It Began with a Tomato: Engagement Lessons from Florida’s Tomato Land

What began as the quest for a fresh, juicy, flavorful tomato culminated in a landmark labor rights agreement which is transforming the lives of agricultural workers in the heart of Florida’s tomato land.  Along the way we can learn lessons in stakeholder engagement. I had the opportunity to speak privately with Cheryl Queen, VP of … Continued


Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? Maybe Sometimes

The Sunday New York Times Review section ran an interesting piece this week that posed the question, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? The premise of Mark Bittman’s article was to debunk the often repeated notion that the reason people are obese is because it is cheaper to fill up on calorie-dense junk food than it … Continued


EDF Climate Corps Fellows Find $650 Million Worth of Operational Cost Savings

This summer, 96 MBA and MPA students placed in 78 companies, cities and universities through the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps. They found $650 million worth of savings in net operational costs through energy efficiency projects and carbon dioxide reductions. These efficiency opportunities in lighting, computer equipment and heating and cooling systems, if implemented, … Continued


Somalian Famine Highlights the Need for Urgent Sustainable Development

In 1984, when the world was assaulted with terrible pictures of famine coming out of Ethiopia, several original charity singles like We are the World, Do they know its Christmas? came out to bring awareness to the cause. The world vowed then that this tragedy would never happen. Sadly, fast forward 27 years and it’s … Continued


Video Interview: Oakland Market Feeds Bodies and Souls

Imagine living in a low-income neighborhood, not owning a car, and the closest grocery market that sells fresh fruits and vegetables is 5 miles away.  Meanwhile fast food chains and corner stores like McDonalds, and 7-11 are walking distance.  What would your diet look like then? About 2.3 million American households live in these food … Continued

How Recognizing Ecosystem Services Can Make Agriculture More Sustainable

Food prices are predicted to increase by 30 to 50 percent over the next several decades, according to a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in conjunction with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). The reason is that food production will be unable to “keep up with growing demand.” The report titled, … Continued

Rice Plants in Cambodia

World Bank Reports that Food Prices are Higher than Ever

A new report from the World Bank reveals that food prices are approaching the peak levels achieved in 2008. Global food stocks are on a decline, and since the population is going up, so goes demand, and prices along with them. The situation is further complicated by volatile oil prices which raise the cost of transporting … Continued


Mojave Desert Grown Shrimp Could Be on Your Next Vegas Surf n’ Turf

Did you ever think that shrimp grown in the desert would be possible? Everybody talks about declining fish stocks but few companies have ventured to grow seafood on dry land, let alone in the Mojave Desert. Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp is setting the bar by becoming the first company to grow shrimp on land with the aim … Continued


Tobacco Farmers in Transition to Sustainability

As the American tobacco industry has fallen with the overwhelming evidence of smoking’s negative health implications, the rise in international tobacco production competition, the mounting social taboo of smoking, as well a shift away from the government’s Depression-era tobacco quota system of subsidies, tobacco farmers have had to come up with new ways to earn … Continued


McDonald’s Announces Healthier Changes To Happy Meals

McDonald’s USA announced plans on July 26 to offer healthier choices to its customers. The plans, which McDonald’s is calling, “Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices,” include making Happy Meals healthier. The iconic children’s meals will “automatically include produce or a low-fat dairy option,” according to a press release. McDonald’s estimates that the changes will … Continued


The American Enterprise Institute Thinks All Farmers Are Wealthy

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is promoting its report this week titled, “American Boondoggle: Fixing the 2012 Farm Bill.” The report is based on 12 papers dealing with how to overhaul farm policy. Obviously, it’s clear from the title that the authors of the papers are against farm programs as they currently exist. In fact, … Continued


McDonald’s Releases TV Campaign to Boost CSR

Last month McDonald’s was under fire for advertising to children. Campaign group Corporate Accountability International wrote an open letter signed by 550 health professionals urging the fast food restaurant to retire its brand icon, Ronald McDonald, in the interest of health on the eve of the company’s annual shareholder meeting. The company was previously under fire … Continued


Calculating Water Footprints: How Much Water in Your Food?

The environmental impact of food production in terms of contribution to climate change is well documented. Fertilizer use, soil degradation, and transportation from far flung farms to the table are all sources of greenhouse gas emissions. However, food production also has a steep water footprint. The water footprint is an environmental yardstick that measures how … Continued


Reducing Food Waste Throughout Grocery Supply Chains

Even a casual flick through news articles concerning food brings to light many different problems associated with a basic commodity that everybody takes for granted. Recently Time Inc announced the top 10 startups in NYC and topping list is Foodspotting, a website that lets foodies know the perfect dish and tells them where it’s served, based on … Continued