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Canadian Grocers Use Smartphone App To Get Surplus Food To Consumers

May 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery retailers in Ontario, Canada, have partnered with the developer of an app designed to make it easier to sell unsold surplus food to consumers at big discounts. Flashfood app users are notified and can dial up deals on their phones for food that is three days to a month away from its best-before date. Users then pay using their phones and visit the Flashfood zones in the stores to pick up purchases. Grocery retailers Farm Boy and Longo say they have diverted kept more than 1,500 meals from landfills. [Image Credit: © Flashfood ]
"Major Ontario Grocery Chains Set Precedent to Reduce Food Waste", News release, Flashfood, May 24, 2017, © Flashfood
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P&G Supports Campaign For Sustainable Forest Management In Carolinas

May 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Company joined the American Forest Foundation, International Paper, and 3M Company to establish the Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative. Focusing on the Coastal Carolinas Plain, the campaign seeks to educate and work with family woodland owners to promote sustainable forestry, forest certification, improvement of habitats for endangered species, and conservation of bottomland hardwood forests in the region. As part of the initiative, the corporate partners will provide $285,000 to AFF to support the organization's forest sustainability efforts in North and South Carolina.
"3M, International Paper, P&G Team Up in the Name of Sustainable Forestry", Sustainable Brands, May 23, 2017, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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State Governments Target Hunger, Food Waste, Environment

May 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As debates rage at the national level over healthcare, immigration policy, and other issues, state governments are tackling more mundane local problems like food waste, hunger, and environmental protection. California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont already have laws on the books that restrict the amount of food and other organic waste (e.g., soiled and compostable paper and yard waste) that can be dumped in landfills. Maryland, New Jersey and New York are pondering similar laws. States are offering tax breaks to farmers and small businesses that donate food rather than throw it into the landfill. They are also limiting the liability of food donors, and standardizing “use by” labels so consumers don’t toss food that is still edible. It’s a significant endeavor: one in seven Americans suffers from “food insecurity,” defined as “limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”
Jon Frandsen, "States Try to Reduce Food Waste with New Laws", SF Gate, May 22, 2017, © Hearst Communications, Inc.
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Airport Donates Unsold Concession Foods To Needy

May 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Austin, Texas, airport has launched a program to salvage and share unopened, unsold concession foods with the 180,000 needy citizens of the city. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s Food Rescue Program has partnered with its concessionaires and with the nonprofit Keep Austin Fed to donate the food rather than sending it to the landfill. Begun in March, the program collected and donated more than 3,500 unsold food products in the first month, including sandwiches, salads, snack boxes and buns. The long-range goal of the program is to help reduce the 40 percent of food wasted in America. [Image Credit: © Austin-Bergstrom Airport ]
"Unsold sandwiches, salads donated to Keep Austin Fed", News release, City of Austin (Texas), May 22, 2017, © City of Austin
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Unilever Names New VP Of Sustainable Business Development

May 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has appointed Weber Shandwick's Benelux CEO Annick Boyen as vice president of sustainable business development and communications for Europe. Boyen, who has had a 22-year career with Weber Shandwick, will also manage Unilever's external affairs operation in Brussels. She will report to Sue Garrard, Unilever's global SVP of sustainable business development in the UK, and Europe president Jan Zijderveld.
Arun Sudhaman, "Annick Boyen Departs Weber Shandwick For Senior Unilever Role", The Holmes Report, May 18, 2017, © The Holmes Report
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Sustainable Living Brands Initiative Has Positive Impact At Unilever

May 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Products that Unilever six years ago designated as “sustainable living brands” – they offer a strong social or environmental purpose – have proven to be generally more successful than the rest of its product lineup, the company says. They have grown 50 percent faster and delivered more than 60 percent of the growth in 2016. Eighteen ended up in Unilever’s top 40 brands. Most successful sustainable living products include Lifebuoy, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove and Hellmann’s, with high single- and double-digit sales over the past six years. CEO Paul Polman said the results show that “sustainability is good for business” because consumers want sustainable products. A Unilever-commissioned survey found that more than half of all consumers already buy or want to buy sustainably. [Image Credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
"Unilever’s Sustainable Living brands continue to drive higher rates of growth", News release, Unilever, May 18, 2017, © Unilever
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Toronto Chef Seeks To End Food Waste And Hunger

May 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Chef Jagger Gordon is on a dual mission – ending food waste and hunger – has opened a subsidized eatery that allows customers to pay what they feel they can afford. Gordon’s Soup Bar in Toronto (Ont.) is the direct beneficiary of his other program, Feed It Forward, that collects unsold, unused food otherwise bound for the landfill. Patrons not only pay for their own meal, if they can afford it they can contribute $2.50 extra. That buys a chip that goes in a jar to be redeemed by a needy patron. Is Gordon worried his system will be abused? Not at all: "If you are humble enough to come and utilize one of the chips for a meal, you've earned it." [Image Credit: © Jagger Gordon Catering]
Gilbert Ngabo, "Subsidized eatery opening soon in Toronto", The Toronto Star, May 15, 2017, © Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.
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British Grocery Chain Seeks To “Rescue” Scorned Bananas

