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Food For All App Eases Access To Surplus Restaurant Meals

November 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Food for All project, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, has developed an app that eases the purchase of surplus restaurant food, helps reduce food waste, and saves consumers money. Food for All is based on a simple premise: people should be able to buy cheaply the unsold food prepared by restaurants, cafeterias, fast food eateries, and caterers – which together toss out more than 43 billion pounds of food annually. The app allows people to search for the closest restaurants that have available food; reports the price set by the restaurant (usually 50 to 80 percent cheaper); and tells the time when the food can be picked up (usually at closing or shift-end).
"An app that allows you to buy food restaurants did not sell by the end of the day, up to 80% cheaper.", News release, Food for All, November 20, 2016, © Food for All
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Cadbury Commits To Fairtrade’s Sustainable Cocoa Farming Initiative

November 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British confectioner Cadbury and sustainable farming advocate Fairtrade announced expansion of a partnership whose goal is to help more cocoa farmers and their communities globally through the Cocoa Life program. Cocoa Life is a $400 million sustainable cocoa farming program that will launch in the U.K. and Ireland in 2017. It will target 200,000 cocoa farmers and one million people in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, India and Brazil. Mondelēz International, parent company of Cadbury, will invest $400 million over ten years to 2022. Cadbury products will carry the Cocoa Life logo on the front of pack beginning next year.
"Cocoa Life Sustainability Programme Expands to Cover Cadbury Chocolate through New Partnership with Fairtrade", News release, NASDAQ, November 17, 2016, © NASDAQ, Inc.
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British Grocery Chain To Use Special Packaging To Improve Potato Shelf-life

November 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Sainburys will soon be using special packaging that keeps potatoes from turning green and bitter. The fully opaque and breathable bags prevent exposure to light, the main cause of greening. Too much light triggers the release and buildup of a chemical known as solanine. Potatoes are the most commonly wasted vegetable in the U.K., where 730,000 tons are trashed by households annually. Sainsburys is certain the new packaging will improve the shelf-life of spuds. The new packaging is one of the food waste solutions under the company’s “Waste less, Save more” initiative.
Tony Corbin, "New Sainsbury’s Packaging Tackles Potato Discolouration", Packaging News, November 17, 2016, © Packaging News
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Majority Of Food Retailers Are Working To Reduce Food Waste

November 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of food retailers who responded to an industry survey indicated that they were “aggressively investing” in ways to improve food donations to charities that feed the hungry. Retailers are also investing in areas related to food waste recycling (67 percent), food waste reduction (63 percent), and food waste disposal (58 percent). Within these areas, companies are devoting capital and employee time on improving food waste measurement and tracking. The survey was sponsored by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which includes the Food Marketing Institute. The FWRA analyzed food waste among U.S. food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants.
"Food Waste Initiative Suggests Food Retail Industry Making Significant Reduction Efforts", Food Marketing Institute, November 16, 2016, © Food Marketing Institute
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KFC Still Slow To Board The Antibiotics-Free Chicken Bandwagon

November 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Following calls by the World Health Organization and the U.N. General Assembly to reduce globally the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, the Natural Resources Defense Council has strongly urged one American food company in particular to support the urgent cause.  The nation’s largest chicken restaurant chain, KFC, has been largely silent about the use of antibiotics among its suppliers. Forty percent of America’s chicken is produced by companies with antibiotics stewardship commitments or programs. KFC could easily tip that past the 50 percent mark if it pledged to use only antibiotics-free chicken by a certain deadline. But KFC “hedges and stalls” as competitors, including Chick-fil-A, commit to antibiotics-free chicken.
Lena Brook, "A Great Week for KFC to Kick Its Antibiotics Addiction", Expert blog entry, NRDC, November 15, 2016, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Traditional Organic Farmers Say Hydroponic Farming Can’t Be Organic

November 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Can fruits and vegetables grown in soil-free systems – hydroponically or aquaponically – be certified as organic? The question is far from settled as an increasing number of big and small produce growers are turning to liquid-based farming. These growers say their methods are no different from soil farmers, and are actually more sustainable because they use less water. Traditional organic farmers, however, say organic means caring for the soil so that it contains proper nutrients and produces environmental benefits beyond growing plants. Both sides will present their arguments at a meeting of the National Organic Standards Board, which advises the USDA.
Stephanie Strom, "What’s Organic? A Debate Over Dirt May Boil Down to Turf", The New York Times, November 15, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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Consumers Are Not To Blame For The Bulk Of U.K. Food Waste

