From Foodtank.com’s 101 Hopeful Food Facts
1. The James Beard Foundation, in partnership with Food Tank, released the 1st annual Good Food Org Guide last year to highlight nonprofit organizations that are doing exemplary work in the United States in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice.
2. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) released a report providing an overview of local and regional food systems. The results showed many consumers are willing to pay a premium for local food, and the number of state laws supporting local food has increased.
3. Over the last decade, the area of organic farmland in the European Union increased by 500,000 hectares each year.
4. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System, covering 150 million acres, is phasing out the use of genetically modified crops and neonicotinoids on farms by 2016.
5. In India, the organization Navdanya conserves more than 5,000 heirloom crop varieties, including vegetables and medicinal plants, helping preserve agricultural biodiversity and improving resilience to climate change.
6. Underexploited indigenous foods like jackfruit and sand rice are offering solutions for food security in the face of climate change by surviving in poor soil conditions.
7. Food rescue initiatives like the Pig Idea in London and Food Recovery Network in the United States are working to recycle food waste from supermarkets, restaurants, and universities.
8. According to Solar Cookers International, solar ovens help reduce toxic emissions and reduce greenhouse gases, improving both human and environmental health. Solar Cooker at CantinaWest provides resources to find solar cooking classes in eighteen states in the U.S.
9. Chef Dan Barber, co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, wrote The Third Plate to radically change America’s cuisine by moving past farm-to-table. In the book he proposes a new definition for ethical and delicious eating.
10. Chef José Andres’ Think Food Group is bringing together healthy food advocates from around the globe. The World Central Kitchen empowers people to focus on smart solutions to hunger and poverty.
11. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, students from the University of Sarajevo are conducting intercropping and hydroponics field experiments in order to improve the quality and quantity of food produced in the country.
12. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has implemented the Food Wastage Footprint project, designed to address food loss and waste using the concept of full-cost accounting, which emphasizes the inclusion of all costs, including environmental and societal, into the price of food.
13. GRACE Communication’s Eat Well Guide helps diners find resources on sustainable agriculture and makes sustainable food choices easier.
14. Culinary Misfits seeks out the ugly vegetables at grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants and turns them into delectable dishes at the events they cater in the city.
15. In Italy, Last Minute Market works with farmers, processing centers, grocery stores, and other food sellers to reclaim food. LMM now runs food donation programs in more than 40 Italian communities.
16. In Australia, the initiative SecondBite collects surplus food that is safe and edible from farmers to donate to community groups, who then distribute it to households. SecondBite has, to date, rescued nearly eight million kilograms of food that would have been otherwise wasted.
17. For the past eight years, The Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation has been funding food waste issues and has helped Sustainable America build a website to give the public tools and suggestions on how they can help reduce food waste.
18. Veteran chef Robert Clark and marine biologist Mike McDermid partnered up to create The Fish Counter, which sources seafood from a motley crew of “salt of the earth” fishermen and women, each committed to a sustainable Pacific Northwest fishery.
19. Fair Trade tea company Bhakti Chai invests in female tea pickers in India who belong to the Self-Employed Women’s Association to give 90 percent of earnings back to their families and communities so that their daughters can receive an education.
20. In Vancouver, Canada Growing Chefs works with chef-volunteers in elementary school classrooms to plant gardens, harvest vegetables, and teach basic cooking skills.
21. Sustainable Rural Development improves and implements efficient and sustainable farming practices throughout Vietnam, bolstering community organizations and empowering local farmers.
22. The Farmstand app allows users to search for community farmers markets in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
23. The Sustainable Agriculture Project in Haiti has planted four model farms in the regions of Cap-Rouge and Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite, which offer organic farming training to aspiring farmers.
24. The Bangladesh Federal Agriculture Organization (FAO) is currently working on a project to promote food security in the country through enhanced agricultural production, as well as the promotion of diversified sources of income and value addition.
25. The Seafood Watch app makes sustainable choices in seafood easier. It offers recommendations along with information on optimal farming or fishing practices for sushi and seafood. It can be used at restaurants and markets to make ocean-friendly seafood choices.
26. Chef Melissa Kelly, executive chef and proprietor of Primo in Rockland, Maine, operates four acres of land that includes vegetables, several poultry breeds, and nine pigs that supply the restaurant with about 80 percent of its products at the height of the season.