May 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sainsbury’s is dismayed that so many of its countrymen, who enjoy bananas fairly often – 30 percent eat at least one a day – nevertheless turn up their noses at – and usually bin – the fruits if they have imperfections like bruises, black marks, or green spots. It’s a serious problem: Britons trash about 1.8 million rejected bananas a day. As part of its £10 million Waste Less, Save More initiative, the company has launched pop-up “Banana Rescue” stations in its 500 stores to offer not only recipes for banana bread, but all of the hardware necessary to make it. That includes mixing bowls, blenders, baking tins and storage solutions. [Image Credit: © Sainsbury's ]
"Sainsbury’s launches in store ‘Banana Rescue’ stations, giving new a-peel to bin-bound fruit ", News release, Sainsbury’s, May 15, 2017, © J Sainsbury plc
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Tesco Keeps Excess Crops From Ending Up In Landfills

May 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unseasonable weather in the U.K. has spurred bumper crops of cauliflower, carrots, and small iceberg lettuces in danger of going unsold and clogging landfills. To help remedy the situation, retail grocery chain Tesco recently purchased thousands of heads of small lettuce from G’s Fresh, a supplier of salads and produce to retail food chains in the U.K. and Europe. As part of its Perfectly Imperfect initiative, Tesco is selling the small lettuces at deep discounts (29p a head as opposed to 50p). The program benefits G’s Fresh because the small lettuces are tricky to sell. Earlier in the spring, Tesco also bought 220,000 surplus cauliflowers and a million surplus carrots to take advantage of the excess crops while reducing food waste. [Image Credit: © G's Fresh ]
Beth Gault, "Tesco buys thousands of small lettuces from G's to avoid waste", The Grocer, May 13, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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L'Oreal Partners With Suez To Improve Sustainability And Resource Management

May 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal said it plans to improve water usage at some facilities and expand reuse and recycling of waste by improving materials recovery at all company sites. To help achieve this goal, L'Oreal will be working with sustainable resources management company Suez to develop processes that will enhance resource management at all industrial, administrative, and research centers in France and overseas. According to L'Oreal, its partnership with Suez will help the beauty brand achieve its objective of becoming a “circular economy,” integrating biodiversity, ecodesign, digitalization, and material reuse to its business operations.
Jennifer Hermes, "Like Other Cosmetic Giants, L’Oreal Chases ‘Circular Economy,’ Improved Water/Carbon Footprint", Environmental Leader, May 12, 2017, © Environmental Leader ® is a registered trademark of Business Sector Media LLC
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Innovation Drives Fight Against Food Waste, Climate Change, Hunger

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Megatons of wasted food ends up rotting in landfills daily, releasing harmful greenhouse gases, while 800 million people globally endure chronic hunger and malnutrition. A growing number of entrepreneurs recognize the connection between wasted food, hunger and climate change, and see an opportunity to deal with all three. Among the innovations they have developed: Demetra, a natural post-harvest treatment that extends fruit shelf life by retarding the ripening process; the Winnow smart scale helps commercial chefs cut waste by measuring just what they throw from the kitchen every day; and food tech startup RISE uses the spent barley by-product of beer production to make flour for bread, pizza, cookies and other baked goods. [Image Credit: © New York University ]
Umberto Bacchi, "Coffee flour, beer pizza on menu as innovators fight food waste", Reuters, May 11, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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Knorr’s New Quick Meals Are Free Of Artificial Flavors, Preservatives

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever brand Knorr unveiled quick stovetop meals made without artificial flavors, artificial preservatives or gluten. Ingredients are grown on Knorr Landmark Farms and include “responsibly sourced” rice from Arkansas, dairy from the Midwest, and garlic from California. Knorr said its farmers are encouraged to adopt sustainable practices on their farms, such as improving soil quality, reducing water usage, and increasing biodiversity. New Knorr Selects meals include Four Cheese Risotto, White Cheddar Broccoli, Roasted Garlic Alfredo, Rustic Mexican Rice & Beans, Spinach & Artichoke and Asiago Cheese & Cracked Black Pepper. [Image Credit: © Unilever U.S. ]
"New Knorr Selects Bring Quality, Flavor and Convenience to the Table", News release, Unilever, May 11, 2017, © Unilever
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L'Oreal Haircare Brand Partners With TerraCycle For Chinese Recycling Program

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Ultra Doux, L'Oreal's natural hair care brand in China, signed a partnership deal with recycling company TerraCycle. Started in the US in 2011, the recycling partnership makes Ultra Doux China's first brand to offer consumers a complete recycling solution for haircare packaging waste. Consumers or communities, by signing up for the program, can collect and send haircare packaging to TerraCycle for free.
"L’Oreal’s Ultra Doux Goes Green with TerraCycle", Marketing-Interactive, May 11, 2017, © Marketing magazine Online
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App Helps Companies With On-Site Catering Avoid Food Waste

