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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Melinda Clark

Startup Uses Crowd-sourced Data to Map Food Supply Chain in Effort to Help Consumers Find Sustainable Food

June 19, 2012 |

What do you get when you cross Yelp, Wikipedia and Twitter, GIS and sustainable agriculture? The answer is Food Sprout.

Food Sprout is an ambitious attempt by Linda Chang and Andrew Naber to map the world’s food supply chain. It aims to be a Wikipedia-like platform that brings transparency to the food chain by tracing the movement of our food. On it, consumers, farmers, restaurants, distributors, and anyone else who has a hand in bringing food from seed to stomach can track, share and receive information about their food’s origins. Read More

NY-based Dairy Cooperative Holds Members to Highest Standards, Lets Milk Speak for Itself

June 6, 2012 |

Photo: Hudson Valley Fresh

Sam Simon, the President of Hudson Valley Fresh, a not-for-profit cooperative consisting of eight dairy farms – and 1,200 cows – in Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster Counties in New York State, believes that all milk is not created equal. And through adherence to strict standards of quality, humane treatment of animals, segregated milk processing and the resultant songs of praise for the cooperative’s products from countless consumers and retailers, Hudson Valley Fresh appears to bear out Simon’s belief.

The premium quality milk and milk products produced by the cooperative – including half and half, heavy cream, sour cream and ice cream mix – are sold locally in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut. Read More

In Feat of Alchemy, Phoenix, AZ-based Startup Transforms Food Waste into Organic Produce and Profit

April 18, 2012 |

What do you get when you feed a special ‘wine’ distilled from food waste to a giant sock filled with earthworms, seed and ground up coconut husks? You get a bounty of organic produce. This is not a joke, but rather a potential solution to address major worldwide issues related to food waste and food security. It is also the basic idea behind VermiSoks, a triple bottom line company that has developed a sustainable closed loop growing solution that converts food waste into a specially formulated liquid mixture used to grow organic produce.  Read More

Los Angeles-based Sustainable Ag Venture Seeks to Create Network of Urban Farms to Feed and Foster Community

April 9, 2012 |

What do cuisine, land use, architecture and renewable energy have in common? A lot, according to Urban Green, a company working to connect these “inter-related disciplines.”

Urban Green operates three urban farms and a 4,800 square foot food facility in Los Angeles, CA. The farms employ a variety of growing practices, from traditional permaculture at the first site, which has been running for six years, to hydroponics at a new project in downtown Los Angeles. Urban Green takes a holistic approach to all of its projects, using not only permaculture practices, but reusable and biodegradable containers for its cuisine and renewable energy sources whenever possible. Read More

Certification Org. Pushes Consistent Commitment to Sustainability in Agriculture at Every Step of Production

March 22, 2012 |

With incredibly comprehensive guidelines on environmental stewardship, social responsibility and animal welfare, Portland-based Food Alliance is making it easier to identify producers who demonstrate a true commitment to sustainability.

Food Alliance is a nonprofit that develops stewardship guidelines to help define sustainable agricultural practices and provides third-party certification of sustainable agricultural and food handling practices. It began in 1993 as a joint project of Oregon State University, Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture to create market incentives for the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. In 1997, it was incorporated and began creating its first guidelines, initially for fruit and vegetable growers. Read More