November 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Environmental author and Feedback founder Tristram Stuart told a British legislative panel that blaming consumers for most of the country’s food waste – more than 50 percent – is “bogus.” Stuart, testifying with other activists before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said that data from higher up the food chain is either nonexistent, or “self-generated” and unaudited. There has been no reliable measurement of food waste in manufacturing, in supermarkets or on farms. No one has thought to monitor fish wasted at sea or edible offal in slaughterhouses. Stuart and colleagues called for mandatory reporting of corporate food waste data, similar to the information volunteered by grocery retailers Tesco and Sainsbury's.
Megan Tatum, "Figures Blaming Shoppers for Food Waste are Bogus, MPs Told", The Grocer, November 15, 2016, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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More California Counties Create GMO-Free Zones

November 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Counties in California that have enacted “GMO-free” growing zones now total nearly 14,000 square miles out of about 67,000 square miles devoted to farming in the state. The bans on GMO farming in the zones, which are appearing across the U.S. on a county by county basis, are backed by organic dairies, natural food co-ops and heirloom seed companies. The latest ban, opposed by the local farm bureau, came in a ballot measure in the November election in Sonoma County, Calif. The bureau said the measure was vaguely worded and would bar farmers from using any appropriate technology to fight pests and disease.
Anna-Lisa Laca, "Calif. Ballot Measure Creates Largest GMO-Free Zone in U.S.", AG Web, November 14, 2016, © Farm Journal, Inc.
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Bakery Waste Is A Major Problem In The U.K.

November 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
One of the biggest sources of food waste in the U.K. is the baking industry. Waste is not only costly, it generates a lot of negative publicity. The country’s Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) estimates the bakery, cake and cereals manufacturing sector generated 90,000 tons of avoidable waste in 2014 and 2015. That's about 10 percent of food manufacturing's total avoidable waste. Baked goods manufacturers are developing ways to cut waste. For example, foodservice and own-label supplier Fosters Bakery reworks a percentage of leftover dough back into the next batch, sells unsold bread loaves as breadcrumbs, and turns food waste into animal feed at £40 a ton. Nevertheless, the bakery still generates about £100,000 a year of food waste.
"A waste of dough", British Baker, November 11, 2016, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Bai Brands Launches Low-Cal Sodas

November 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage company Bai Brands, partly owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, has launched five carbonated drinks sweetened with low-calorie stevia and erythnitol. The new five-calorie beverages gibe nicely with the beverage industry trend – pushed by health advocates – of no- or low-calorie products. The Bai Black line includes traditional soda flavors like cola, root beer and citrus. Bai also makes teas, flavored and enhanced waters and fruit-flavored carbonated drinks. Carbonated soft drink consumption in the U.S. fell to a three-decade low in 2015 on a per-capita basis, as health-conscious consumers reject sugary beverages. It’s really a case of running away – not from sodas – but from sugar.
"Dr Pepper-Backed Bai Brands to Introduce Sugar-Free Sodas", Advertising Age, November 10, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Unilever China Wins Sustainability Award From British Chamber Of Commerce Shanghai

November 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever China won the Sustainable Business Award of British Business Awards 2016. Created by the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai in 2008, the Awards highlight and promote “excellence in innovation, enterprise, and endeavor in the British and Chinese business communities.” Among the criteria of the award are the presence of “identified vision and set of values” and integration of sustainability in business strategy and practices in the country.
"Unilever Wins Sustainable Business Award of British Business Awards 2016", PR Newswire, November 10, 2016, © PR Newswire
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New Food Dyes Are Natural, But Tricky To Use

November 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Even after decades of FDA endorsement of artificial food dyes as safe, consumers in recent years have grown increasingly skeptical. Food companies have been listening. Many – including big firms like General Mills, Taco Bell, Kraft Heinz, and Mars – have begun using substitute dyes that are more natural, derived from fruits, vegetables, and spices. The FDA recently approved a request from Mars to use spirulina (blue-green algae) to create blue tones. Food technologists, however, are wrestling with the fact that natural colorings – from turmeric, beets, paprika, annatto seeds (from the achiote tree), etc. – are very heat- and acidity-sensitive, more expensive, and have to be used in larger quantities.
Maia Welbel, "Food Corporations Phase Out Artificial Colors", The Student Life, November 04, 2016, © The Student Life
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Australian Community Group Hopes To Reduce Fruit Tree Waste