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An Irish software start-up that targets large companies with on-site catering operations says there are several benefits of using its Tabit app. The app allows employees to order food in advance, for example, from their workstations and avoid wasting time in queues. But a less obvious benefit for companies is the savings when employees are on vacation. Companies spend about $9 and $13 a day providing meals to staff, money – and food – that is wasted if an employee is on holiday (the meals are still produced). The Tabit app integrates with the HR department to avoid the waste, and it adds up when as many as 30 or 40 people are on vacation at the same time. “Multiplied by one or two weeks, that's a lot of money and a lot of potential waste," the company’s founder says. [Image Credit: © Tabit ]
Olive Keogh, "Tabit transforming corporates’ in-house food catering services", Irish Times, May 11, 2017, © The Irish Times
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Popular Beauty Brands Fail Ethics Test, Ethical Consumer Magazine Says

May 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Popular and leading beauty brands have failed a corporate ethics analysis by the Ethical Consumer magazine. Focused on workers' rights, environmental policies, and animal testing, the test revealed that even brands perceived by consumers as ethical were actually guilty by association with their parent companies. Some brands sold by retailer Boots were rated poor because parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance does not require suppliers to ban animal testing. LVMH's beauty brand Benefit got a terrible score of 1.5 points out of 20 for its parent company's refusal to join the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
Siofra Brennan, "How ethical is YOUR Makeup Bag? Report Delivers A Damning Verdict on Popular Brands Like Boots, Superdrug and Benefit Because of their Parent Firms' Policies Around Animal Testing and the Environment", Daily Mail, May 08, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Food Waste Repurposed Into Edible, Profitable New Products

May 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The food waste problem is inspiring a lot of creative new product development these days. Among the ingenious products from socially aware entrepreneurs: Foxhole Gin, made with leftover grape skins, flesh and pips from winemaking; Toast Ale, made from surplus loaves of bread mashed into crumbs and mixed with malted barley, hops and yeast; ChicP hummus in four varieties made from discarded wonky fruit and vegetables; Hellmann's Ketchup, a new product made from imperfect discarded red and green tomatoes; Snacktivism snack bars made from excess fruit gleaned from London’s wholesale food markets; Spare Fruit premium crisps made from rescued wasted fruit; and Rejuce fruit and vegetable juices made from rejected produce that is transformed into flavors like Lime, Cucumber, & Mint, and Lemon, Beetroot & Ginger.  [Image Credit: © ChicP ]
Megan Tatum, "How food waste is fueling a new wave of NPD", The Grocer, May 06, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Snack Company Intensifies Focus On Allergy-Free Products

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Skeeter Snacks (Chicago, Ill.) has renamed itself the Safe + Fair Food Company to serve the 17 million Americans with food allergies. The company, which makes nut-free snacks sold in schools and on JetBlue flights, said its goal will be to develop food brands that are “safe, accessible, fairly priced and delicious.” The company recently acquired Mama Jess Organics, a maker of organic pasta and enchilada sauces, and is itself developing snacks and meals that further its mission of making it “easy and fun to be safe” from allergic food reactions. [Image Credit: © Skeeter Snacks ]
"Passionate Entrepreneurs and Industry Veterans Launch the Safe + Fair Food Company", News release, Skeeter Snacks, May 03, 2017, © Skeeter Snacks
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Companies Work With Start-Up To Speed Bio-Based Water Bottles

May 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bottled water makers Danone (France) and Nestlė Waters (U.S.) are collaborating with start-up Origin Materials to speed commercial scale development of 100 percent bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. The bottles will be made from sustainable, renewable biomass feedstocks, including cardboard, sawdust, and wood chips. Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is 30 percent bio-based, though goal is 100 percent by 2020. Origin has produced samples of 80 percent bio- based PET bottles in California test factory.
"Danone and Nestlé Waters Launch NaturALL Bottle Alliance with California Startup to Develop 100% Bio-Based Bottles", News release, Nestlé , May 02, 2017, © Nestlé
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Americans Want Humane Animal Treatment, Clarity When It Comes To Food

May 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A recent survey of American consumers determined that a large majority want their beef, chicken, eggs, and dairy products free of growth hormones and GMO. But they are also concerned that animals that produce milk and eggs be raised humanely. The concern did not extend to animals raised for slaughter. The University of Illinois study also found that consumers were concerned that animals had not been given routine antibiotics; had been raised in a free-range environment; and had been grass-fed or raised on a vegetarian diet. They also said they wanted animal products certified as organic. The big takeaway from the study is that American consumers want clarity: They want to know what they’re eating. [Image Credit: © USDA ]
Tracey Watson, "Consumers Now Demanding Their Meat Be Raised “Humanely,” Without Growth Hormones or GMOs, According to New Study", Natural News, May 02, 2017, © Natural News Network
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Oscar Mayer Wieners Now Free Of Dubious Ingredients

