Posts Tagged ‘food waste

News from the Hub – Week of August 6, 2012

Friday, August 10th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks: Top Five Stories Worth Reading

Institutions welcome direct farm sales
Capital Press
It looks like a typical small farmers’ market — farm trucks backed up to shaded booths and attractive displays of fresh produce. But these buyers aren’t shopping for themselves. They’re shopping for institutions.

Sustainable seafood lowers costs, adds flavor at restaurants
Nation’s Restaurant News
As the sustainable food movement continues to grow, it’s spreading from the farm to the sea. And though it takes some effort to become educated about what to serve and what to avoid, many chefs and operators are finding that serving sustainable seafood can actually be less expensive, more flavorful and allow for more creativity in the kitchen.

Also read: Nothing Fishy Here: Cornell Commits to Sustainable Seafood,

Colleges see higher demand for degrees in agriculture
Enrollment is booming at many colleges of agriculture, as students flock to study subjects they feel offer a clear path to a job on graduation. Ag-related college majors appeal to both the heart and mind of a student, university officials say, as a booming agriculture industry and practical skills taught at the colleges can help develop a career that addresses issues such as global hunger and obesity in the U.S.

Also read: UA offers online degree for ag professionals, Western Farm Press

The facts about food waste and hunger
Mother Nature Network (blog)
An infographic from Face the Facts USA shows that the amount of food wasted keeps going up while the number of people considered food insecure keeps going up, too.

Three Revolutions: The Kickstarter for Food Launches Platform to Fund Food Innovators
Crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have already proven to be a hit with the foodie community, with locals gaining funding for their projects ranging from cocktail accessories to mobile farmers’ markets to food trucks. Knowing that the model is successful, Vermont-based Kevin Lehman and Chris Lindgren have launched Three Revolutions, a crowd-funding platform dedicated to farm and food. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of June 11, 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Antibiotic-Free Meat Business Is Booming Thanks To Chipotle
It’s no longer just foodies at farm markets or Whole Foods buying antibiotic-free, pasture-raised meats. Demand from big players, including Hyatt Hotels; institutional food providers such as Bon Appetit Management Co., which caters to schools and companies; and the fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is changing the game.

Oregon food bank celebrates success with protein packed soup mix
KMTR NewsSource 16
Instead of focusing on protein rich donations of canned food, recently, Food for Lane County turned to a new idea: Put together a package of locally grown ingredients for a homemade soup that’s easy to make.

Bostonians testing Japanese composting system as new food waste solution
Wall Street Journal
A private country club in Massachusetts is trying bokashi, an obscure composting method it says will help it recycle 4 tons of food waste each year.

Sacramento food waste project awarded $6 million
Sacramento Bee
The California Energy Commission on Wednesday awarded $6 million to Sacramento’s Clean World Partners to help construct a facility in south Sacramento that will convert food waste into natural gas.

US farmer looks to China to market organic wheat

This fall, China will start importing its first-ever shipments of organic millet and wheat from the United States. Their origin: Clint Jessen’s farm north of Pine Bluffs. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of May 21, 2012

Friday, May 25th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Waitress’s Wages Leave Little to Take Home
A waitress in a family-style restaurant in Detroit says it’s a struggle to make ends meet. Most servers are women and they are subject to a sub-minimum wage that hasn’t been raised since 1991. Family members often provide a crucial safety net.

Poultry scientists working on “chicken translator”
Any experienced chicken farmer will tell you, the relative contentment of the birds can be gauged by the sounds they’re making. While this has generally been accepted as anecdotal folk wisdom, a team of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia are now trying to scientifically verify it.

More Americans now eating whole grains, fresh produce
Los Angeles Times
A vast majority of Americans say they eat more whole grains and fresh produce than they did five years ago, but many believe the federal government needs to do more to ensure greater access to locally produced fresh food, according to a new survey.

Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food
For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the US have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say these pose no danger. Labeling bills have been proposed in more than a dozen states over the last year, the most closely watched labeling effort is a proposed ballot initiative in California that cleared a crucial hurdle this month.

LA makes history with ban on plastic bags at stores
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a hard-fought victory to environmentalists and promising to change the way Angelenos do their grocery shopping.


News from the Hub – Week of May 14, 2012

Friday, May 18th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Balancing fish and farms on a Washington estuary
High Country News
As environmental battlefields go, Fisher Slough seems pretty meek, with a copse of alders in the midst of a small, shallow lake, bracketed on one side by road, on the others by fields. But since Euro-Americans settled the delta in the mid-1800s, Fisher, like most of the sloughs, has been drained and plumbed with levees, ditches and tidegates, creating some of the most productive farmland in the country.

