Monsanto took to the Web in an unusual question-and-answer session last week, as part of Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) platform. The questions were fast and furious, and the answers were, for the most part, revealing. Did we learn anything? Yes.
Food & Agriculture
What can a tiny nation smaller than Lake Michigan teach a state like California? According to Mother Nature, plenty. Israel, which has had its own challenges with long-term droughts, says it has learned a few tricks of the trade when it comes to water conservation and agricultural water use. But overcoming the challenges may mean dramatic changes to the way water is managed and used in the Golden State, as it did for Israel’s burgeoning cities two decades ago.
Ben & Jerry’s believes that making ice cream and saving the world go together like their tasty flavors and your taste buds. Earlier this year, it asked: “How can we reduce our emissions?” It turned to CoClear, a New York consultancy that conducts lifecycle analyses (LCAs) on products.
SPECIAL SERIES: The ROI of Sustainability
For a food giant like General Mills, water stewardship and resource management isn’t an option. It’s a business imperative.
General Mills announced its human rights policy earlier this month. Although the policy does not contain anything new, it is the first time the company has released a public statement on the topic. We spoke with Catherine Gunsbury, director of sustainability and transparency for General Mills, to learn more.
Beijing’s notorious air pollution problem stems not only from the city’s 5 million cars, but also from extensive coal use. Sustainability was the leading driver that prompted the Hormel Foods Beijing plant to replace its coal boiler with a cleaner natural gas-fired boiler. The switch was integral to meeting Hormel’s corporate goal of cutting emissions by 45 percent.
Michigan makes you think of cars instead of farms, but the truth is that the Wolverine State grows some of the best local produce in the U.S. Visit Eastern Market in Detroit, and you will be awed by the state’s bounty. But as in just about every other state, Michigan has its struggles with food access in rural and urban areas alike. Michigan Good Food Fund, a nonprofit affiliated with Michigan State University, is determined to boost Michigan’s farming sector while increasing food access.
Hungry farmers needed help. Chipotle said, “Hey, we know a little bit about food.” Then the fast-casual chain jumped on a tractor with the International Rescue Committee.
Bottled water can cost upwards of 300 times the cost of tap water, even when you factor in the cost of a home filtration system. So, why are you buying bottled water again?
Many of the largest players in the palm oil industry have made commitments to make their supply chains more sustainable. But what do all the commitments really mean? Luckily, the Rainforest Action Network can help us sort through it all with its latest progress report.
To contribute to the solutions for a sustainable future, Net Impact and CollaborateUp hosted two “Nourishing 9 Billion” SolutionLabs at the University of California, Davis and Tufts University this spring. One thing was clear: This issue matters to millennials. Four young leaders share their thoughts in short video interviews.
More and more Americans say they support humane treatment of farm animals. Fortunately, animal welfare and affordability aren’t mutually exclusive.
General Mills announced earlier this month that it is investing $50,000 in the Canada-based Prairie Organic Grain Initiative, a multi-year program with the goal of building resiliency and stability in the organic field-crop sector. Jeff Harmening, executive vice president and CEO of General Mills, told investors that the company’s goal is to “build a $1 billion natural and organic business by 2020.”
The Europeans’ love-hate relationship with Monsanto can be dizzying at times. While the American agrichemical company is courting (or trying to court) its Swiss competitor Syngenta, Monsanto is also reportedly looking for a home in the U.K., an area not historically known for its enthusiasm for the GMO industry. Meanwhile, in a move that seems suspiciously coincidental, France took rapid steps to ban the sale of Roundup on Sunday. And Syngenta’s stockholders? Still unimpressed with American brashness.