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food giant Kraft Heinz announced that after listening to customers and “going to great lengths,” its Oscar Mayer Hot Dog brand is now free of processed meat by-products, added nitrates and nitrites, and artificial preservatives. The company also announced a summer ad campaign – a “massive summer mission” – touting a cleaner product with the same taste and the same price. Besides TV, print, digital, social and PR support, the ad campaign will feature six Wienermobiles, including one water-borne in New York Harbor, spreading the news across the country, visiting remote towns, including in Alaska. [Image Credit: © Oscar Mayer Co. ]
"The Oscar Mayer Brand’s Most Iconic Product Undergoes Major Quality Improvements for the Love of Hot Dogs", News release, Kraft Heinz, May 01, 2017, © Kraft Heinz
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Juice Maker Creates Profit From Waste

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The problem for the high-pressure processed juice maker was, What to do with all that leftover pulp? The Forager Project came up with a profitable solution that also helps reduce food waste. Instead of dumping the pulp by-product, also known as pomace, into a landfill, it found a way to press it into different kinds of vegetable-based snack chips. It was a departure – actually quite a leap – for the juice company, but it has worked. It produces three chip varieties (greens, beets and roots). The most-popular green variety will soon be offered in three flavors: chipotle barbecue, (vegan) cheesy and wasabi. [Image Credit: © Forager Project ]
Rachel Cernansky, "With expanding chip line, Forager Project proves food waste can be a valuable resource", New Hope, May 01, 2017, © Penton Media
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Australian Charity Opens Supermarket Stocked With Unsold Food

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australians too cash-strapped to pay for food can take advantage of food charity OzHarvest’s new venture, a “rescued food supermarket,” located in the Sydney suburb of Kensington. The supermarket’s shelves are stocked with donations of leftover perishable food from more than 2,000 commercial outlets. The organization only asks that people who take the free food pay what they can, even if it’s only donated services. Founded in 2004, OzHarvest distributes donated food to more than 8,000 charities. [Image Credit: © OzHarvest ]
Andrea Hogan, "OzHarvest Opens Australia’s First ‘Rescued Food Supermarket’", Australian Food News, May 01, 2017, © Australian Food News
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Clorox Turns On Fairfield Plant's Solar Power System

April 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Clorox announced the company has activated the solar panel system at its Fairfield Cleaning facility in California. Capable of producing 500 kilowatts of electricity during daylight hours the ground-mounted system is designed to help the facility reduce its electric power consumption by a significant portion. According to the company, Fairfield Cleaning is the first company-owned facility with installed solar power system. Power Purchase Agreements built the system, as well as Clorox’s first installation at its leased regional warehouse in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Eric Snyder and Jamie Owen, "Fairfield Plant Goes Solar", The Clorox Company, April 26, 2017, © The Clorox Company
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Estee Lauder SVP Mahon Shares Importance Of Timely And Proactive Interaction When Communicating Sustainability Goals With Customers

April 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
One of the biggest issues and challenges a company has to deal with when creating a sustainability plan include “identifying what sustainability means” for the brand, according to The Estee Lauder Companies SVP of global corporate citizenship and sustainability, Nancy Mahon. Brands need to “communicate proactively” with their target audience to highlight their areas of differentiation. Companies need to interact with their customers when and where they are, including online and through social media. Regular communication with customers “maintains a positive corporate reputation,” Mahon added.
Deanna Utroske, "Estée Lauder Companies Shares Sustainability Best Practices, Part 2", CosmeticsDesign.com | USA, April 26, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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U.K. Supermarket Chain Launches Coffee Grounds Giveaway Program

April 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Morrisons supermarket is giving away spent coffee grounds collected from its in-store café to its green thumbed customers. The grounds are bagged by the store, and there is no limit to the number a customer may take. Coffee grounds make great fertilizer, either in composting, or simply placed around plants in the garden. Grounds are rich in nitrogen, and encourage the growth of beneficial micro-organisms. They are also said to attract earthworms. Morrisons uses 316 tons of coffee beans to make 18 million cups a year in its cafés. The coffee recycling program will be expanded nationwide in late April.
"Used Coffee Ground Waste to Help to Fertilize Largs’s Gardens", Largs & Millport News, April 26, 2017, © A Gannett Company
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Estee Lauder's Sustainability Initiatives Involve Making Hard Choices Today For A Better Tomorrow

April 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
For The Estee Lauder Companies, sustainability means “making the smart (and sometimes difficult) choices today” in order to help create a better, more beautiful, and lasting world in the future, according to SVP of global corporate citizenship and sustainability, Nancy Mahon. Beauty brands need to integrate sustainability efforts into their business model to heed the call of consumers, employees, and investors for companies to behave responsibly and consciously with regards to the environment, Mahon said. Also, sustainability initiatives create the most value when they are “effectively and efficiently” implemented across the product's life cycle, she added.
Deanna Utroske, "Estée Lauder Companies Shares Sustainability Best Practices, Part 1", CosmeticsDesign.com | USA, April 25, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Danish Supermarkets Look For Ways To Cut Food Waste In Half By 2030