November 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An organization in the Australian state of Tasmania says it is launching a regional harvest cooperative next fall to link fruit tree growers with volunteer pickers. The goal is to reduce waste associated with unpicked fruit. A representative of the Meander Valley Local Food for Local People said excess produce would be shared with harvesters and with charities. Workshops might also be held to process unsold fruit into jams, chutneys, juice, vinegar and dried fruit.
"Group aims to reduce wastage", The Examiner Newspaper, November 04, 2016, © Fairfax Media
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Oh Dear, Bread And Beer – And Reduced Food Waste

October 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
About 44 percent of bread baked in the U.K. is thrown away, but efforts are under way to put otherwise wasted bread to better use. Adelie Foods, for example, is working with Hambleton Brewery’s Toast Ale to turn surplus bread from bakeries, deli’s, and sandwich makers into beer. Using an average of one slice of bread per beer, Toast Ale has turned out about 6,000 beers from 220 kg of bread donated by Adelie since August. It’s “a delicious solution to the problem of bread waste,” says Toast Ale’s Julie Prebble.
"Adelie Foods and Toast Ale join Forces to Fight Surplus Bread Waste", FoodBev Media, October 28, 2016, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Feeding The Homeless While Cutting Food Waste

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A grass-roots effort to feed homeless people in Los Angeles also benefits the environment by cutting food waste. Food Not Bombs cooks and serves gallons of stew and salads made from nearly 400 pounds of vegetables donated each week by Food Forward, which collects unsold fruits and veggies from farmers’ market vendors. Food Forward has streamlined and centralized food collection from farmers, weighing it and providing receipts for tax records. Since its founding seven years ago, the organization – it has 7,000 registered volunteers and 18 paid employees – has donated more than 25 million pounds of food to 150 local hunger relief agencies, feeding 1.3 million people a year.
Leilani Clark, "In Los Angeles, a Band of Food Rescuers is Getting Produce to the People", Civil Eats, October 26, 2016, © Civil Eats
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Nestle’s Refrigerated Pasta Brand Commits To Non-GMO Ingredients

October 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Refrigerated pasta and sauce brand Buitoni has committed to non-GMO ingredients, a move that parent company Nestlé says is the “next step” in a strategy of making their foods simpler, and more transparent to consumers. Buitoni’s products are already free of artificial colors and flavors, and are now certified as non-GMO by third-party verifier SGS. Nestlé said last summer it would only use "kitchen cupboard" ingredients that consumers "know and trust" in its Stouffers frozen meals, and would remove artificial colors, flavors, high fructose corn syrup and GMO ingredients from six of its ice cream brands in the U.S.
Katy Askew, "Nestle's Buitoni Removes GMOs", Just-Food, October 25, 2016, © just-food.com
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Ugly Fruits, Vegetables Are Finally Making Their Way To Stores Instead Of Landfills

October 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The food industry is getting the message from both anti-waste activists and consumers that fruits and vegetables don’t have to be uniformly perfect cosmetically to be marketable. Throwing away imperfect produce, whether at the production, distribution, or retail levels, is a huge waste of money – $40 billion a year – considering the water, fertilizer, energy and other resources it takes to grow crops that are never eaten. But that’s changing now: it’s increasingly possible to purchase ugly, or “wonky,” produce at grocery stores where bargain-hunting shoppers enjoy the hefty discounts.
Beth Gardiner, "Food Industry Goes Beyond Looks to Fight Waste", The New York Times, October 24, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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USDA To Publish Monthly Data On Cage-Free Egg Market

October 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The USDA has begun to issue a monthly report providing data on the cage-free egg market, including wholesale and retail prices, production estimates, flock size estimates for both organic and conventional cage-free eggs. Wholesale price data includes contract-traded and spot market egg sales. Retail price information covers large and extra-large cage-free eggs gleaned from the advertising materials of 29,000 U.S. grocers. Cage-free organic and conventional egg production data are based on flock size estimates coupled with egg laying rates. In related news, IKEA restaurants and foodservice provider Compass Group have committed to cage-free eggs, along with Six Flags Entertainment’s amusement parks by 2026.
"USDA Introduces New Report Covering the Cage-free Egg Market", News release, USDA, October 21, 2016, © USDA
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Philadelphia Prison System Becomes Thriving Example Of Sustainability

