The group, comprised of businesses, nonprofits, foundations, and government leaders, spent 18 months researching how and why Americans are wasting over 62 million tons of food a year and developing ways to fix to the problem. It recommended over two dozen solutions aimed at cutting that waste by 20 percent within 10 years (a sizable yet more modest goal that the one the Obama Administration set last fall to cut food waste in half by 2030). Read more
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As the population grows, prime farmland is diminishing. The combination of these two opposing realities makes larger questions about how to source the fiber we use to make clothing much more difficult to answer.
For one, natural fibers like often cotton require the same farmland and resources as food crops. And while the global demand for synthetic fibers is more than double that of natural fibers, most of it is petroleum-based polyester, a non-renewable resource. Read more
Funny, Imperfect, Inglorious, Misfit, Ugly, Unloved. These are just a few of the affectionate names businesses are using for less-than-perfect fruits and vegetables they hope to rescue from the landfill. Now, Giant Eagle Supermarkets has launched a pilot program called “Produce with Personality,” making it the largest supermarket in the U.S to sell ugly produce so far. Read more
It can seem like no one cooks anymore. Most grocery stores (and even some gas stations) have a wealth of pick-up options for hungry people at the end of a long day of work. Processed meals have made it into the organic aisle with brands like Amy’s and Annie’s. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that since 1970, the number of meals eaten away from home has risen from 25 to 43 percent of total food spending per household.
And if Michael Pollan’s new documentary series, Cooked, which begins streaming on Netflix today, is any further evidence, the spread of processed foods and Western diets is taking out cooking, one family at a time. Read more
Every fall, farmers in Washington throw away a sizable portion of the apples they grow. In 2015, thanks to the West Coast port slowdown and a lack of refrigeration, farmers in the state dumped an estimated $100 million worth of the fruit (or 143,000 bushels) in fields where they were left to rot, causing the nearby town to smell like rancid fruit for days. Read more
Making use of leftovers this time of year can be hard. Now imagine that instead of finishing your family’s extra mashed potatoes and gravy, you’re in charge of the extra food produced by a school or hospital.
That’s where an organization like Rescuing Leftover Cuisine comes in. The New York-based nonprofit has recruited thousands of volunteers to help it act as the middleman between restaurants, grocery stores, catering companies, hospitals, movie sets, and other organizations that have leftover food, and institutions like homeless shelters and food pantries. The organization has “rescued” and donated 290,000 pounds of food since it started in late 2012. Read more
In October, chef and restaurant owner, Mario Batali and Delaware-based brewer Sam Calagione launched a new experiment: beer made out of food waste.
Calagione is the owner of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and the personality behind a new web series called That’s Odd…Let’s Drink It!, which follows his efforts to create collaborative brews with celebrities of various backgrounds. Read more
The holidays are a busy time—but many of us also paradoxically read more this time of year, thanks to travel, time off, and a slowed-down inbox. If you’re looking for your next big read or a gift for a food-minded friend, look no further. We asked our editors and contributors to recommend some of the books they enjoyed most this year. Read more
Imagine a food system that is capable of sustaining itself—and the people it supports—indefinitely. That’s what Dustin Fedako, founder and CEO of the Compost Pedallers, hopes to build in Austin, Texas.
As the company’s name implies, the Compost Pedallers sends a team of bicyclists around to homes and businesses, where they collect kitchen and yard scraps and pedal them directly to Austin urban farms and community gardens. Over the past three years, using only bikes, Fedako says the company has diverted half a million pounds of waste from landfills and donated $13,000 worth of natural fertilizers to local growers.