April 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Although Danish holding company Dansk Supermarked says only 2.5 percent of the food it buys for its constituent grocery chains is discarded, that still adds up to more than 33,400 tons of mostly edible perishables a year. Seventy percent comprises fruit, vegetables and bread, a lot of which is converted to animal feed or biomass. The company hopes to change all of that, and cut food waste in half by 2030, with the help of new ideas, processes and technology. Its employees will dialogue with customers, suppliers, and organizations fighting against food waste. Customer support is certainly there, the company says: a survey found that 44 percent of Danes believe conquering food waste would go a long way toward reducing man-made climate change.  [Image Credit: © Dansk Supermarked ]
Stephen Gadd, "Supermarket Chain Ups its Efforts to Reduce Food Waste", CPH Post, April 25, 2017, © Online Post
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L'Oreal USA Starts Building Commercial Solar Array In Kentucky

April 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal USA started building a commercial solar array at its manufacturing plant in Florence, Kentucky. Expected to be completed by September 2017, the array will feature 4,140 solar panels. L’Oreal USA expects the solar array, which is being built by contractor Scenic Hill Solar, will give the company 1.42 megawatts of renewable solar power, locking in electricity costs for the next 30 years.
Barrett J. Brunsman, "P&G competitor begins construction of massive Greater Cincinnati solar project", Cincinnati Business Courier, April 20, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Feeding America Fights Hunger And Food Waste With New Technology

April 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A large food rescue and hunger relief organization has launched a novel technology that takes the complexity out of donating food. Feeding America’s free MealConnect platform identifies food that might have gone to waste – e.g., a small load of meat from a local butcher, a box of tomatoes from a farmers market, etc. – and, using a clever algorithm, directs the rescued food to the appropriate Feeding America food pantries and meal programs. Food businesses of all sizes can post surplus food on MealConnect. A $1 million grant from General Mills has helped develop the technology, and will also help support efforts to expand MealConnect to communities across the country. The Feeding America network serves 46 million people nationwide through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries and feeding programs.  [Image Credit: © Feeding America MealConnect ]
"Feeding America Launches MealConnect Technology Platform to Help Reduce Food Waste and End Hunger", News release, Feeding America, April 20, 2017, © Feeding America
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Egg Yolks, Whites And, Yes, Shells – They’re All Good For You

April 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Eating food waste is a solution to the food loss problem that few people talk about. But one food writer says egg shells, usually tossed in the bin but also increasingly composted, can be processed at home and eaten. There are the obvious environmental benefits to that scheme, but there are also nutritional benefits. The main one being, of course, the essential nutrient calcium, in the form of calcium carbonate. The first step is to boil the shells to rid them of bacteria. Then bake them, grind them to a fine powder, and add to foods such as bread, pizza dough and spaghetti. But be aware that the average adult needs only one gram of calcium a day. More than that can be harmful. 
Zahra Mulroy, "The Reason Why You Should Be Eating Your Eggshells - and How to Prepare Them Safely", Daily Mirror, April 20, 2017, © MGN Ltd, part of Trinity Mirror Plc.
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Companies Succeeding As “Upcyclers” Of Discarded Food, Processing Waste

April 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A food industry census conducted by the nonprofit coalition ReFED has found an “explosion” since 2014 in the number of new companies developing and marketing products from food -- and food processing -- waste. Eleven such companies existed in 2011, twice that two years later, and now there are more than five times that number (64 total). They’re selling fish cakes made with undesirable fish species, jams and other products made from ugly fruit, beer from stale bread, flour from discarded coffee fruit, chips from juice pulp, vodka distilled from leftover strawberries, and other “upcycled” products. According to the executive director of ReFED, when companies began to take a close look at how much food was being wasted, “the economics of food waste solutions began to look a lot more attractive.”  [Image Credit: © eatsecondsfirst.com ]
Caitlin Dewey, "The Hot New Trend in Food is Literal Garbage", The Washington Post, April 19, 2017, © The Washington Post
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Mondelez Expands Promise Of Cage-Free Eggs Globally, With Exceptions

April 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Snack maker Mondelez International said it is expanding its commitment to use only cage-free eggs beyond the U.S., Canada, and Europe to the rest of the world, with three major exceptions. The company promised cage-free eggs would be used in the U.S. and Canada by 2020, and in Europe and the rest of the world by 2025 The commitment, however, does not include Russia, Ukraine, or China, though it will establish timelines for those countries by next year. [Image Credit: © Humane Society ]
"Mondelez Extends Global Commitment to Cage-Free Eggs", Biz Community, April 19, 2017, © Bizcommunity.com
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Fast-Food Companies Are Slow To Promise Antibiotics-Free Beef, Pork

