Next Green Thing

Will Pret ruling change the natural order?

A ruling against Pret A Manger for using the word natural in its marketing could open the floodgates to similar complaints. By Nick Hughes. What exactly do we mean by “natural” food? The question has been at the centre of an intriguing dispute between Pret A Manger and the Real Bread Campaign which culminated recently…
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The big lab meat experiment

Polls suggest the UK public aren’t ready for so-called ‘clean meat’ – but change may be on the way. By David Burrows. Consumer polls must always be taken with a pinch of salt (especially those that quiz a small number of people online and are dreamed up by public relations firms), but this one caught my…
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Three disruptors to keep an eye on in 2018

We look at the start-ups with radical solutions for the big environmental challenges ahead. By Nick Hughes. Here at Footprint, we talk a lot about the environmental challenges facing the food industry. But with every challenge comes an opportunity for an enterprising business to create a solution. From a supplier of edible packaging to a…
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Give peas a chance

The Food Foundation’s new campaign could finally be the spur to get Britain eating more veg, writes Nick Hughes. It’s not often that the entire food sector unites around a single ambition. So hats off to the Food Foundation, whose Peas Please campaign has inspired businesses, government, civil society and public sector bodies to pull…
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What’s in Gove’s plastic bag of tricks?

The new environment secretary’s praise for the carrier bag tax suggests that a previously regulation-shy government could get tough on waste. By David Burrows. What a difference 5p makes. New DEFRA figures show that seven of the UK’s largest food retailers have issued 83% fewer plastic bags since a tax was introduced in October 2015.…
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Does the Impossible Burger live up to the hype?

Plant-based proteins are the dish of the day but the big question is whether they can win over meat-lovers. Niamh Michail reports from Las Vegas. Each year, research and development scientists and food formulators from the world’s biggest ingredient companies come together at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) show. In Las Vegas this year…
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The robots are coming

Machines are replacing people on farms, food factories and McDonald’s restaurants. But fears that they will make humans redundant are overblown, writes Nick Hughes. When self-service kiosks began rolling out to McDonald’s outlets in 2015, staff could have been forgiven for fearing the worst. The machines, which looked like giant white smartphones, allowed customers to…
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Black and white issue

Farmers have launched a new brand of free-range milk with a distinctive black top. Is it really the next green thing? Free-range milk? All milk is free range, isn’t it? No. More and more cows are being kept inside for a lot of the year, but what isn’t clear is how many. The most recent…
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Labels v taxes: which way to cut carbon?

Politicians need to encourage a shift to sustainable diets in the fight against climate change. The big question is how. What does a kilo of greenhouse gases buy you in the supermarket? Researchers at Lancaster University and RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, analysed 1,718 global warming potential values in 168 fresh foods to find out. The…
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Spider-Man’s power and sticking up for foodservice.

IGD has forecast that the food-to-go market is set to rocket in the next five years. Sales will hit £21.7 billion by 2021, compared with a meagre £16.1 billion this year. There will be more options at supermarkets and garage forecourts, the analysts predicted, as well as an expansion in “specialist” outlets and of course…
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