Smallholder Farmers: The New Global Food Frontier

A new global food scare is under way. While the last one led to the proliferation of industrialized agriculture in developing countries, this time around some prominent multinational corporations are coming to the aid of the world’s 2.5 billion smallholder farmers. These forward-thinking firms are partnering with locals and NGOs to launch market-based initiatives that revitalize smallholder farms and rural communities.

Food Waste is the New Haute Cuisine

Food waste is one of the most pressing social and environmental justice issues of our time, and innovators and entrepreneurs are jumping in to capture the waste. One catering service in Malmö, Sweden, is taking things beyond dumpster-diving. Rude Food is an all-volunteer, mostly vegan, food waste pop-up kitchen and catering service. Instead of just using leftovers, Rude Food intervenes at the farming, production, wholesale and retail levels to tackle waste across the value chain.

Imperfect Foods Wants You to Buy Ugly Fruits and Vegetables

For those of us who are or have indulged in gardening, misshapen fruits and vegetables can be one of the joys of growing your own food. But as a society, something gets lost in translation when we go to the local supermarket or warehouse store: We expect our fruits and vegetables to be uniform in color, size and texture. To that end, the Oakland, California, startup Imperfect Foods is trying to change attitudes toward funny-looking fruits and vegetables while increasing waste diversion.

Go Nuts with Ferrero’s Hazelnut Carton Board Packaging

Ferrero uses 25 percent of the world’s supply of hazelnuts to make 180 million kilograms (397 million pounds) of its Nutella spread each year. Now those hazelnut shells won’t be going to waste every year.

Used Cooking Oil Wreaks Havoc on Sewers

Improper disposal of used cooking oil is harmful to the environment and can cause structural damage. However, certain organizations have stepped up to not only offer a ready and safe disposal service, but also a way to repurpose the oil into a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.

Panera Bread Saying ‘Bye-Bye’ to Artificial Ingredients

Panera Bread shares progress on meeting its commitment to remove artificial ingredients from its U.S. Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Co. menus. The company’s “No No List” is bans more than 150 ingredients, including artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives.

Tyson Foods Chickens Soon Antibiotic-Free

On Monday, Tyson Foods announced it will phase out the use of antibiotics in its U.S. broiler chicken flocks, chickens raised for meat, by September 2017. The Natural Resources Defense Council called Tyson’s decision a “tipping point” for removing antibiotics from the nation’s chicken supply chain.

Channeling the Beverly Hillbillies in Cupertino

The Urban Homesteader is a project that teaches essential homesteading skills in bite-sized, accessible, entertaining chunks of content. Rather than presume people have Pinterest-ready backyards, or any at all, the video series teaches the hosts how to build their own solar panels, catch rain on an apartment building and, yes, raise chickens, among other things.

Chipotle Eliminates GMOs

Chipotle announced this week it will only use non-GMO ingredients in its restaurants. No more soybean oil or GMO corn. Here’s why.

3 Sustainable Alternatives to Polystyrene

As things stand today, a much wider ban on polystyrene foam containers seems imminent – and welcome. As we phase out a once ubiquitous product, it’s time we started considering sustainable substitutes.

Photos: These 4 Maps Give a Unique Look Into Global Challenges

In centuries past, two-dimensional, hand-drawn maps were indispensable to global exploration and travel. Today our technologically-produced maps are our visual keys to understanding the world’s greatest societal challenges: The world’s growing water risk, the geography of modern-day slavery and the visual impact of poverty all are a bit easier to visualize.

Is Mass Balance Pushing Your Chocolate Bar Too Far?

Big chocolate is jumping in the fair trade movement — thanks to mass balance. Commodities are difficult to track and mass balance makes it easier. But critics argue to pushes the chocolate bar past the point of fair trade recognition. Two industry experts share their perspectives on whether mass balance helps or hinders the fair trade movement.