October 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In 2011, the National Institute of Corrections in the U.S. began to encourage prisons to pay closer attention to energy consumption, waste, and re-use, and to train prisoners for obtaining green jobs. One prison system that took the suggestions to heart was the Philadelphia Department of Prisons. It now operates a three-acre organic farm and food waste diversion program at one facility – once a construction site – that houses high-custody, long-sentence inmates. Workers on the farm are from a nearby minimum security prison. The Philadelphia mayor’s office says the program diverts 685 tons of food waste a year into compost, saving the city more than $40,000 in landfill costs.
Amy McKeever, "Philadelphia’s Prison System is Fighting Food Waste and Recidivism with an Organic Farm", Civil Eats, October 17, 2016, © Civil Eats
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Successful Pilot Project Leads To Deployment Of School Food Waste Program

October 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A pilot project conducted by foodservice giant Sodexo and partners in France, Italy, and the U.K., led to a 12 percent food waste reduction in six schools. The program kept 2.5 tons of food waste, or 4,500 meals, out of landfills. Sodexo said it would now deploy the International Food Waste Coalition’s “Skool” program in company sites, including school cafeterias, across Europe. Skool’s goal is to build a school food value chain without food waste, the company says. Sodexo and the IFWC partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and LeanPath, a food waste measurement and reporting system, to create the Skool program.
"Sodexo Rolls out Skool Program Across Europe to Prevent Food Waste in Schools", News release, Sodexo, October 14, 2016, © Sodexo
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Perdue Confirms It No Longer Raises Chickens Without Use Of Antibiotics

October 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Chicken supplier Perdue Farms says it has ended the routine use of antibiotics at all of its facilities, a process it began in 2007. It still uses antibiotics when chickens get sick, something that happens to about five percent of its flocks each year. Other poultry producers have promised to reduce antibiotics use, but Perdue has taken it a step further. It has eliminated not only human antibiotics, but also a class of antibiotics known as ionophores, which are toxic to humans. Other poultry companies that have committed to a no-antibiotics program include Tyson Foods, Foster Farms and Pilgrim's Pride. However, one producer, Sanderson Farms, has mocked the term "raised without antibiotics" as a worthless marketing gimmick.
Dan Charles, "Perdue Goes (Almost) Antibiotic-Free", NPR, October 07, 2016, © NPR
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Millennials Expect Their Grocers To Carry Natural And Organic Personal Care Products

October 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
With demand growing for natural and organic personal care products, consumers, especially Millennials, expect these products to be available at their favorite grocery stores. While Millennials do not like going to specialty stores to buy personal care products, many would go to the nearest health food store if their favorite retailer did not sell the natural products they seek, according to Wally's Natural. Despite the growing demand, retailers sometimes cannot distinguish between products labeled as natural and those classified as organic.
Rebekah Marcarelli, "More Than Skin Deep", Grocery Headquarters, October 07, 2016, © Macfadden Grocery Headquarters, LLC
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Attitudes Toward Food Waste Need To Change, Entrepreneur Says

October 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An activist and entrepreneur in the U.K. believes peoples’ attitudes toward food waste need to change soon.  Dawson Costa, founder of Rubies in the Rubble, says people need to realize that all food is treasure, not a cheap commodity that can be tossed out. Her company has been turning surplus fruits and vegetables into chutneys and relishes profitably for five years, despite a prevailing negative attitude. It’s important that people stop calling surplus food waste – she doesn’t know a better substitute word yet – because “it’s just natural.”
Rachael Sigee, "Rubies in the Rubble: Meet the Londoner Reinventing Surplus Fruit and Veg as Jams and Chutneys", Evening Standard, October 05, 2016, © Standard.co.uk or its licensors
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McDonald’s Joins Environmental Group In Promoting Sustainable Coffee Farming

October 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s has enlisted the help of Conservation International in reaching a goal of serving only sustainable coffee by 2020. The goal is a nod to the growing interest among consumers in knowing where their food comes from. But there’s a practical consideration as well: to make sure it has a sufficient supply of high-quality coffee for the long run. Helping coffee farmers furthers that goal. Conservation International’s mission is to transform the coffee industry, which has been under stress because of climate change and fungal disease. Sustainability is a key part of that mission.
Leslie Patton, "McDonald’s Is Moving to Sustainable Coffee in Latest Menu Change", Bloomberg Market, October 05, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Natural Sweetener Could Give Stevia A Run For Its Money

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
New Orleans-based Swerve Sweetener is offering U.S. consumers an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener suitable for baking and cooking – used cup-for-cup like sugar – without the bitter aftertaste of the sweetener stevia. The product, which sells for about $10 per 16-oz. bag, is made from a blend of non-GMO ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables. The company got a jump start in sales in 2007 when it began selling at a Whole Foods Market in Baton Rouge, La. It is now available in more than 4,000 retail stores and has posted $2 million in sales a year.
Richard Thompson, "Sweet idea: New Orleans-Based Swerve Offers Consumers an All-Natural Sugar Substitute", The Advocate, October 02, 2016, © The Advocate
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Aldi Receives LEED Gold Certification For Distribution Facility In California

