April 15th, 2014
08:00 PM ET
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Hitting the grocery store is getting more costly.

Beef prices are at a record high, and the cost of other staples, such as milk, butter, eggs, fruit and vegetables are climbing. With a severe drought ravaging farms across most of California, prices are at risk of shooting significantly higher this year.
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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Disaster • Drought • Environment • Farms


Holy guacamole, enough with the panicking!
March 5th, 2014
04:30 PM ET
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Could guacamole and some salsas become victims of global warming? Possibly, says Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The restaurant chain, in an annual report, listed drought and global weather change among a long list of business risks faced by the company.
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Filed under: Chipotle • Climate Change • Fast Food • Shortages • Sustainability


February 27th, 2014
12:40 AM ET
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Love that chocolate Haagen-Dazs ice-cream? But what about the way its makers treat their farmers? How about KitKat and the way its production impacts the environment?

In a campaign to push big companies towards more ethical sourcing, international development group Oxfam is asking people to think about food producers' attitudes towards issues such as climate change and workers' rights the next time they dig into their favorite treat.
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February 17th, 2014
01:15 PM ET
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Ryan Goodman has been involved in agriculture all of his life, working on ranches across the country, as well as studying cattle nutrition and reproduction at the college levels. He works daily with farmers and ranchers, helping their voices become part of the national dialogues on food and agriculture topics. You can reach him on Twitter @AgProudRyan, as well as his personal blog, AgricultureProud.com.

Farmers and ranchers are upset about how a burrito company is portraying their business. If you haven't seen them already, Chipotle has run a series of ads during the past few years centered around "Food With Integrity" and the idea that we can "Cultivate a Better World" by eating their burritos. 

These ads depict modern food and livestock production through Chipotle's marketing eyes and as their spokespeople tell us, the motive is to raise awareness about learning more about where our food comes from. But does Chipotle practice what it preaches?
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February 5th, 2014
11:45 AM ET
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The concepts of eating ethically and watching where our food comes from have become hot topics in the food world.

CNN’s forthcoming Freedom Project documentary examines the cocoa industry and the work undertaken to combat exploitation of workers throughout the journey from “bean to chocolate bar,” shining a light on the often challenging issue of eating ethically.

Broadly speaking, eating ethically can cover anything from vegetarianism to eating only local produce and boycotting foodstuffs and products which are considered wasteful or exploitative - for many it’s a personal choice.
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Filed under: Chocolate • Environment • Food Politics • Human Rights • Hunger • iReport • Labor Issues


February 4th, 2014
09:27 AM ET
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Brian Maloof knows it sounds crazy. Why would a small business build a chicken coop on its roof?

Maloof’s father, Manuel Maloof, opened his namesake watering hole in 1956. Manuel’s Tavern has been an Atlanta institution for decades, a place where journalists and cops rub elbows with legislators, carpenters and college students as they belly up to the wooden bar. The same portrait of JFK has hung over the bar since the days when “unaccompanied women” were not welcome. It's surrounded by pennants of Atlanta sports franchises, past and present

But things haven’t been easy lately. So Maloof “put it out there in prayer” and waited.

“I just said, ‘Father, I don’t know what it is that you want me to do, but it sure has been tough. I need some help here,’” said Maloof, who left his paramedic job in 2001 to work at Manuel’s.

The response he got back was "chickens.”
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January 27th, 2014
08:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Last week the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission announced that it wants every single vineyard and winery under its purview to be certified sustainable within the next five years. There’s some question what the method of enforcement will be—since the program is voluntary, running over refusenik farmers with tractors or bunging them into big tanks of bad juice and laughing at them as they splash around helplessly is probably right out. But the whole plan’s a noble goal, and would make Sonoma the first wine region in the country to hit that target.
 
What sustainable means is another question. Essentially, it’s an approach to farming (and winemaking) that uses economically feasible, environmentally sound and socially equitable methods. That, obviously, covers a lot of ground—but generally speaking what the goal includes is reducing water and energy use, minimizing pesticide use, recycling natural resources, maintaining wildlife habitats, providing employee education and other strategies.

Given there are over 1,800 vineyards in Sonoma County, some 1,500 individual growers and/or owners and more than 59,000 acres of vineyard land in the county—according to the estimable Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers—it’s an ambitious project. But it’s also an impressive one. And until every last renegade vine is on board, here’s a quartet of sustainably produced Sonoma wines to tide you over.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Environment • Food and Wine • Sip • Sustainability • Wine


How to stop wasting food in 2014
January 17th, 2014
11:45 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

It makes me absolutely crazy when I hear how much good food regularly gets tossed out. A 2012 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council estimated that America discards up to 40% of its food, or about 20 pounds per person per month; the study notes that it’s basically “Farm to Fork to Landfill.” If you crunch the numbers, a family of four might easily chuck more than $1,500 worth of food per year.

My motto this year is “Don’t throw that out.” Several smart chefs and food professionals are way ahead of me. Let's all learn from their smart choices.
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January 10th, 2014
08:45 AM ET
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Zak Smith is an attorney with the marine mammal protection project at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Santa Monica, California.

Did you know that buying American seafood could save a whale?

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council finds that 91% of seafood consumed in the United States is imported and nearly every wild-caught foreign fish product sold in the U.S. violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act, endangering the lives of marine mammals around the world.

Countries exporting fish to America are supposed to prove they use safe methods to catch fish destined for the U.S. market. But for decades the U.S. has failed to enforce this law. That means whales, dolphins and sea lions are at risk, and American fishermen who invest in safer methods have a disadvantage in the marketplace.
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