Rethinking the food bank: It’s no longer just about handing out food to the hungry
Toronto Star
Nick Saul is having another “wow” moment. Literally. In giant blue capital letters, the word seems to dance on the office wall behind him as Saul speaks excitedly about his latest plan to turn the food bank concept on its head. “I want to harness the power of food to connect, empower and create knowledge and skills — and hope and self-worth,” he says.

USDA Report Shows Healthy Food Can Be Cheaper Option
Wall Street Journal
Healthy food isn’t necessarily more expensive than junk-food alternatives, according to a government report released Wednesday that contradicts long-held conventional wisdom that it is cheaper to snack on potato chips than carrots. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently revamped nutrition rules for school cafeterias to get kids to eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains while cutting out fatty foods.

With large PNW fruit crops forecast, enough pickers the big worry
Capital Press
Large crops and labor are forefront in the minds of many in the Washington tree fruit industry.  Good bud set, a warm spring without major freezes, good pollination and increasing production from newer plantings fuel anticipation of large cherry, pear and apple crops.  A record 20.9-million-box Pacific Northwest cherry crop is forecast, pears may also be close to their record at 20.9

Producers monitor impact of cage-free trend
Capital Press
Livestock and poultry producers say recent decisions by companies such as Burger King and Safeway to only buy from suppliers that are cage-free won’t in themselves have a big impact on their industries.  But if the trend continues, the result will likely be higher production costs and higher prices for the very consumers who are driving the issue, they say.


News from the Hub – Week of April 30, 2012

Friday, May 4th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

A Silicon Valley-Style Incubator For Local Food
What better place to churn out savvy food startups than in Silicon Valley, the place that spawns startups on a daily basis? Local Food Lab, a food incubator that came out of Columbia Business School’s Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center (itself an incubator for student startups), wants to make it happen. “We want to tie in technology, design, and the lean startup model,” explains Krysia Zajonc, Local Food Lab’s cofounder.

Commercial food waste to be banned
Boston Globe
State environmental officials are preparing to ban hospitals, universities, hotels, large restaurants, and other big businesses and institutions in Massachusetts from discarding food waste in the trash beginning in 2014, a measure that in coming years they hope to extend to homes as well.

Study: Food insecurity is high where food is grown
Lincoln Journal Star
Food insecurity for children is more of a problem in rural areas of Nebraska than in more populated places, according to a “Poverty on the Great Plains” analysis released Friday by the Nebraska Center for Rural Affairs. Almost one in five children living in rural Nebraska counties fit the food-insecure profile in research results drawn from the 2010 Census and from 2009 Feeding America data.

Study: Organic crops sales worth $244M to farmers
The Seattle Times
The value of certified organic crops to the state’s farmers rose 16 percent in 2010, to a total of $244.6 million, according to a study by the Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture released on Wednesday. The study also found that the amount of certified organic crop acreage and the number of certified organic farms in Washington state decreased.

On the Highest Floors, Food Comes to the Workers
New York Times
New York, the most vertical of cities, has become a tad blasé about its skyscrapers, high-rise malls and multistory restaurant collections. At last, though, it has a fresh take on the perpendicular: the vertical food-truck court. Every weekday in recent months, fancy-food trucks have been rumbling into the gigantic freight elevator of the Starrett-Lehigh Building at 601 West 26th Street in West Chelsea.


News from the Hub – Week of March 12, 2012

Friday, March 16th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

New Study Explores Innovation and Opportunities for Diverse Local Food Distributors
Today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan released a new report on the distribution practices of eight producer networks and their partners distributing locally or regionally-grown food to retail and foodservice customers. The report shows how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.

Locally Produced Food Gets Boost Through Food Hubs
The USDA is helping small farmers connect with people who want to buy locally produced food by fostering “food hubs.” By aggregrating local produce from many small farmers, food hubs can sell to large buyers that want locally and regionally grown food, such as schools and hospitals. These hubs remove some of the most onerous, time draining chores for farmers, who typically reach consumers by driving long distances to farmers markets and restaurants.

Bad Food: Illnesses from Imported Food Are on the Rise, CDC Says
Altogether about 16% of the food eaten in the U.S. comes from other countries — and given some of the many holes in the food safety net for imports, that should be a little concerning. In a new report published on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that foodborne disease outbreaks caused by imported food appeared to rise in 2009 and 2010.

Brooklyn food pantries go grow-your-own
New York Daily News
A Bedford-Stuyvesant food pantry built an indoor farm where clients grow fresh produce year-round — and provide vegetables for hundreds of families a week. Brooklyn is in the grip of an urban farming craze. Grow-your-own is going strong, from rooftop gardens to massive plantings at public high schools.

Food Craft Institute to open in Jack London Square
San Francisco Chronicle
Local producers will share some of their skills and experience as instructors at the new Food Craft Institute, a school for artisan food companies opening in Oakland’s Jack London Square in April. A nonprofit affiliated with Oakland’s Eat Real Festival, the annual street food festival, the institute will offer its first “master course” in jam, followed by courses in pickling, charcuterie, and coffee roasting and coffee bar management.


