GOOD

Avocados that stay ripe twice as long to be available nationwide

via Apeel

Americans are beginning to wake up to the idea that food waste is a serious problem. According to the USDA, 30 to 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is thrown away.

Food waste is a terrible drain on the average household bank account and is morally questionable at a time when one in eight Americans are food insecure.

Add to that, the environmental impact is staggering. Food waste now accounts for more than one quarter of America's freshwater consumption and approximately 300 million barrels of oil per year.


A big reason why so much food goes to waste is that it spoils or people refuse to eat items past their sell-by date. Fruit and vegetables aren't ripe for long, so they're often the first things thrown out.

RELATED: France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away

Apeel Sciences, a company founded with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has come up with an ingenious way to make avocados last twice as long, and they will soon be available across the country.

Apeel created a special substance that it sprays on the fruit which mimics its natural peel. This slows down water loss and oxidation — the factors that cause spoilage.

"When we deposit them on a piece of produce and it dries, the result is that we form this special structure, this special barrier, which mimics that structure which is employed by longer shelf life produce," James Rogers, Apeel's CEO, told Wired.

Kroger, America's second largest grocery chain, announced last week that Apeel's avocados will be available in over 1,100 stores across the U.S. as part of its Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact initiative.

In addition, the grocery giant will be adding Apeel asparagus and Apeel limes to its stores in the Cincinnati market.

RELATED: These 'public pantries' are popping up all around the world to help fight hunger

Apeel's products are a win-win for customers as well as the grocery stores. Longer shelf-life means less waste for stores as well.

"Apeel's innovative food-based solution has proven to extend the life of perishable produce, reducing food waste in transport, in our retail stores and in our customers' homes," Kroger said in a press release.

"Kroger is leading the way to alleviate the food waste crisis at every level, from its supply chain to its retail stores to the homes of over 11 million customers who shop at Kroger every day," Rogers said in a statement.

"We're excited to expand our partnership with Kroger to further prevent food waste while simultaneously giving families more access and time to enjoy healthy fresh produce," he continued.

Science
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet