Why today’s turkey is more affordable and sustainable than it was in the 1970s

November 28, 2019 by  
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Scientific developments and innovation has produced more turkey for a larger population using fewer of our natural resources.

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Why today’s turkey is more affordable and sustainable than it was in the 1970s

Palm oil buyers cultivate Mexico’s ambition to grow a sustainable industry

October 22, 2019 by  
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Food companies Oleopalma and PepsiCo lead smallholder certification drive.

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Palm oil buyers cultivate Mexico’s ambition to grow a sustainable industry

Big Ag is in the running to be a climate crisis hero

September 30, 2019 by  
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Agriculture’s biggest trade groups have started promoting farmers’ role in mitigating climate change.

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Big Ag is in the running to be a climate crisis hero

Episode 190: Ambition, angst and action at Climate Week, Danone CEO prioritizes biodiversity

September 27, 2019 by  
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Tune in for a recap of news and conversations during more than 300 events linked to the UN General Assembly. Plus inside PepsiCo’s Sustainable Farming Program and a peek into Engie Impact.

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Episode 190: Ambition, angst and action at Climate Week, Danone CEO prioritizes biodiversity

Climate Week: Big companies, big commitments

September 27, 2019 by  
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The historic announcements and procurements from businesses showed that climate action is picking up pace, but is it fast enough?

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Climate Week: Big companies, big commitments

Everything you need to know about online farmers markets

October 15, 2018 by  
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Online farmers markets are becoming increasingly popular with the rise in demand for locally sourced produce. With an industry that makes hundreds of millions annually, online farmers markets provide consumers with fresh food at their door for minimal costs. From how these markets work to the pros and cons of ordering online, here is everything you should know about online farmers markets. How do online farmers markets work? Online farmers markets typically operate within a geographically defined area, such as a single county. By only doing business in a defined location, these websites can easily work with local farms to market and ship fresh produce to individuals. The downside to this approach is that you can only participate in online farmers markets if you live within a specific area. It also leads to regionally based competition as farmers compete with larger grocery chains, which are increasingly offering deliverable food. The process of ordering from an online farmers market is pretty simple. After selecting the types of food you want to buy, you pay online and have it shipped to your home, or you can select a pickup option. Some online farmers markets will have several pickup locations in an area to make it more convenient on the customer. Larger marketplaces, meanwhile, will usually only ship produce to your home. Related: The ugly truth about the imperfect food movement Online farmers markets versus Community Supported Agriculture Community Supported Agriculture ( CSA ) programs were around long before online farmers markets came into existence. These models work on a subscription basis and give customers an allotment of produce every few weeks. The CSA usually picks the type of produce, and it is often whatever food is in season. It can sometimes be a bit of a gamble. In contrast, online farmers markets give customers an option of what they purchase, including a variety of vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat, honey, baked goods, preserves and maple syrup. The customer also controls when they receive the goods, and everything is done online. Not only does this benefit the customer, but it also helps farmers with marketing and handling transactions. Pros of online farmers markets For customers, convenience and variety are the biggest pros of online farmers markets. Without having to leave your house, you get to choose from an assortment of fresh produce and goods and have them delivered within a week. While the system is great for consumers, online farmers markets also benefit growers. For farmers, the online market acts like a traditional co-op and benefits growers in a number of ways. This includes handling payments, packaging and distribution; saving time and energy; cutting down on marketing expenses and providing access to a larger market. The majority of growers that participate in online farmers markets operate small to mid-size farms. Without an online presence, these farms would likely struggle to sell their merchandise and compete with larger grocery stores, many of which are also advertising locally produced food. Click Fork, for example, is a co-op based out of Canada that helped save a handful of local farmers from shutting down. With their traditional businesses failing, farmers around Sudbury, Canada, joined forces and built a website to sell their goods. Their website was so successful that the group is looking to expand in the near future. Cons of online farmers markets Depending on where you live, you may or may not have access to an online farmers market. At the very least, your options are probably slim. There is also the issue of only being able to buy produce that is in season and that can grow in your location. While this gives you more options than a traditional CSA, it does not compete well with grocery stores that ship in produce from far-flung locations. For eco-conscious folks, this isn’t much of a problem, but it can be harder to attract larger crowds to eating local, seasonal foods. That said, many people are willing to sacrifice variety when it comes to convenience, and there are not too many things better than ordering food from the comfort of your own home. Another disadvantage to online farmers markets compared to traditional farmers markets is the lack of human connection — it just isn’t the same when you don’t get to shake the hands of the person who grew your food. Where can you order produce online? The number of online farmers markets is growing every year. The majority of these sites serve specific locations, but there are a few that are branching out to wider areas of the country. WildKale is an example of an online farmers market that ships to a wider customer base. The company collaborates with over 30 growers in the northeastern U.S. and plans on expanding across the country in the near future. Depending on your location, you might be able to find an online farmers market closer to home. Good Eggs , for example, serves customers in the Bay Area, while WyoFresh ships produce to locations in southeast Wyoming. If you cannot find an online farmers market that serves your area, there is a good chance one will pop up before long. The future of online farmers markets With the growth of large grocery chains, small farmers across the country are struggling to say afloat. Although selling produce online is preventing a lot of growers from going under, companies are finding it difficult to sustain their online presence. Farmigo, a farmers market based out of Brooklyn, just shut down its virtual market after raising $26 million in startup funds. The company was successful in selling produce online, but the creators discovered that their model was not sustainable over the long run. The company had trouble with the logistics of packaging and shipping a large amount of produce to customers while still turning a profit. There is a lot of promise for the industry as a whole, but figuring out how to scale it up sustainably is the next challenge. Although there are challenges facing online farmers markets , the future is bright. The grocery industry has always been huge, and the market for locally produced food is growing larger every year. Investors may be hesitant to invest in online farmers markets across the country now, but it is clear they are here to stay. Via Farm and Dairy , Supermarket News , Food + Tech Connect and CBC Images via Markus Spiske and Shutterstock

