The UC Food Observer chooses some important stories for you to read each work day.
On today’s menu, in no particular order:
1. Cutting food waste: If the amount of food wasted around the world were reduced by just 25 percent there would be enough food to feed everyone on the planet, according to the United Nations. Each year 1.3 billion tons of food, about a third of all that is produced, is wasted, including about 45 percent of all fruit and vegetables, 35 percent of fish and seafood, 30 percent of cereals, 20 percent of dairy products, and 20 percent of meat. The worst food waste offenders? The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, followed by Europe. Kate Lyons reports for The Guardian, with accompanying graphic.
A new study focused on food waste in the European Union found that Britain wastes the most – Kate Kelland (@kkelland) reports for Reuters and Gregory Walton for The Telegraph. In South Korea, residents of a Seoul neighborhood have their food scraps weighed to discourage waste; those who exceed their allotment pay a fine, reports Don Willmott for Smithsonian magazine. Read about more efforts to fight food waste by Kate Lyons, Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsin), Amy Fallon and Kate Connolly (@connollyberlin) in The Guardian.
2. How hydroponics could revolutionize farming in Africa: Hydroponic farming, which uses minerals instead of soil to grow plants, is starting to take root in Africa. Bloomberg meets one of the Kenya-based pioneers of the technology who believes the technique will revolutionize farming on the continent.
3. Spotlight on soda: Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories. The beverage giant has teamed with influential scientists who are advancing this message in medical journals, at conferences and through social media, Anahad O’Connor (@anahadoconnor) reports for The New York Times. To help the scientists get the word out, Coke has provided financial and logistical support to a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network. Read Coca-Cola’s response. For more context on soda and sugar, read Marion Nestle’s (@marionnestle) commentary in The Guardian, view an interview with Nestle on CNN Money and Q&A with Civil Eats (see more links at Nestle’s Food Politics site), and visit UC San Francisco’s SugarScience site.
Also, check out a new study led by the University of Connecticut, which found that black and Hispanic kids are disproportionately targeted by ads for sugary sodas, snacks and calorie-laden restaurant foods – see coverage by Maggie Fox (@maggiemfox) for NBC News, Becca Andrews for Mother Jones and Daniela Altimari for the Hartford Courant.
4. Why big food is fighting hard for mom bloggers’ approval: Moms rule. At some point in our adult life, we accept that more often than not, our moms’ advice was right: Eat your vegetables, pick up your socks and get enough sleep. When that advice is from a “mom blogger,” that advice is often about what food you should feed your kids, and it reaches thousands of miles further than your own backyard. Kimberly Lord Stewart writes for Eater about how the food industry is courting such mom bloggers.
5. Bringing farmers markets to Denver food deserts: An evangelist for healthy eating and a mom with three children ages 15 to 26, Beverly Grant started the first farmers market in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood, called the Mo’ Betta Green MarketPlace. Since then, she has been asked to bring her farmers market into three other neighborhoods. She partners only with people who share her goals: food literacy, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Colleen O’Connor reports for The Denver Post.
6. Can algae become the next soy? Several companies see a bright future for plant protein, and for microalgae in particular. But whether this attractive protein source can muscle out a place for itself against heavyweights like soy and pea is an open question. Jesse Rack reports for NPR.
7. Counterculture co-op turns 40: The Noe Valley Community Store is gone. So are Seeds of Life, Ma Revolution, Red Star Cheese, Uprisings Bakery and dozens more Bay Area food collectives birthed in the 1970s. Rainbow Grocery, however, is still here. As the collectively owned San Francisco grocery store turns 40 this month, Saturday lines at the cash register can still stretch back into the aisles, and its bulk bins are refilled with the urgency of Muni N cars during rush hour. Jonathan Kauffman (@jonkauffman) reports for the San Francisco Chronicle.