Category Archives: Kitchen

BrightFarms to Build the World’s Largest Urban Greenhouse for Giant Food Stores

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Giant Food Stores has inked a deal with BrightFarms, a pioneer in constructing greenhouses attached to supermarkets, to build the world’s largest urban greenhouse. The greenhouse will extend over an area of 100,000 square feet. It will deliver nearly one million pounds of fresh produce a year to about 30 Giant supermarkets in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

BrightFarms specializes in building as well as operating greenhouses, and expects the new greenhouse to open this fall. In addition to providing produce through the greenhouse, the company plans to open this massive facility to schools as an educational tool on urban agriculture and sustainability.

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September Book Review: Brewing Change, Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Written by Rick Peyser and Bill Mares, with foreword by Bob Stiller

Authors’ and publisher donations benefit Food 4 Farmers

SHELBURNE, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rick Peyser, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ (GMCR) Director of Social Advocacy and Community Outreach, was swayed by running partner and co-author Bill Mares to tell the story of Peyser’s personal journey and quiet crusade to help change the world of coffee.

Their book, Brewing Change: Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
, is the inspiring result of those frequent runs and steady conversations. Brewing Change chronicles Peyser’s 24-year career with an insider’s view of GMCR, one of the largest specialty coffee companies and purchasers of certified Fair Trade coffee in the world. Brewing Change is part travelogue, part social commentary, and part motivating business model for building corporate social responsibility. Continue reading

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Starbucks Eco Sleeve – McDonald’s Sustainability at Olympics – CR Magazine List

Starbucks has come out with EarthSleeve, a new hot cup sleeve that adopts new technology to reduce overall material use while increasing the percentage of recycled content. Developed with LBP Manufacturing and using Henkel adhesives, the new product decreases raw fiber material by 34 percent while increasing post-consumer content by 25 percent. The changes add up to a savings of nearly 100,000 trees worth of wood use for paper pulp.

McDonald’s, the food franchise holder for the London Olympics, has committed to the Games’ sustainability policies, including reductions in packaging and waste that have been tested in its English outlets over the last year. In addition, the company is making their food supply chain more transparent through their Open Farms program.

CR Magazine has released its Third Annual Best Corporate Citizens in Government Contracting List. According to the research, three-year average returns to shareholders by the best performers outpaced the rest by 50 percent, demonstrating the bottom line benefits of transparency. IBM, Accenture, and HP kept their top positions on this year’s list, based on their openness in reporting.

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Kraft Foods Sizes Up the Environmental Impacts of Its Products Through Lifecycle Assessment

NORTHFIELD, Ill., May 7, 2012 / 3BL Media / PRNewswire/ – Most people have heard the saying that you can’t improve what you can’t measure.  But measurement can be complex and time-consuming, especially when it comes to figuring out how to reduce environmental impacts.  Which is why Kraft Foods is using lifecycle assessment (LCA) to help it make the right changes and get the best results.  LCA measures the footprint of what goes into making a product, from farm to fork and beyond.

“Lifecycle assessment is an important part of our sustainability journey,” said Roger Zellner, Sustainability Director for Research, Development & Quality.  “It gives us a competitive advantage, as we now have more insight into how to reduce our products’ footprints, find efficiencies and validate and explain those benefits to customers and consumers.  Together, we’re focusing and working smarter and communicating better, which is good for the environment, people and our business.”

This LCA work builds on the multi-year footprinting project Kraft Foods recently used to map its impact on climate change, land and water use.  Today, employees around the world are using lifecycle thinking to help uncover ways to eliminate waste in manufacturing.  This can reduce the amount of raw materials, such as agricultural commodities, used at the beginning of the supply chain.  LCA also can help measure how product and packaging innovations improve on previous designs, and provide a common system to measure and explain those benefits. Continue reading

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Fair Trade USA Produce Imports Post Huge Increase

Article from The Packer on import growth of Fair Trade produce

Fair Trade USA logged a 40% increase in fresh produce imports in 2011 compared to 2010, partially driven by the reintroduction of cucumbers and bell peppers and a 170% increase in citrus imports.

