‘Speed Breeding’ Could Hold Key to the Future of Food Security

Between climate change and a rapidly expanding population, the future of food security is uncertain. Scientists at the John Innes Center, University of Queensland and University of Sydney have been working around the clock to develop a new “speed breeding” technique that could prove promising in helping feed the nine billion people excepted to inhabit this planet by 2050 in the face of unpredictable climatic conditions. According to researchers, the new system is capable of growing crops much faster than traditional breeding methods, with the possibility of producing six crops per year instead of one. This allows researchers to study plants

Cargill, Techstars Aim to Future-Fit the Food System with Farm-to-Fork Accelerator

Cargill is betting on tech to future-fit the food system: the agricultural giant has partnered with Techstars and Ecolab to launch the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator in an effort to accelerate food industry innovation. Based in Minneapolis, MN, the Accelerator will kick off in the summer of 2018. “We are thrilled to welcome some of the brightest minds in food and ag tech into Cargill and

Cargill, Techstars Launch Farm to Fork Accelerator to Future-Fit the Food System

Cargill is betting on tech to future-fit the food system: the agricultural giant has partnered with Techstars and Ecolab to launch the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator in an effort to accelerate food industry innovation. Based in Minneapolis, MN, the Accelerator will kick off in the summer of 2018. “We are thrilled to welcome some of the brightest minds in food and ag tech

Netflix’s ‘Rotten’ Exposes Waste, Fraud, Corruption in Food Industry

The food industry is in transition, with new technologies, programs and initiatives targeting everything from food waste to resource efficiency and traceability emerging almost daily to nudge the sector towards greater sustainability. Though symbols of progress, these advancements are just a drop in the ocean. Many consumers are still unaware of the issues affecting the global food system, which poses a considerable challenge to progress. With its new series, “Rotten,”

France Scores Top Spot on Food Sustainability Index

France has once again topped the Food Sustainability Index (FSI), an annual ranking of major countries on their commitment to food sustainability created by The Economist Intelligence Unit in partnership with the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition. The FSI ranks 34 countries according to their food system sustainability. These countries represent over 85

Thanksgiving Dinner Is Cheapest in Years, But Are Family Farms Paying the Price?

By Sarah Reinhardt Last week, the Farm Bureau released the results of its annual price survey on the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner. The grand total for a “feast” for 10 people, according to this year’s shoppers? About 50 dollars ($49.87, if you want to be exact). That includes a 16-pound turkey

Mars Wrigley Launches Program to Boost Income, Climate Resiliency for Mint Farmers

An estimated 750,000 farmers in India produce 80 percent of the world’s supply of mint and the oil derived from the crop — commonly referred to as “liquid gold” — is an important source of income for farmers. Recognizing the critical role the crop plays in these communities, MARS Wrigley Confectionery (MWC) — the company behind brands such as Doublemint, Extra and Orbit — has launched a program to increase their yields and profits, while simultaneously boosting climate resilience through the use of sustainable agricultural practices. This year, we’re proud to launch AdvanceMint

Trending: Resource Optimization Is Driving the Future of Food

In the face of climate change, embracing new methods of agricultural production, consuming responsibly and adopting circular business models will be critical to forging a sustainable future and achieving both income and food security. According to research conducted by nonprofit ReFED, sixty-three million tons of food worth $218 billion is wasted each year in the United States — one-third of which is wasted by restaurants and commercial food service businesses. To stop food waste in its tracks, the James Beard Foundation, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, teamed up with Drexel University’s Center for Food & Hospitality to design and implement a curriculum around

Regeneration: Moving Beyond Gloom and Doom on USDA Organic Standards

Last week the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rejected the pleas of organic activists, farmers and many businesses to “keep the soil in organic” by voting to allow growers of hydroponic vegetables to label their produce “organic.” The NOSB’s vote did little to shore up consumer faith in the USDA Organic label, especially after well-publicized news reports earlier this year that accused a few high-profile organic brands of giving “organic” a bad name by skirting the rules. And it had some industry pioneers so angry and disheartened, that according to the Washington Post they were even “threatening to leave the program they helped create.” The Organic Consumers Association supported the “Keep the Soil

Food and Fiber Sectors Cultivate Impact with Applied Sustainable Agriculture

On October 25, panelists representing both global brands and smaller local organizations convened in San Francisco to discuss their successes and potential in incorporating climate-friendly agricultural practices into their supply chains. The panel took place at The Perennial, a Bay Area restaurant committed to sustainable farming with the conviction that “food has the power to reverse climate change.” The panel discussion built on that theme, with further exploration into how the textile industry also has the power to enact positive impact on climate. “North America used to be covered with all kinds of large herbivores who have been involved in carbon sequestration for millennia,” explained Rebecca Burgess, Executive Director of Fibershed,

Trending: Spiders, Butterfly Wings Inspire New Solutions for Urban Ag, Renewables

Innovators continue to look to nature to create new solutions to tackle everything from water scarcity and depletion to climate change. An international team based in New York City has developed a prototype product that mimics the way living systems capture, store and distribute water, which could be deployed to help meet growing demand for sustainable, local food production. Designed by NexLoop, the prototype has been awarded the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize in the 2017 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, an international design competition and accelerator program that crowdsources nature-inspired climate change solutions for issues such as food systems, water management and

