Next Green Thing

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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Sausages with a side order of stationery

Delivering post with the potatoes and backhauling waste to maximise the final mile. It’s logistics in a logical world. Amy Fetzer reports. First it is the food order, another doorbell signals some stationery, whilst the next interruption is for empties. And so it goes on. Deliveries and collections can be disruptive, interrupting the flow of…
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Less meat, more beet

Vegetarians might be turned off by plant-based burgers that sizzle and bleed, but it’s just the start of innovation that will place meat-free front and centre, says Emily Byrd. Increasing demand for healthy, sustainable foods coupled with innovations in food science has elevated meatless alternatives to new heights of quality. Those who suffered through the…
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Will this be the breakthrough year for equal pay?

Appointing more women to senior roles has long been a priority for companies seeking to present themselves as inclusive places to work. Yet while the journey towards gender diversity in the corporate world has been steady – if a little plodding – progress towards pay equality has been far slower. For those pushing the equal…
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Will EU plans hold water?

As governments across Europe struggle with shortages, Brussels hopes to boost use of wastewater to irrigate crops. But are consumers ready, asks Valerie Flynn. As the warm summer months arrive, ask yourself this: would you eat food grown on land that had been irrigated with treated wastewater? It’s a question that governments across Europe will…
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