Officials expect tremendous growth for 2012 also because several commodities from northern Mexico are being added.

In its recently released 2011 Almanac, the Oakland, Calif.-based Fair Trade-certifying organization reported year-to-year increases for 2009 and 2010 were only 2%.

“Notably, 2011 marked the first time that Fair Trade-Certified bell peppers, cucumbers and bananas from Mexico were imported into the United States,” the almanac states.

Hannah Freeman, director of produce and floral development for Fair Trade USA, said additional new commodities certified for import from Mexico this spring include grapes, watermelons, honeydew, cantaloupes, roma tomatoes and peaches.

“There’s a lot of excitement in Mexico right now,” Freeman said. “We expect to see several new growers certified this year offering new products like asparagus, strawberries, eggplant and tomatoes.” Continue reading

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New Survey Shows Shift Toward More Plant-based Options with Sodexo Meatless Monday Initiative

(3BL Media) Gaithersburg, MD – April 9, 2012 – Americans eat more meat than any other developed nation – a lifestyle choice that can take a toll on health and the environment. A new report just released by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future indicates that Sodexo’s Meatless Monday initiative has helped the leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions accomplish its goal of serving healthier, more sustainable choices while maintaining sales and increasing customer satisfaction.

“It’s one thing to know from a nutritional perspective that reducing your intake of saturated fats is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. But it’s a whole other challenge to make that case to a nation of serious meat lovers,” said Nitu Gupta, vice president food and nutrition brand management, Sodexo. “The popularity of the Meatless Monday initiative demonstrates the fact that it indeed can be done through education combined with great tasting plant-based menu options.”

Sodexo launched its Meatless Monday initiative in January 2011 in the company’s health care, government and corporate divisions as part of its ongoing effort to work as a strategic partner in meeting client objectives for sustainability, health and wellness and support for local communities. The program included new plant-based options and communications material that educated diners on the benefits of eating less meat and more vegetables. According to the survey of 245 sites, the Meatless Monday program helped accomplish several important Sodexo goals. 87 percent of respondents noted that it demonstrated Sodexo’s commitment to health and 71 percent reported that it made vegetarian options more appealing. Continue reading

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Whole Foods Market® to stop selling red-rated seafood

Becomes first national grocer to eliminate red-rated, wild-caught species from fish counters, meets seafood sustainability goal one year early ‘Fishmonger Face-Off’ contest to highlight team members’ skill and knowledge while educating shoppers on responsibly caught seafood

NEW YORK (March 30, 2012) – Beginning this Earth Day (April 22), Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) will no longer carry red-rated wild-caught fish in its seafood departments. The move, which comes one year ahead of the company’s self-imposed deadline of Earth Day 2013, makes Whole Foods Market the first national grocer to stop selling red-rated seafood.

A red rating indicates that a species is suffering from overfishing or that current fishing methods harm other marine life or habitats; the ratings are determined by nonprofit research organizations Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Continue reading

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Vermont’s Blue Spruce Farm Wins National Award for Dairy Farm Sustainability

(3BL Media) Cabot, VT – March 12, 2012 - During a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on March 7 – the eve of National Agriculture Day - the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® announced the winners of the inaugural U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, a program to recognize dairy farms, dairy companies and collaborative partnerships for efforts that advance the sustainability of the American dairy industry.

Blue Spruce Farm, operated by the Audet family of Bridport, Vt., was named a winner of the prestigious award for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability.  Widely recognized as a dairy pioneer, Blue Spruce Farm received the national honor in recognition of its commitment to sustainability. Blue Spruce was one of the first farms in the nation to install a variable speed vacuum pump control, reducing energy used during milking by nearly 60 percent. Blue Spruce also served as the pilot dairy farm to launch the successful Central Vermont Public Service’s Cow Power™ program, which allows consumers to purchase renewable energy generated by dairy farms. By implementing new technologies in milking, milk cooling, barn construction, ventilation, water heating and lighting, the farm reduced energy use 50% from an average of 1,000 kWh per cow per year, to an average of just 500 kWh per cow per year. These savings, in turn, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 500 pounds of CO2e per cow per year. Continue reading

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