Tag Archives: market

America throws away 40% of its food – under the supermarket model

One of my big ideas is to get away from the supermarket model in America. Not only has it made two-thirds of the country overweight or obese, but it also wastes an incredible amount of…well, everything.

From an NRDC report (pdf):

Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten….That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25 percent of all freshwater and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land. Moreover, almost all that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions. Nutrition is also lost in the mix—food saved by reducing losses by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables.

 

I’m convinced the supermarket model isn’t working and suggest we replace it with a more sustainable model. I’m writing a book to explain my solution, but here it is in three parts. A food system made up of farmers markets, non-profit food cooperatives, and for-profit markets.

I’ve traveled across the country and seen this model in effect and successful in large and small communities. It favors both the rich and poor, is sustainable and, best of all, creates quality jobs.

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Google Chrome now owns the internet – most popular web browser in the world

The Next Web is covering the massive rise of Google’s web browser, Chrome:

 

Remember when Google’s Chrome browser overtook Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser for a week back in May? And next, for a full calendar month?

 

Now, it’s on top and looking to stay…

 

For July 2012, StatCounter pegged Chrome’s global market share at 33.8 percent, up from 32.8 percent in June and from 22.1 percent in July 2011.

 

That’s a pretty meteoric rise in one year, or a precipitous drop by the others. Rankings by market share:

 

  • Chrome – 33.8%
  • Internet Explorer – 32%
  • Firefox – 23.7%
  • Safari – 7.1%

 

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How zero waste, local food, and sustainable transport are a part of the London 2012 Olympics

Pulled from the London 2012 Olympics Sustainability report (pdf):

 

If everyone lived as we do in the UK we would need three planets.

Our unsustainable lifestyles have meant that for the last 30 years we have been ‘eating into the Earth’s capital’ rather than ‘living off its interest’.

The promotion of sustainable development has become one of the fundamental objectives of the Olympic Movement…through its Agenda 21– Sport for Sustainable Development.

London 2012, WWF and BioRegional have developed the concept of a One Planet Olympics.

Staging a One Planet Olympics in London would help achieve the first sustainable Games. Sustainability has been at the heart of the London 2012 Bid and Masterplan.

 

The principles, goals, and legacy of the One Planet Olympics:

 

Zero Waste

Developing closed resource loops. Reducing the amounts of waste produced, then reclaiming, recycling and recovering

Goals

  • No Games waste direct to landfill – all treated as a resource
  • Zero waste target a pivotal procurement driver
  • Closed-loop waste management at all venues
  • Public information campaign to promote high quality front-of-house waste separation

Legacy

  • Zero waste policies extend across East London based on high recycling rates and residual waste converted to compost and renewable energy
  • Increased market for recycled products
  • Closed-loop waste management to be standard practice for major sports events

 

Local and Sustainable Food

Supporting consumption of local, seasonal and organic produce, with reduced amount of animal protein and packaging

Goals

  • Promotion of local, seasonal, healthy and organic produce
  • Promotion of links between healthy eating, sport and wellbeing
  • Partnerships established with key caterers, suppliers and sponsors
  • Composting of food waste as part of Zero Waste plan

Legacy

  • Increased markets for farmers in the region
  • Markets, catering and retail outlets supplying local and seasonal food
  • Composting facilities integrated into closed-loop food strategy

 

Sustainable Transport

Reducing the need to travel and providing sustainable alternatives to private car use

Goals

  • All spectators travelling by public transport, walking or cycling to venues
  • Low/no emission Olympic vehicle fleet
  • Olympic Park Low Emission Zone
  • Carbon offset programme for international travel
  • Individualised travel plans as part of integrated ticketing process

Legacy

  • Increased connectivity across and between legacy developments and neighbouring communities
  • Reduced car dependency
  • Car free events policy adopted for other major events
  • Greater market for zero carbon transport

 

 

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One million robots in three years – Foxconn’s Robot Kingdom

The largest private employer in China, Foxconn with over 1 million employees, is finally facing stiff labor costs. This is great news for the U.S. manufacturing sector who may be able to lure some work back to the United States.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the global market, but for now the advantage is all for the robots:

Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, late Friday.

The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers’ dance party Friday night.

Foxconn, the world’s largest maker of computer components which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia.

via Xinhua News Agency

A quote from Foxconn reveals that the issue of rising labor costs for the company are just going to get worse:

…talked about moving its human workers “higher up the value chain” and into sexy fields such as research.

via The Economist

At the market – in season – March the beginning of Spring

I found a fantastic column from writer Carol Golden in San Diego Magazine. “At the Market – what to watch for this month:”

March is a transitional month, like pubescence for produce. We’re tired of root veg, but strawberries haven’t come of age. Thanks be to peas—the hint of light, sweet green we crave as days grow warmer. Eat whole sugar snaps raw, chop into salad, or lightly steam. For English peas, channel your inner grandma and sit with a bowl to shell them. Add the peas and a little water to a skillet, cook until the water evaporates. Or live dangerously with a knob of butter and sea salt. Sauté briefly, eat, and smile. Spring is almost here.

