Shivani is Principal at Friday Consulting, where she works with food and technology startups on strategy, finance, and business planning. She is also a founding consultant at AchieveMission. Shivani holds a BA from Stanford University, and an MBA from Presidio Graduate School. Follow her on twitter @shivaniganguly.

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Leadership & the Moral Molecule

Have you ever wondered why you immediately trust someone you just met? Or why you give to your favorite nonprofit? According to Paul Kaz, author of The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, it’s all because of the hormone oxytocin.

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Hampton Creek Foods Wants to Make Chicken Eggs Obsolete

When I first heard about the egg substitute Beyond Eggs, I was skeptical. Without thinking too much about it, I tweeted “Are plant-based eggs and fake meat truly #sustainablefood?”, referring to an ongoing debate around whether whole foods are more sustainable than food that’s created in a lab. I quickly received a reply from Josh … Continued

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How to Set Organizational Values and Guiding Principles

Here’s a look at some of the strategic questions that will help you to build your team, bring in investment, and ensure that the triple bottom lines of environmental, social, and financial well-being are in balance.

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Sustainable Food 2012: It’s Not Just About Local Anymore

Interest in sustainable food continued to rise in 2012. Last year, technology and food collided,leading to more startups entering the space, a variety of studies on the impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and even “vat grown” meat. We also delved deeper into what “sustainable” food really means. Read on for a roundup of highlights … Continued

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Olazul: Small Aquaculture is Beautiful

Olazul seeks to address both the social and environmental impact of fishery collapse by building community-scale aquaculture systems that innovate new alternatives to conventional large-scale industrial farming systems while providing local fishing communities with an economically viable product and business model.

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Confessions of an Amazon Junkie: A Review of Vine.com

A green alternative to Amazon, Vine.com allows users to choose to filter products by B Corp, Fair Trade, Made in the USA, and cruelty-free at the site level, and then within categories by specific certifications and even by values.

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Defining Sustainability in the Restaurant Industry

U.S. consumers want sustainable food, and demand is growing quickly. According to the Organic Trade Association, the market for organics alone has gone from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010.

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McDonald’s New Localwashing Campaign

McDonald’s launched a new campaign recently, joining large brands like Starbucks and Barnes & Noble in the battle against actual local enterprises over the locavore (http://www.locavores.com/) market. New billboards in Seattle proclaim that the fries are made from spuds grown in Richland, a farming region about 200 miles from Seattle. But the fine print tells the real story: “Participation and duration may vary.”

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Small Manufacturers Needed to Support Local Economies

Until about one hundred years ago, most of the products we used on a daily basis were manufactured close to our homes, including personal care, food, and machines. Jobs and money flowed out of local communities as manufacturing and sourcing moved further towards an industrial global system in the mid twentieth century. Small manufacturers were pushed out of business, destroying communities that depended on these factories. These businesses must be rebuilt for local economies to grow and flourish.

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The Evolution of Eco-Fast Food

Fast food chains have been trying to convince customers that they’re responsible corporate citizens for the last thirty years or so. They’ve tended to focus on operational efficiency, healthy options, and corporate philanthropy in their public relations efforts. But a new crop of eco-fast food restaurants are integrating green practices into their business models and day to day operations, and once again calling into question what it means for fast food to be sustainable.

Webby Recipients Speak Out Against BP

Recipients of this week’s Webby Awards took the opportunity to speak out against BP. Acceptance speeches were limited to five words, making for some pithy yet cutting commentary.

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2010 Green Brands Survey: What Do Green Consumers Want?

A recent study on consumer perception and purchasing behavior shows an increasing commitment to purchasing from environmentally sustainable companies. However, green consumers are concerned about a variety of sustainability issues. Climate change ranked high globally, but respondents from various countries cited deforestation, energy use, toxic waste reduction, and water management as priorities.