September 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Aldi has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Awarded for its environment-friendly and sustainable distribution center and regional headquarters in Moreno Valley, California, the LEED certification recognizes the discount retailer's efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its business operations. Aldi partnered with Graycor Construction Company to create an environment-friendly design as well as use sustainably sourced building materials for its distribution center and regional headquarters. USGBC said LEED-certified projects have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. LEED Gold buildings use 25 percent less energy and generate 34 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional buildings, the USGBC said.
"ALDI Earns LEED Gold Certification for California Distribution Center", ALDI , September 28, 2016, © ALDI
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Online Marketplace For Excess Fruits, Vegetables Goes Live In U.K.

September 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A British entrepreneur has created an online marketplace where supermarket buyers of food can find and purchase excess produce from growers quickly and easily. Fruitspot has attracted 600 users who can benefit from supply and demand imbalances. Growers can advertise excess stock ready for sale, and buyers can post notices of what they need for their stores. Users notify a verified network of buyers or sellers to receive quotes that solve their needs very quickly, according to Fruitspot founder Jose Baptista.
Kevin White, "Fruitspot Fruit & Veg Online Marketplace Goes Live", The Grocer, September 27, 2016, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Single-Serve Coffee Pods Are An Environmentally Unsound Option

September 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Despite what the coffee pod machine makers say, single-serve pods are not recyclable, according to Mother Jones editor Maddie Oatman. True, they are made from recyclable materials. But most recycling facilities can’t handle them because they are too small. The beverage division of Mars Inc., for example, claims its own machines use newly designed pouches, dubbed "freshpacks," helped it achieve its sustainability goal by reducing its carbon footprint by 31 percent. But “thirty-one percent from what?” asks Oatman. The company doesn’t say.
Maddie Oatman, "There Is No Such Thing as a "Sustainable" Coffee Pod", Mother Jones, September 27, 2016, © Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress
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Progresso Soup Is Taking Clean-Label Seriously

September 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Progresso soup brand of General Mills announced that all of the chicken breast meat used in its 36 chicken soup varieties is free of antibiotics and hormones. In addition, the soups contain no artificial flavors and 60 percent of them contain no artificial colors. The company hopes to eliminate all artificial colors within three years.  The soup brand has reduced sodium levels in more than 40 soup varieties, added seven soups to its certified Gluten Free product line and is increasing its vegetarian soup options.
"Progresso Completes Move To Antibiotic And Hormone Free Chicken Breasts In All Chicken Soup Varieties", News release, Progresso, September 26, 2016, © Progresso
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Report Says Europe Making Progress Toward Food Waste Reduction

September 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A coalition of executives from European governments, businesses, international organizations, and others has issued a report citing progress in reducing food waste but calling for greater efforts to cut it in half globally by 2030. That is the goal of the coalition, known as New Champions 123, which says food loss and waste worldwide are responsible for $940 billion in economic losses and eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Eighty-eight million tons of food are wasted each year in the European Union, an amount that could feed 200 million people. Among the Europe-based participants in Champions are executives of Tesco, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Nestlé, Sodexo Group, and Unilever.
"Europe Makes Progress on Reducing Food Waste but More Work Needed Worldwide", News release, Tesco PLC, September 22, 2016, © Tesco Stores Ltd
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Americans Avoid Wonky Fruits And Veggies, Unless They're Cheaper

September 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A large majority of the 2,025 Americans surveyed by the Harris Poll recently said that they prefer produce that is not “wonky” – i.e., ugly, misshapen, blemished, etc. Of the 81 percent who felt that way, 43 percent said good looking fruits and vegetables are very or extremely important. The only criteria more important are price and seasonality. Not so important are the source (local or shipped), the grocer's food waste practices, or organic. Sixty-two percent said they would be at least somewhat comfortable eating ugly produce, but many of these said it should be cheaper. Nevertheless, only 30 percent admitted to buying wonky fruit or veggies in the past year.
"Eight in Ten Americans Say Appearance is At Least Somewhat Important When Shopping for Fresh Produce", News release, the Harris Poll, September 22, 2016, © The Harris Poll
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Selling Surplus Food Is Easier With New Online Auction Marketplace

September 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Selling surplus food – caused by overruns, irregular sizing, package changes, discontinued items, overstock, etc., – is a real hassle because the process is “chaotic, difficult, frustrating and extremely time consuming.” The key problem is the lack of a true marketplace where surplus product is exposed and sold. That problem may be solved, however, with the emergence of My FoodBids, a sort of eBay for food. The auction-style online marketplace is a quick, easy and safe way for food manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to sell surplus inventory anonymously. The service is free to buyers; sellers pay a standard 10 commission on a sale.  It is designed to encourage higher bid prices, and faster sales, through open bidding without pricing caps. 
"My FoodBids: The First Online Food Auction Marketplace for Surplus Foods. Think Ebay for foods", News release, My FoodBids, September 21, 2016, © My FoodBids
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British Lawmakers Tiptoe Toward Food Waste Legislation

September 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A U.K. Parliament panel is receiving advice and comments about how to deal legislatively with Great Britain’s food waste problem. Food industry sectors, including farmers and consumer groups, have submitted comments to the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee. France, Italy, and Denmark all have laws targeting food waste on the books. The Labor Party last year scrapped plans to include a ban on food waste in its manifesto after Conservatives claimed that such a ban would cost £477 million ($621 million). Eight million tons of food are wasted post-manufacture in the U.K. annually. Experts suggest sixty percent of the waste could be avoided, equivalent to £16 billion ($21 billion) in food a year.
Hazel Sheffield, "U.K. Parliament Considers Legislation to Ban Food Waste in Britain", Independent, September 20, 2016, © Independent Digital News and Media Ltd
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Most Of The Top 25 Fast-Food Chains Flunk The Antibiotics Use Test

September 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Natural Resources Defense Council and other consumer advocates have flunked 17 of the top 25 fast food chains in the U.S. on the basis of antibiotics use in their menu items. Big name eateries that earned the F grade because of a lack of a strong policy on antibiotics use include KFC, Burger King, Starbucks, IHOP, and Little Caesars. The stars of the class, earning A’s, were Chipotle and Panera Bread. Subway and Chick-fil-A earned a B, while McDonald’s snagged a C+. The FDA discourages producers from using antibiotics routinely in feed to promote growth, but does not prohibit the practice. It also supports routine use in meat and poultry production for disease prevention. The ratings appear in NRDC’s “Chain Reaction” report.
Tara Duggan, "Chipotle, Panera lauded over antibiotics rules; many chains fail", San Francisco Gate, September 20, 2016, © Hearst Communications, Inc
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Food Waste Supermarket Flourishes In Denmark

September 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Danish charity (Folkekirkens Nødhjælp) that earlier this year opened a supermarket in Copenhagen dedicated to selling surplus food says the project has been successful enough to open two more stores. Food and other items sold in the stores would normally be thrown away because they are past their sell by date or have other imperfections. The WeFood store collects items from a variety of suppliers and sells them at a 30 – 50 percent discount. The store is part of a Danish government initiative to reduce food waste – 700,000 tons a year – in the country.
Hazel Sheffield, "Denmark Plans Two More Food Waste Supermarkets Selling Surplus Produce", Independent, September 20, 2016, © Independent Digital News and Media Ltd.
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Widespread Contamination Found In Baby Food Products

September 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A new nonprofit watchdog organization has compiled a list of baby and toddler foods that are contaminated by harmful ingredients. The Clean Label Project’s list highlights the products that meet or exceed standards established by its medical advisors based on independent lab analyses. Eighty-one percent of the 628 tested products failed to meet the standards. Baby foods were tested for toxic and heavy metals – e.g., arsenic, lead, cadmium – pesticides, bisphenol A (BPA), antibiotics, food coloring and flavors, and other unwanted substances that do not appear on ingredient labels. Eighty percent of infant formulas and 60 percent of meat and dairy baby food jars contained detectable antibiotic residues. One-third of jars and meals tested had detectable pesticide residues.
"Clean Label Project reveals baby food brands with least contaminants", News release, Clean Label Project, September 20, 2016, © Clean Label Project
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Blue Apron’s Meal Kit Facilities Throw Away Far Less Food Than Grocers

September 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Blue Apron meal kit delivery company is managing to keep food waste to a minimum at its prep facility, according to a study by a nonprofit sustainability advocate. BSR found that Blue Apron trashed only 5.5 percent of its food, compared to the to the 10.5 percent thrown out by grocery stores. The organization also found that buyers of Blue Apron kits threw away only 7.6 percent of the meals, instead of the 24 percent usually thrown away after home cooking. The key reason for the company’s lower waste generation is the fact that it knows exactly how much food it needs for each kit.
Adele Peters, "Cooking With A Meal Kit May Waste 62% Less Food Than Grocery Store Ingredients", Fast Company, September 19, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Feed The 5000 Anti-Food Waste Events Coming To The U.S.

September 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A British nonprofit environmental organization is taking its food waste awareness festivals to the U.S. this fall with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. As part of its mission to end food waste at every level of the food system, Feedback will be sponsoring Feeding the 5000 events – begun in the U.K. but now conducted in more than 40 cities worldwide – in Portland, Me., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Denver, Colo., in October. At the events, free meals crafted entirely with surplus food are served to the public. In addition to demonstrating that surplus food is delicious, the events are meant to raise awareness among supermarkets and big businesses of the need to end practices that lead to food waste.
"Feeding the 5000 Events Spread Across America as Heat Rises in Fight Against Food Waste", News release, Feedback, September 19, 2016, © Feedback
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Real Junk Food Project Repurposes Surplus Food In A Network Of Affiliated Cafes

September 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
While Britain’s lawmakers ponder possible legislation on curbing food waste, private organizations and entrepreneurs have taken matters into their own hands with some eye-popping success. The Real Junk Food project, founded only three years ago, maintains a 6,000-square-foot warehouse in the city of Leeds that collects between two and 10 tons of food daily from a variety of sources, including supermarket chain Morrisons. Food collected is then distributed to one of 30 Real Junk Food cafes around the city. There are 125 such cafes throughout the U.K., and in Israel and Australia, and is growing exponentially worldwide. The surplus food is sold to anyone for any amount they can afford, including donated labor and services.
Carole Cadwalladr, "The Real Junk Food Project: Revolutionising How We Tackle Food Waste", The Guardian, September 18, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Lack Of Sustainability Plan Gets Malaysian Palm Oil Supplier In Hot Water

September 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Three multinational food and personal care companies that are among the pillars of the global sustainability movement have dropped a Malaysian palm oil producer because it lacks a sustainability plan. Mars, Kellogg, and Unilever have all rejected IOI Group as an approved supplier until it comes up with an approved plan. IOI is one of the 10 largest suppliers of palm oil, a key ingredient in countless personal care and food products. The company has been accused of being a major contributor to deforestation in Indonesia. It is expected that delisting IOI as an approved palm oil supplier will have a major impact on the Malaysian economy.
Edward Mungai, "How Sustainable Procurement Supports Business", Business Daily, September 18, 2016, © Nation Media Group
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Canadian Educators Tackle Waste Problem With “LItterless Lunch” Policies

September 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Canadian school children who eat a disposable lunch – e.g., a Lunchable plus fruit juice or soda – generate about 67 lbs. of packaging waste in a school year. That adds up to 1,625 lbs. a year for a class of 25. To battle this problem, school boards are increasingly introducing “litterless lunch” policies that encourage parents to pack home-made sandwiches wrapped in cloth or reusable waxed paper, stainless-steel lunchboxes, and drinks in thermos flasks. It helps solve the waste problem, and saves families money. Parents can save over a dollar a day by sending their kid to school with a sandwich, a reusable water bottle, and fresh fruit or yogurt.
Charlie Sorrel, "With Litterless Lunches, Canadian Schools Try To Get Parents To Pack Zero-Waste Meals", Fast Company, September 16, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Composting Service Helps Consumers, Farmers, And The Environment

September 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Massachusetts start-up is offering a composting service that benefits consumers, businesses, farmers, and the environment. Bootstrap Compost provides its customers with composting buckets with compostable liners and lids. The buckets are filled with fruit and vegetable scraps, then picked up by the company either weekly or biweekly. Once finished, the compost is taken to farms, but some is reserved for customers to use in their own gardens. Using a composting bucket saves the water that would be used to run food scrapes down a kitchen disposal, and makes household waste lighter, less smelly and easier to manage.
Emma R. Murphy, "Local Company Brings Easy Composting to Needham", Needham Wicked Local, September 16, 2016, © GateHouse Media, LLC
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Unilever Eyes Takeover Of Honest Company

September 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever PLC is negotiating to acquire Honest Co., the household and personal care company co-founded by actress Jessica Alba. Under discussion is a proposed deal that would value Honest at more than $1 billion but a lot lower than the $1.7 billion valuation the company received in a 2015 fundraising round. Since its founding in 2011, Honest has raised more than $200 million from external investors, including venture capital firms General Catalyst Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Buying Honest would give Unilever a point of entry into the market for natural or green cleaning products and diapers.
Serena Ng and Sharon Terlep, "Unilever Is in Talks to Acquire Jessica Alba’s Honest Co.", Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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British County Joins Big Food Companies In Fight Against Food Waste