Keep reading for a CSA from Poppa’s Fresh Fish company – $25 for a box (25% off retail)  of local fish, mixed fish, shelled fish, or simply wild salmon.

And, Claravale Farm is bringing their raw milk to the dairy desert of Southern California. Did you know that it is near impossible to find milk, cheese, ice cream, or butter at farmers markets in Orange County and San Diego?

Well the milk man is back, at least at one farmers market in San Diego!

Wanna stay competitive in today's cell phone market? – Then buy 24 million iPhones

Earlier this morning, mobile phone carrier Sprint released its 10-K filing with the SEC for the fiscal year ending in December. In the filing, it revealed that it had made a commitment with Apple to purchase a minimum number of iPhones from Apple amounting to $15.5B in outlay.

Horace Dediu of Asymco makes a good case that Sprint’s commitment is somewhere around 23.8 million iPhones.

Sprint previously said that it needed to buy some 30.5 million iPhones over the next few years in order to stay competitive with rival carriers.

T-Mobile even attributed its recent financial troubles directly to it not carrying the device.

via The Next Web

Wanna stay competitive in today’s cell phone market? – Then buy 24 million iPhones

Earlier this morning, mobile phone carrier Sprint released its 10-K filing with the SEC for the fiscal year ending in December. In the filing, it revealed that it had made a commitment with Apple to purchase a minimum number of iPhones from Apple amounting to $15.5B in outlay.

Horace Dediu of Asymco makes a good case that Sprint’s commitment is somewhere around 23.8 million iPhones.

Sprint previously said that it needed to buy some 30.5 million iPhones over the next few years in order to stay competitive with rival carriers.

T-Mobile even attributed its recent financial troubles directly to it not carrying the device.

via The Next Web

A long way off: seafood at farmers markets that is fresh, local, and sustainable

“Ideally, farmers market customers would like a vendor to offer:

  • Wild fish that is freshly caught, rather than frozen.
  • Caught in local waters.
  • Sold directly by the fisherman, his family or his employees.
  • Available regularly and reliably in a diverse range of products.
  • A reasonable price.

“Realistically, however, it is virtually impossible for one vendor to fulfill all of these criteria, any more than one person can be both a top-flight ballerina and a football linebacker.”

“Many farmers markets do have fish vendors, but almost all of those are resellers who readily tell customers that they bought their fish wholesale. If a certified produce vendor at a farmers market were doing that, they’d be violating the direct-marketing regulations that govern farmers markets.”

“Looking back at the fish vendors who have sold at the prestigious Santa Monica farmers market since she started managing it in 1982, Laura Avery says she can think of only one, a shrimper who no longer operates, who she was sure sold only what he caught.”

From LA Times Market Watch

The same goes for me. I have visited markets all over this country and only found one who sells what they catch. That is Buster’s Seafood at the Dupont Market in Washington DC.

I’m off supermarkets (and all farmers market) (13 pics)

Two years ago (Sep, 09) I took an insane leap of faith and went completely off supermarkets. I was on a quest to find the healthiest food available and farmers markets were increasingly fitting the bill. My supermarket at the time, Whole Foods, was considered to offer superior food but was mostly overcharging me for inferior food.

The food at the farmers market was cheaper and tasted better, but I was only buying select items. It wasn’t accounting for my main meals everyday. So I cut the cord and said goodbye to processed, packaged foods, and refrigerated produce.

I figured I would last a week and run starving back to Whole Foods.

The world I encountered was so different from what I expected. Peaches that were so filling I could skip a meal. Desserts that I couldn’t over-eat and had to save for later. Items called “seconds” that cost pennies to the dollar only because they needed to be eaten right away.

I was hooked. My worries quickly faded away and the weeks turned into months. Now, here I am years later and still enthralled. The food varies each week but is always filling and tasty.

Below is a photo-sample of this weeks purchases. Enjoy!

And, if you are thinking of trying out farmers markets, or even getting off supermarkets, I give you a virtual high-five. It will be the best decision you ever make.

Jalapeños, super hot. They use to be green, but turn red as they dry. When dry they flake and can be used for spicing it up.

 

Staggered avocado bag. Each one ripens at a different time in the week.
Country White and Cheese.
Watermelon is almost gone and super cheap ($3)
Bean sprouts.
Easy to cook (3 mins) and doesn't need sauce, just a few cut-up vegetables, cheese.
Concord grapes.
3 for $10
BBQ the corn. Dip the broccoli in the hummus.
Perfect for quesadillas and pasta
For meatball sandwiches.
The honey is for making ice cream.
The old-school italian farmer said three of these (dried Jujubes) every morning keeps you regular.