Friday food news roundup
“Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without" is a favorite adage in both frugal and green circles, and it is something I strive to live by. One of the best ways to "use it up" is to think differently about our food and ways to avoid wasting it. Lloyd wrote a great post a while back about the statistics for how much food we waste in the U.S., and the numbers are, frankly, appalling. On average, we waste 14% of our food purchases per year, and the average American family throws out over $600 of fruit per year. Most of the food we waste is due to spoilage; we're buying too much and using too little of it.
A hospital and a local brewery in southern Wisconsin are piloting a program to create renewable energy.The project, which began Oct. 7, generates energy by turning methane discharge from City Brewery’s waste treatment into power. The gas, which used to be flared or released into the atmosphere, is then converted to electricity using an engine installed by Gundersen Lutheran, a healthcare group headquartered in the same city.
A bit of good news on the farming front for a change. On Sunday, California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will ban the practice of cutting off dairy cows' tails, making California the first state to adopt such a measure.
California is now the nation's biggest dairy producer, so starting here makes sense. Agribusiness operations that practice tail docking justify it by claiming it's more hygienic and labor-saving. Scientific research, however, shows no benefits to food safety, and it's well known to cause cows chronic pain.
Microsoft cofounder turned philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday unveiled grants totaling $120 million to promote dynamic, home-grown, sustainable agriculture in Africa and India.The grants, which will be made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation working together with specialized agencies, was announced by Gates in his keynote speech to the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, his foundation said
Image: Matt Callow
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