News from the Hub – Week of February 27, 2012

Friday, March 2nd, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Bill seeks to reimburse farmers for organic certification
North Bay Business Journal
Recently introduced legislation in Sacramento would reimburse farmers for costs associated with transitioning land to certified organic production. Called the California Transition to Organics Act of 2012, the bill would create a new state Transition to Organics Fund administered by the state Food and Agriculture Department. The fund would reimburse 25 percent of certification costs, including inspection, certification and registration fees.

Wasted food on campus put to good use at PEAS farm
Montana Kaimin
Though there is still snow on the ground, many a green thumb is beginning to itch around Missoula. Just north of campus in the Rattlesnake Valley, the Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society (PEAS) Farm has been humming with activity in preparation for the growing season. But there’s a lot to be done before any work goes into those fields.

Bay Area Hospitals Aggregate Demand to Push the Market for Certified-Humane, Cage-Free Eggs
A team of San Francisco Bay Area hospitals recently secured a contract for certified-humane, cage-free eggs from Wilcox Farms through U.S. Foodservice, one of the major food distributors serving the health care sector. The University of California San Francisco Medical Center and John Muir Health are now purchasing 100% of their liquid eggs from Wilcox Farms.

New face in cooking: Latina chefs make it big in food industry, especially on television
Washington Post
A decade after Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez helped Latin music explode into the mainstream, Latina chefs are doing the same for food. From Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid and Evette Rios on ABC’s “The Chew” to uber-restaurateur Michelle Bernstein and cookbook author Lourdes Castro, these senoritas are proving to be the new face in cooking — especially on television.

Food hubs link local growers, wholesalers
The Packer
When it comes to finding locally grown produce, don’t automatically head to the farmers’ market. In fact, many local growers would rather focus on wholesale and are banding together in co-ops, or “food hubs” to give them more marketing muscle. “Farmer’s markets are not the right solution for many local growers,” said Jim Crawford, owner of Hustontown, Pa.-based New Morning Farm and president of the Tuscarora Organic Growers co-op. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of January 23, 2012

Friday, January 27th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks: Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Latina entrepreneurs share wealth, knowledge
San Francisco Chronicle
Call it Latin influence. A growing group of successful Latina entrepreneurs are serving as role models for the next generation of food artisans and farmers with Latin roots. La Cocina is a nonprofit Mission District incubator program that supports low-income edible enterprises, many run by Latinas.

Not Your Grandmother’s Hospital Food
NPR (blog)
Hospital food, like airplane food, is the kind of institutional food we love to hate. But the days of jello cups and puddles of grayish gravy are numbered. A lot of people — from deep-pocketed foodies to fast-food lovers to locavores — aren’t standing for barely edible hospital food anymore.

Farm Ministers Denounce Food Waste as Almost 1 Billion Go Hungry
Farm ministers and policy makers gathered in Berlin denounced waste in rich countries, saying consumers must stop throwing away food as almost 1 billion people in developing countries go hungry. Consumers in rich countries dispose of 220 million metric tons of food waste every year, equal to the entire food output of sub-Saharan Africa.

Eastern Oregon biofuel refinery wins federal loan backing to make ethanol from poplar trees
In a few years, you could be filling up with fuel made from Oregon poplar trees, wheat straw and corn stalks. Financed in part with a $235 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today, ZeaChem plans a $390 million biofuel refinery in Boardman capable of producing up to 25 million gallons of ethanol per year.

Treat restaurant workers well, expect better business, study says
Los Angeles Times
It’s an equation that seems simple but still escapes many restaurateurs: Treat your employees well, and your business will be better for it. Offering restaurant workers good pay, benefits and career mobility usually translates into high short-term costs — a burden that causes many low-margin eateries to underpay and overwork their employees. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of January 16, 2012

Friday, January 20th, 2012 by

News from the Region

NRCS Programs Aid Central Oregon Organic Grower (press release) (blog)
Sarahlee Lawrence inspects a row of organically grown flowers on her organic farm in the high desert of Central Oregon. Business is blooming for Sarahlee Lawrence and her organic food-and-flower-growing operation, Rainshadow Organics, in the Central Oregon high desert.

Good Food Awards: Local food makers ace taste test
Santa Cruz Sentinel
At the Good Food Awards this past weekend in San Francisco, winners were recognized not only for the quality of their products, but for the means by which they were produced. The competition recognizes food made using sustainable methods and the help of local businesses.

Grants to help preschools plant edible gardens
Los Angeles Times
A farm industry group’s charitable arm said Monday it will give 100 California preschools and day-care centers $1000 each to help them start gardens for growing food. The Irvine-based Western Growers Foundation said the project is intended to let young children see firsthand where their food comes from and teach them healthy eating habits that could help curb increasing rates of childhood obesity. (more…)