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McDonald’s to Customers: Ask Me Anything!

McDonald’s latest PR strategy may have delighted millions of fast-food consumers with active (if not strange) imaginations, but it’s likely not to sit well with those who just want to be tantalized by the taste of a good, old fashioned hamburger. The company’s latest tack however, does beg a lot of questions about what really sells an unbeatable brand.

Robert T. Fraley of Monsanto Co. delivers his address on agriculture's role in mitigating global challenges. Water for Food conference. WFF conference in Bellevue WA. October 21, 2014. Photo by Craig Chandler / University Communication — at 2014 Water for Food Conference.

Five Data Tools Used to Improve Water and Food Security

As the world population soars toward 9 billion people, the demand for food is expected to more than double. Lack of water is a critical constraint to increasing food production, particularly as climate change makes water even scarcer. Big Data is helping to meet that challenge.

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Retailers Cite Low Wages as Major Threat to Business

The horrible irony is that many of these retailers, acknowledging that stagnant incomes hurt their sales, are part of their own problem. They pay low wages while lobbying aggressively to keep the minimum wage low.

An enthusiastic Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, gives her keynote presentation "Sustainable Seas: The Vision and the Reality" at the 2014 SXSW Eco Conference.

Seen and Heard at SXSW Eco: Day 2

In a whirlwind lineup of events, panelists discussed everything from sustainable seafood and reducing waste to urban mobility and protecting the honeybee population. At Triple Pundit’s happy hour event last night, we asked folks to share their key takeaways from the day. The responses were as diverse as they are.

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Hershey Expands Ivory Coast Cocoa Farmer Program

Earlier this month, the Hershey Co. announced the expansion of its cocoa farmer training and community initiatives in the Ivory Coast. The company will partner with Cargill to expand the initiative, called ‘Learn to Grow Ivory Coast,’ to include seven farmer cooperatives and 10,000 cocoa farmers.

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Greenpeace India: Tea Leaves Show DDT Pesticide Residue

Here in the West, NGOs like Greenpeace are often equated with environmental stewardship. But its message can be controversial in India sometimes, especially when the nonprofit says it can prove that pesticides are evident in India’s most cherished beverage, chai. But a recent suit by the agrochem industry hasn’t dented its continuing effort to steer some tea growers away from pesticide use.

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White House, USDA Give Clean Energy Sector $68 Million Boost

Following through on President Barack Obama’s plans to combat climate change and boost energy productivity, the Agriculture Department on Sept. 18 announced it’s providing $68 million in funding for 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects through the Rural Energy for America Program.

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Researchers Tally Up the Ecological Cost of Eating Beef

Can we afford to eat beef? Supermarket prices may suggest so, but our ecological footprint is another matter, say researchers. And what about raising cows for dairy? It’s better, but it still comes with its own costs.