April 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s and other fast-food chains have been reasonably quick in acceding to the growing consumer demand for antibiotics-free chicken. Not so much when it comes to beef and pork products, however, because eliminating antibiotics from cattle and pig husbandry is much more complex and expensive. Now the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Texas, have promised to attend the McDonald’s annual meeting to propose that the company set goals and timelines to phase out routine use of antibiotics in pork and beef. The nuns have reportedly been petitioning McDonald’s for years on the issue. The company says it is sympathetic to the concerns and "continues to work with farmers, producers and other purchasers of food animals to influence meaningful change.”
Samantha Bomkamp, "McDonald's, Fast-Food Chains Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork Hard to Deliver", Chicago Tribune, April 18, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Campus Food Giveaway A Big Success At Johns Hopkins

April 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Johns Hopkins University undergraduate partnered with a recent graduate to launch a project to give away food left over from campus events as a way to keep edible leftovers out of the dumpsters. Sponsors of campus events were surveyed to see if they were receptive to the idea, and 70 percent said they were. Students themselves were overwhelmingly in favor. Nemo Keller and Leana Houser then conducted a trial of the Free Food Waste Remediation initiative during the recent spring open house weekend (SOHOP) at the Homewood campus (Baltimore, Md.). Initially the idea was to just donate leftover food to worthy causes, but the logistics were too complicated. They instead tried email blasts to students, telling them when and where the food was available. It worked because, after all, “Who doesn’t want free food?” Keller said.  [Image Credit: © Nemo Keller, Johns Hopkins ]
Morgan Ome, "Free Food Initiative Reduces Waste on Campus", The Johns Hopkins News-Letter, April 13, 2017, © The Johns Hopkins News-Letter
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There’s Gold In That There Food Waste, In The Bay Area Anyway

April 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
San Francisco Bay area entrepreneurs and established companies are paying close attention to food waste and discarded food manufacturing byproducts, especially the kind that can be turned into a profitable new product. ReGrained, for example, “upcycles” spent grain from craft breweries into granola bars that are now sold in regional grocery stores. Forager Project’s basic business is making juice, yogurt and nut milk. But it recently figured out that the vegetable pulp it was composting from its juice-making business would make good veggie chips. Its products are now sold at Whole Foods and Safeway.  [Image Credit: © Regrained ]
"A group of savvy entrepreneurs has started companies based on upcycling food byproducts", San Francisco Business Times (California), April 13, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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New Bottle Is Edible, Compostable, And Spherical

April 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Three London, U.K.-based university design students have developed a sphere-shaped gelatinous bottle, both edible and compostable, that they feel is ready for its market debut. An alternative to plastic bottles – and a potential solution to accumulation of them in landfills – Ooho is being developed by Skipping Rocks Lab. It is based on a technology known as spherification. A ball of ice is dipped in calcium chloride and brown algae extract. It forms a spherical membrane that keeps holding the ice as it melts and returns to room temperature. The membrane is edible – it can be flavored – and compostable. The company sees sales potential at cafes and outdoor events, like festivals and marathons, in fact anyplace people consume a lot of packaging in a short time. [Image Credit: © Skipping Rocks Lab ]
Adele Peters, "This Edible Water Bottle Is How You’ll Drink In The Future", Fast Company, April 10, 2017, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Fighting Food Waste Has Become A Scottish Obsession

April 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Scots, especially those who dine out frequently, have come to terms with the fact that more than 53,000 tons of food are wasted each year in Scottish restaurants, and two-thirds of it could have been prevented. If they were ever skittish (or snooty) about using doggie bags or boxes, for instance, they are much less so now. More than 100 restaurants have committed to Scotland’s Good to Go scheme, under which eateries automatically pack leftover food in branded boxes and give it back to diners. A small change, yes, but experts say it could keep more than 800,000 edible leftover meals a year out of trash bins. It’s just one of the initiatives that have won Scotland a growing reputation as a leader in food waste prevention.  [Image Credit: © Zero Waste Scotland ]
Megan Tatum, "How Scotland Has Food Waste All Wrapped Up", The Grocer, April 10, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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KFC Takes Big Steps Toward Clean Menu

April 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Kentucky Fried Chicken announced that by the end of 2018 it will only purchase chicken raised without antibiotics that are  “important to human medicine” for its U.S. restaurants. KFC noted that its commitment extends beyond boneless chicken menu items to chicken-on-the-bone items. The company said the change involves complex planning, including collaboration with more than 2,000 family-owned farms in a dozen states. Recently, KFC committed to eliminating artificial colors and flavors from core products by the end of 2018. The menu will be free of all “food dyes” by the end of 2017 (excluding beverages and third-party products). [Image Credit: © KFC Australia ]
"KFC Announces Commitment to Eliminate Antibiotics Important to Human Medicine from its Chicken by End of 2018", PR Newswire, April 07, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Portland Ice Cream Parlor Uses Discarded Flavor Ingredients In Its Products