September 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A British county is working with the local waste partnership to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable. They have signed the voluntary 2025 Courtauld Commitment whose goal is to reduce the environmental impact of food and beverages from farm to table. The Hampshire County (U.K.) Council is working with the Integra waste organization to accomplish three key goals: a 20 percent reduction of food and drink waste; a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed; and a reduction in the impact of water use in the supply chain. Food and drink companies in the U.K. and abroad – including grocery retailer Waitrose, food manufacturer Nestlė, and restaurant chain Pizza Hut – have all signed the Courtauld Commitment.
"Hampshire's War on Waste", News release, HantsWeb, September 15, 2016, © Hampshire County Council
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Community Fridge Provides Collection Point For Surplus Food In Quebec

September 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A community development organization in Quebec says a refrigerator it set up in the city of Sherbrooke collected four tons of surplus food from restaurants, farms, business and local citizens in just three months. Dubbed Frigo Free Go, the refrigerator is such a success that the Corporation de development économique communitaire (CDEC) expects to install others in the city. The collected food that was redistributed rather than wasted means a reduction of 9.4 tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent four cars traveling 20,000 km a year.
"Frigo Free Go showing positive results", Sherbrooke Record (Quebec, Canada), September 14, 2016, © The Record (Sherbrooke)
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Kroger Makes It To Dow Jones Sustainability Index-North America For Fourth Consecutive Year

September 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger Co. said it was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index-North America for the fourth consecutive years. Evaluating the top 20 percent of the 600 largest companies in the US and Canada in the S&P Global Broad Market Index and leaders in sustainability efforts, the DJSI reviews a number of factors in economic, social, and environmental terms.
"Kroger Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index for Fourth Consecutive Year", Kroger, September 13, 2016, © The Kroger Company
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Carrefour Joins Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe

September 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe for 2016. DJSI highlighted Carrefour's long-term commitment to sustainability as a core part of its business strategy. Only the best-performing companies are eligible for the DJSI, and Carrefour is the only French company included in the 12 top companies in the Food & Staples Retailing category.
"Carrefour selected for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe (DJSI)", Carrefour, September 13, 2016, © Carrefour
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KFC Continues To Use Chickens Raised With Antibiotics

September 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Representatives of U.S. conservation and consumer groups never got to deliver their anti-antibiotics petition – with 350,000 signatures – to KFC executives in Louisville, Kentucky. But they were gratified to learn later that KFC parent company Yum! Brands is reviewing its position on the use of antibiotics in its chicken supply chain. Whether anything comes of that is impossible to predict. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts continue to warn that livestock and poultry use of antibiotics contributes to the pressing public health threat of antibiotics resistance. 
Lena Brook, "Over 350K Urge KFC to Change Chicken Antibiotics Policy", News release, Natural Resources Defense Council, September 11, 2016, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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General Mills Partners With British Nonprofit To Feed The Hungry, Reduce Food Waste

September 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills U.K. says it has been helping a nonprofit organization distribute food to hungry people while helping to reduce food waste. The company donated 31 tons of surplus food – Nature Valley bars, Old El Paso meal kits, Green Giant vegetables, Betty Crocker baking mixes, and Yoplait yogurt – to the U.K.-based organization FareShare. Its partnering with FareShare is in line with the strategic focus of the General Mills Foundation: promoting food secure communities and sustainable agriculture. General Mills UK has worked with FareShare for nearly ten years.
Monte Olmsted, "Tons of Surplus Food Reduce UK Hunger", Blog entry, Taste of General Mills, September 07, 2016, © General Mills Inc.
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Knorr Hopes To Educate Consumers About Water Wasted In Food Production

September 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers are increasingly aware of the need to conserve –  or at least not to waste –  water. But, according to the Unilever brand Knorr, much of the water wasted in the world is “hidden’ in food production. Water wasted in the production of common foods amounts to roughly 1,000 gallons a day per person at a time when as many as 500 million people globally face water shortages. To help combat this problem, Knorr launched a campaign with the Water Footprint Network (WFN) to encourage consumers to change food buying habits. The company has created a list of alternative food items with a lower water footprint, and is asking consumers to: limit food waste and buy food that is certified as sustainably sourced.
Hannah Furlong, "Knorr Campaign Asks Consumers to ‘Eat’ Less Water", Sustainable Brands, September 02, 2016, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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