Food processing

Beer: a magical mixture of hops, barley, and tiny pieces of plastic

Read the full story in Grist.

Plastics are everywhere: on the street, in our refrigerators, all over the oceans — you name it. But now they’re hitting us where it really hurts. Authors of a new study published in the latest edition of Food Additives and Contaminants found traces of plastic particles (and other debris … we’ll get to this later) in beer.

This is how the study worked: Researchers lab-tested samples of 24 varieties of German beers, including 10 of the nation’s most popular brands. Through their superpowers of microscopic analysis, the team discovered plastic microfibers in 100 percent of the tested beer samples.

Retail Horizons: Food shopping in a water-scarce world

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

This article is the seventh in a 12-part series about the future of U.S. retail for the Forum for the Future-led 2014 Retail Horizons project in partnership with Retail Industry Leaders Association. For more about the project and the toolkit available in October, read the first story.

The future of food is both exciting and precarious. While technological advances promise changes in what and how we eat, the basic inputs required to make food for humans, such as water and fertile soil, have changed very little. Of these, changes in water availability could have the most drastic impact on the types of foods available to tomorrow’s consumer.

Coffee roaster abuzz with waste prevention strategy

In his P2 Impact article for GreenBiz, Justin Lehrer from StopWaste Business Partnership shares how America’s Best Coffee Roasting Company has been brewing a strategy to reduce waste and improve operational efficiency, realizing savings along the way.

Read previous articles from the P2 Impact column here.

13 companies sowing solutions for food resilience

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Could Big Data offer the most fertile solution for countering systemic food waste and frightening future scarcity scenarios?

Last month Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and dozens of other companies started sowing the seeds for a crop of powerful applications and information resources enabled by the convergence of sensors, sophisticated imagery and powerful analytics — and inspired by the federal Climate Data Initiative.

Their focus: “food resilience” innovations that help agricultural businesses, farmers and food distributors more quickly understand the potential impacts of floods, rising sea levels, heat waves and droughts, downpours and other extreme weather on crop yields, transportation systems, storage and other supply-chain processes.

Farmers Generate Energy from Coffee Wastewater

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

It is possible to generate energy, tackle climate change and protect water resources by treating discharges from coffee mills, according to project findings by UTZ Certified.

The Energy from Coffee Wastewater project was launched by UTZ Certified in 2010 in Central America with the goal of addressing environmental and health problems caused by the wastewater produced in the coffee industry.