April 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A small-batch ice cream shop in Portland, Ore., with a reputation for adventurousness in flavor combinations, is applying its expertise to a social/environmental cause – namely, food waste. Salt & Straw’s June menu will be featuring flavors of food that were otherwise destined for the trash bins. Included in the offerings at the artisan eatery, for examples, will be rum-soaked spices salvaged from the nearby East Side Distilling company, including Moroccan peppercorns, Sri Lankan cinnamon, Mexican vanilla, and California orange peel. The flavors will be re-steeped in cream and blended into frozen treats. Local food redistributors and anti-food waste organizations Urban Gleaners and the Portland Fruit Tree Project are collaborating with Salt & Straw on the project.  [Image Credit: © Salt & Straw ]
Janan Jay, "American Ice Cream Parlor is Making Flavors from Recycled Food", Stuff, April 06, 2017, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Flaws In France’s Food Waste Law Are Glaring

March 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
France’s year-old food waste law, which targeted supermarkets with fines for throwing out food that was edible or useable as animal feed, has been ineffective so far, according to consumer group QueChoisir. One key problem is a lack of government support across the supply chain. Supermarkets who have contracts with charities need better redistribution services, i.e., transportation services for collection and delivery of discarded food at the right times. They also need cooling facilities for the food, but these are expensive. The result? In the province of Isère, more than 75 percent of surplus foods never reach partner charities. The law also failed to set a minimum amount of surplus for donation. A supermarket that gives even one percent of its surplus food is in compliance. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
Louis Gore-Langton, "France's Food Waste Ban: One Year On", FOODnavigator.com, March 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Procter & Gamble Donates $10,000 To ASU's Sustainability Project

March 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble donated $10,000 to the Albany State University's Global Sustainability Project. Focusing on efforts worldwide to promote energy sustainability, the project highlights careers in mass communications that are related to global sustainability, such as environmental journalism. According to associate professor Jianchuan Zhou, the program also offers students the opportunity to study abroad and witness sustainability efforts in other countries.
Zachary Logan, "P&G Helps ASU Students Learn About Sustainability", WALB News, March 23, 2017, © WALB/ Raycom Media
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Nestle Shows How To run A Dairy Factory With Waste Water

March 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
To celebrate World Water Day recently, Nestlé issued a press release describing the water conservation efforts of one of its factories in Mexico. The Nestlé dairy facility became the company’s first “zero water” manufacturing site in the world. Located in the central, water-stressed state of Jalisco, the factory turned off the taps completely, transforming its water consumption from 1.6 million liters a day to zero. The factory no longer draws water from the ground or water mains. It gets all its water from the milk it processes. It takes fresh cow’s milk – 88 percent water – heats it at low pressure to remove some of its water content. The steam is condensed, treated and used to clean the evaporating machines. The water is collected again, purified and recycled again. [ Dairy factory in Mexico, image credit © Nestlé ]
"A Significant Drop", News release, Nestlé, March 22, 2017, © Nestlé
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Pittsburgh-Area Food Businesses Know That Food Waste Is A Profit Issue

March 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
For a business, profit is a strong motivator, and when concern for profit dovetails with an environmental goal, the motivation is especially potent. In the Pittsburgh, Pa., area, the top chef at the Big Burrito Group is keenly aware that food waste is a bottom-line issue. Food tossed in the trash is a waste, not only of nutrition, but of dollars. Cooks at all 13 restaurants of the Burrito Group practice root-to-stem and tail-to-nose cooking. They gather scrap chicken carcasses and bones, leftover beef, and discarded fish bones and simmer them in water with vegetables to make stock. The basic idea of repurposing food scraps applies to retail grocery stores as well. The Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle chain, for example, donates six million pounds of unsold food a year to food banks. [ Image credit: © Big Burrito Group  ]
Gretchen McKay, "Restaurants Cut Down on Food Waste to Help the Bottom Line", Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, March 22, 2017, © PG Publishing Co., Inc.
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Kraft Heinz Sets Social Responsibility, Sustainability Targets

March 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As part of its mission to become “the best food company,” Kraft Heinz has expanded a commitment to three goals it believes will have the greatest global impact: combatting global hunger and malnutrition, boosting supply chain sustainability and protecting the environment. It will strive to meet these goals by: donating a billion nutritious meals to needy people by 2021; buying palm oil products in an ethical, transparent and sustainable manner (and only 100 percent certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil); and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste in its operations 15 percent globally by 2020 (baseline 2015).
"Kraft Heinz Strengthens Corporate Social Responsibility Commitments in Support of Vision to ‘Grow a Better World’", News Release, Kraft Heinz, March 21, 2017, © The Kraft Heinz Company
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Hotel Industry Joins WWF To Test Ways To Reduce Food Waste