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Everything you need to know about online farmers markets

Walmart introduces line of ugly fruit to combat food waste

July 25, 2016 by  
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The largest grocer in America is recognizing that beauty is only skin deep, even when it comes to “ugly” fruits and vegetables. Walmart will be rolling out a line of imperfect apples , aptly named “I’m Perfect,” in 300 select Florida stores. These weather-dented fruits are just as nutritious as their more beautiful counterparts and will receive their well-deserved spot at the table, instead of a landfill.

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Walmart introduces line of ugly fruit to combat food waste

Bright yellow dome home completed for Mama Dolfine’s orphanage in Kenya

July 25, 2016 by  
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Torsten told Inhabitat, “When we started this project back in January 2015 the plan was to raise funds to build a permanent school for the center. (We haven’t reached that goal yet). But quickly we had to realize that building a school cost a lot of money. I mean really A LOT. We are talking about $15-20k per classroom.” “So we changed our approach. We knew that we couldn’t do it alone and so we needed help. And the best way to get help I thought was to bring people to Kenya to see and connect with the Center themselves. That’s how the idea of a volunteer program developed.” Torsten adds that the dome home was designed to captivate an international audience and make it sustainable. A great deal of emphasis was placed on using local materials and labor, and improvising where necessary to cut costs and minimize construction waste. Nearly 100 percent of materials were sourced within a 15 kilometer radius of Kisumu, according to Torsten, except door knobs or shower taps that needed to be of a superior quality. Related: Footloose German kid builds an inspiring brick dome home for an orphanage in Kenya Large skylights and windows ensure natural light and ventilation. “It’s like a natural air conditioner,” Torsten says. “We didn’t think it would be that perfect. It’s the place everyone wants to be especially around midday when the sun is high and the other buildings are super hot.” Self-built solar water heaters , comprising nothing more than a few pipes on the roof, generates about 100 liters of boiling hot water that stays warm until about 10pm. Greywater from the two bathrooms and kitchen are funneled into the fruit and vegetable garden, according to Torsten. “The water runs into gravel holes with charcoal and cardboard to filter and to keep the moisture. We also throw other organic waste into those holes and cover them with mulch. Everything that grows around the holes is doing incredibly well,” he said. The 3 watt LED lights used indoors are incredibly powerful and super energy saving compared to local energy saver bulbs, Torsten says. The team aims to go solar eventually, when funds are available. Lastly, all 11 wooden doors were made with recycled pine wood from glass shipping boxes, and the 100 plus trees being planted around the house will further offset the impact of construction. Considering how young Torsten is, still in his early twenties, and how little building experience he had before taking on this project, this dome home marks an impressive achievement for a noteworthy cause. + A Better Me Foundation Images via Torsten Kremser

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Bright yellow dome home completed for Mama Dolfine’s orphanage in Kenya

New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever

July 25, 2016 by  
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With the aid of one of the strongest materials on Earth, a researcher at Australia’s Swinburne University has created a battery that charges up super fast and can be used over and over and over again, without losing efficiency. Researcher Han Lin developed the battery using a form of carbon called graphene , which is commonly heralded as one of the strongest materials on the planet. The new supercapacitor addresses many of the shortcomings of traditional lithium ion batteries, beating them in charging time, lifespan, and also environmental impact. Researchers around the globe have worked on expanding the capabilities of supercapacitors for many years, but they are typically limited in storage capacity. Han overcame this problem by adding sheets of graphene , which have a large surface area for energy storage due to the material’s honeycomb structure. The material is also strong and flexible at the same time. The researcher used a 3D printer to create the graphene sheets, resulting in a cost-effective energy storage method that could someday replace the batteries in our cell phones and electric cars. Related: Melbourne’s Advanced Technologies Centre by H2O Architects looks like a gigantic LEGO brick The new supercapacitor ’s ultra-quick charging time—just seconds compared to the minutes or hours needed by a lithium-based battery—is its primary selling point, as it eliminates the inconvenience of long charging times. The graphene-enhanced battery also costs less than a traditional lithium ion battery over the course of its lifetime, due to its unique ability to withstand more recharges without losing strength. Han presented his new supercapacitor at Fresh Science Victoria 2016 earlier this year. + Swinburne University Via Phys.org Images via Fresh Science and Wikipedia 1 2

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New graphene super batteries charge up in seconds and last virtually forever

OMA unveils plans to transform former tobacco plant site into food hub celebrating local food in Louisville

February 24, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of OMA unveils plans to transform former tobacco plant site into food hub celebrating local food in Louisville Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: community center , community kitchen , farm to fork , farmer’s market , farmers , Food Chain , food hub , food system , kentucky , local food movement , louisville , oma , public plaza , Urban Farming

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OMA unveils plans to transform former tobacco plant site into food hub celebrating local food in Louisville

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