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Nine International Projects Making Wasted Food Edible Again

There is no denying it: Food waste is a serious problem. When we take farm, retail, and domestic waste into account, an estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten. And while a great deal of systematic change is in order, one solution is to make sure we eat more food deemed inedible.

You may have heard about the scheme by ex-Trader Joe’s executive, Doug Rauch, to sell prepared meals using “expired” foods.” Well, he’s not the only one doing his part to put unused food to good use. From jam to wine byproducts, here is a list of businesses and organizations rescuing food from the waste bin. Read more

Brewing Better Local Economies with American Craft Beer

A few months ago my wife gave me a home brewing kit. Home brewing is a fun activity and something I’ve done with greater (and lesser) success over the years. While I do enjoy it, I also drink more beer than I brew, so I tend to sample my share of beers made by others.

And there’s a lot of different beer being brewed, as other bloggers have explained (here and here). Domestically-produced American beers, called craft beer or microbrews, have started a revolution in terms of quality, variety and flavor. Art, science and the marketplace have combined to make better beers blissfully commonplace on store shelves around the country. And the proof is showing up in bottom lines—in spite of the overall shrinking of the beer market, the craft beer segment has thrived. What’s more, this better beer movement challenges decades of perception (and reality) of the lowly American beer. Read more

Organic Hops: Coming in 2013

Some consumers may be surprised to hear that the organic beer they have been drinking isn’t necessarily made with organic hops. While not the major ingredient of the four components of beer—along with malt, yeast and water—hops are nonetheless crucial in creating it. By placing hops on the National List of “Allowed and Prohibited Substances” in 2007, the USDA approved the use of conventional hops in beer labeled organic, provided that the producer can prove that the organic version is unavailable. But this allowance is about to change. Beginning in 2013, all beer labeled organic must be made with organic hops. Read more