How Climate Change and Wars Are Increasing World Hunger

By Leah Samberg Around the globe, about 815 million people—11 percent of the world’s population—went hungry in 2016, according to the latest data from the United Nations. This was the first increase in more than 15 years. Between 1990 and 2015, due largely to a set of sweeping initiatives by the global community, the proportion of undernourished people in the world was cut in half. In 2015, UN member countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals , which doubled down on this success by setting out to end hunger entirely by 2030. But a recent UN report shows that, after years of decline, hunger is on the rise again. As evidenced by nonstop news coverage of floods , fires , refugees and violence, our planet has become a more

Back to the Roots, Fall Out Boy Team Up to Accelerate ‘Undo Food’ Movement

Since 2009, Oakland, California startup Back to the Roots has been on a mission to “Undo Food” by reconnecting consumers (and kids) with what’s on their plates, and driving the food industry towards greater transparency and integrity. Back in March, the brand got a major boost, becoming a regular on the menu for New York City school district’s breakfast program. Now, Back to the Roots is teaming up with triple-platinum rock band Fall Out Boy to bring its indoor gardening kits and curriculum to 20,000 Chicago

PepsiCo Reports on First Year of Progress Against Its ‘Performance with Purpose’ 2025 Goals

Today, PepsiCo reported progress towards its ambitious Performance with Purpose 2025 Agenda sustainability goals, announced last year. The company improved performance against goals in each of the Agenda’s three focus areas – Products, Planet and People – while returning over $7 billion to shareholders. In its latest Sustainability Report, released today, PepsiCo also reasserted its

How Discarded Orange Peels Transformed a Barren Landscape Into a Lush Forest

By Marlene Cimons Orange isn’t just the new black. It’s also the new green. Twenty years ago, an orange juice producer dumped thousands of tons of orange peels and pulp onto a barren section of a Costa Rican national park, which has since transformed into a lush, vine-laden woodland. The shift is a dramatic illustration of how agricultural waste can regenerate

Meeting Paris Goals Means Dealing With Climate Impacts of Eating Meat

By Ashley Braun Environmental groups place a lot of attention on trying to stop new oil, gas and coal development since current fossil fuel projects would likely already blow us past the less-than 2°C upper limit for warming laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement . In fact, there’s a whole movement, known as

Why we need to look beyond subsidies to save UK farming

UK farming is in crisis. Forty per cent of farms make no profit. Farm debt is soaring. Farmers are taking home an ever decreasing share of what we spend on food and, over the long term, food prices have been dropping. Many farmers are stuck in a cycle of working the land ever harder just to break even. This is

Report: Migrant Crisis Escalating European Modern Slavery Risk

Approximately 21 million around the globe are victims of modern slavery, a number that has grown significantly over the last year as a result of the escalating migrant crisis in Europe, reveals an annual study from global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft. According to the Modern Slavery Index (MSI) – now in its second year — modern slavery risks have risen in nearly three quarters of the 28 member states of the European Union. The five EU countries posing the highest risk are

BFI Highlights Projects Catalyzing Change in Architecture, Education, Food Systems and More

Ahead of the announcing the 2017 Buckminster Fuller Challenge semi-finalists, the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) has unveiled some of the initiatives that were selected for the 2017 Catalyst Program, representing the top 17 percent of entries this year. Launched in 2007, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge has defined an emerging field of practice: the whole systems approach to understanding and intervening in

Wrangler Joins Field to Market to Accelerate US Sustainable Cotton

Further establishing itself as a strong proponent of increasing the supply of sustainable cotton, denim brand Wrangler has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. The multi-stakeholder initiative is working to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production in the United States. The company is the first major apparel brand to join the initiative and the announcement follows Wrangler’s recent launch of a pilot project for sustainable US cotton. “Wrangler buys roughly 50

New Footprint Calculator, #MovetheDate Campaign Commemorate Earliest-Ever Earth Overshoot Day

To mark Earth Overshoot Day (August 2nd — the earliest date yet) — the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate over the entire year — international research organization Global Footprint Network has launched a new mobile-friendly version of its signature Footprint Calculator. The new

MIT Climate CoLab Offering $10K for Solutions for Energy, Emissions, Shifting Climate Change Attitudes

While nearly every country in the world – along with many companies, cities, regions and other organizations – has outlined goals for addressing climate change, there is still much work to be done to create the detailed implementation plans to actually achieve these goals. In this spirit, MIT Climate CoLab, a global, web-based community designed to pool intelligence in a manner similar to Linux or Wikipedia, is launching seven new contests. Winners will be invited to MIT to share their work, and will become eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize to be selected from among winners across all seven contests. Award winners and finalists will receive wide recognition and platform visibility

Trending: Circular Solutions for Agricultural, Seafood Waste Unlock New Economic Opportunities

Circular solutions for food waste are popping up almost daily, but agricultural and seafood waste is commonly overlooked, despite the value that can be derived from these biomaterials. Recognizing the opportunities these waste streams present for both economic and environmental ends, organizations across the globe have unveiled new products and procedures that could help set