March 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The hotel industry has joined with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to launch pilot projects testing ways to reduce food waste. Food production has the largest environmental footprint of any human activity, but a third of available food either spoils or is thrown out. Most food loss occurs in homes and the food service industries, including hotels. To combat the problem, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is working with the WWF to develop actionable projects to prevent food waste through better food management. The effort is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as hotel chains Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and others. [ Image credit: © Marriott Hotels ]
Susan McCarthy, "World Wildlife Fund, American Hotel & Lodging Association and The Rockefeller Foundation Bring Hotel Brands Together to Prevent Hotel Food Waste", News release, World Wildlife Fund, March 21, 2017, © World Wildlife Fund
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Natural and Organic Personal Care Products More Popular Among Parents And Younger People

March 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
More parents are buying personal care products that are natural and organic because they believe these are safer, healthier and better for the environment, according to a 2016 study by Mintel. Over one third of US consumers say they have bought more natural and organic personal care (NOPC) products in 2016 more than they did in the years prior and parents with children under18 lead this group. Additionally, more NOPC consumers (67%) than non-NOPC consumers (54%) believe they are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, showing that health and wellness is no longer just limited to diet and exercise.  Jana Vyleta, Health and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel said parents are more aware of ingredients they need to avoid because they are information seekers when it comes to raising their kids. Consumers know if a personal care product is natural or organic by looking at the types of ingredients and what certain ingredients are excluded, as well as product claims such as 'made with natural ingredients', 'no artificial ingredients', and 'contains organic ingredients'. Still, a large chunk of the consumer market needs to be convinced of NOPC products' health benefits as many consumers believe it is more costly and could be a marketing scheme.
"Parents Driving the US Natural and Organic Personal Care Market", Mintel, March 20, 2017, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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South Korea’s Strict Food Waste Program Is Paying Dividends

March 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Under South Korea’s food waste law, residents are required to separate food waste from garbage and to recycle food. Seoul used to spend $600 thousand dollars a day on food waste disposal. That money is now saved through recycling. Beginning in 2013 consumers in Seoul were required to pay for food waste by weight. The city set up a sophisticated system for tracking and weighing the waste that is placed in special bags (sold by the city) and then into bins that determine the fairly small fee to be charged. Since the law went into effect, the city’s food waste has decreased 10 percent – more than 300 tons a day. The Environmental Management Division wants to triple that amount over the next four years.
Mori Rothman et al., "These Policies Helped South Korea’s Capital Decrease Food Waste", PBS Newshour, March 19, 2017, © NewsHour Productions LLC
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County Food Waste Composting Program Saves Real Money

March 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Residents of a Massachusetts county are able to trade scrap food for compost in a program that includes seven towns. The scrap food is emptied into a dumpster at a transfer station, then trucked to a farm. Composting takes about four months, after which residents can buy it for use in organic gardens. The county learned years ago that trash disposal is expensive, so whatever can be composted or recycled saves the towns – and its citizens – money. It’s also a better option than home composting, which should not add animal products such as meat, bones, dairy, and fats like peanut butter and mayonnaise. Decomposing meats, fats and dairy smell bad and attract pests. And they produce anaerobic bacteria that interfere with normal composting. [ Image credit: © Franklin County Solid Waste Management District  ]
Aviva Luttrell, "Area Composters Encourage Making Good Use of Food Waste", The (Franklin County, Mass.) Recorder, March 17, 2017, © The Recorder
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Organic Bread Brand Provides Detailed Ingredient Source Info To Consumers

March 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thirty-five-year-old Rudi's Organic Bakery, owned by Hain Celestial, has launched two breads that provide consumers detailed information about the source of the grain in each loaf. The traceability information comes thanks to a partnership with Community Grains, which gathers information from the local farmer suppliers. Community Grains monitors each step of flour production, from sourcing seed, growth through harvest, and preservation of nutrients and flavor with whole milling. The two new Rudi’s breads are certified USDA organic and use only organic cracked wheat, organic rolled oats and organic sunflower oil, all without genetically modified organisms (GMOs). [ Image credit: © Rudi's Organic Bakery ]
"Rudi's Organic Bakery® Launches New Traceable Organic Bread Line with Community Grains", News release, Hain Celestial, March 16, 2017, © Hain Celestial
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Iowa Municipality Implements Curbside Food Waste Pickup Program

March 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Residents of Iowa City, Iowa, are now allowed to put food waste, including meat and eggs, as well as uncoated paper products, into 35-gallon waste bins – they hold up to 50 pounds – marked with special stickers for curbside pickup. Iowa City officials hope to divert some of the 18,000 tons of food waste that end up in city landfills to composting facilities. The town has been composting food waste since 2007, getting about 600 tons a year from various sources, including the University of Iowa dining halls and hospitals. Officials expect the new curbside program will add another 500 to 1,000 tons a year. [ Food waste bin, image credit: © City of Iowa City  ]
Erin Jordan, "Food Waste Joins Curbside Composting in Iowa City", The Gazette (Iowa City, IA), March 13, 2017, © The Gazette
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