracked, marked, or just weird looking ones into vodka. With technical advice from a local winemaker, the two learned to reduce the carrots to "a sort of carrot soup stock" when it is distilled. The stock is then infused through a shiraz grape base. Each bottle contains 20 percent carrot. “We tell people to garnish their drinks with carrot sticks," Alice Gorman said. [Image Credit: © Alice Gorman / ABC ]
Jessica Hinchliffe, "Carrot Vodka the Latest Approach to Reduce Food Waste by Spirited Vegetable Growers", ABC, June 19, 2017, © ABC
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Wienermobile Hits The Road To Showcase Nitrate-Free Dogs

June 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After a year of experimenting, Kraft’s Oscar Mayer brand of hot dogs announced it has gotten rid of added nitrates and nitrites. The only remaining traces of those compounds are found naturally in celery juice, an ingredient used in processing. The product also contains no artificial preservatives or by-products. To make sure Americans know about the changes, Oscar Mayer has launched a summer Wienermobile campaign. The hot dog-shaped vehicles, driven by “HotDoggers,” will travel the U.S. distributing samples.
S.A. Whitehead, "Oscar Meyer Teaches an Ol' Dog New, Nitrate-Free Tricks", QSRWeb, June 15, 2017, © Networld Media Group, LLC
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