GOOD

Will Grocery Stores Go the Way of Video Stores?

Requiring shoppers to go to overstocked stores bakes waste into the U.S. food system. Could grocery stores migrate online the way video stores have?



Think about the last time you went into a grocery store and saw an empty table or shelf. Tough, right? That's because it virtually never happens in this country. American shoppers have become accustomed to finding whatever food item they want when they go to the grocery store—and plenty of it, too. That expectation, which U.S. shoppers have only really had for the last few decades, plays a big role in the country's growing food waste problem. According to a recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 40 percent of fresh food produced in the United States is wasted every year. That's more than 20 pounds of food wasted per person per month, all year long. Even worse? The majority of that food ends up not in food banks but in landfills, where it contributes 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions.

Of course, that's not all to do with the fact that stores overstock shelves—and wind up throwing rotted food away—in order to meet shopper expectations. "It adds up in every part of the supply chain," says Elliott Grant, founder and CTO of Yottamark, the company behind food traceability platform HarvestMark. "Some product is left on the farm, some is rejected at receiving, some is wasted at the stores. At every part of the chain a little is added to that pile."

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Vegan Turducken and the Quest for the Perfect Meatless Thanksgiving

Who says a vegan Thanksgiving can't be delicious?

Thanksgiving is sort of like Hanukkah for vegans. Sometimes they just feel a little left out. Which probably goes a long way toward explaining the weird number of vegan turducken recipes out there on the interwebs. To help vegans plan a terrific T-day meal without feeling like they're just putting lipstick on a field roast, we tapped a network of vegan chefs for their favorite recipes, from the perfect vegan turducken to delicious dessert options.

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The 'Gill to Fin' Trend: TED Author Maria Finn on Eating the Whole Fish

How to eat fish from gill to fin, from Maria Finn's new TED book, The Whole Fish


The whole "hoof to snout" trend has been big in foodie land for a few years now, but a similar trend in seafood has been slower to take hold. With her new TED book, The Whole Fish, commercial fisherwoman-turned-food writer Maria Finn hopes to change that. In addition to championing the consumption of so-called "forage fish," such as sardines and herring, Finn espouses the benefits of eating fish "gill to adipose fin,"as a way to combat the impacts of overfishing and poor aquaculture practices. Finn saw first-hand how indigenous tribes in Alaska used every part of the salmon and began wondering when Americans lost our taste for "fishy" fish. From there she embarked on a journey that included everything from "fish bacon" (dried salmon skin) to the herring abundant near her Bay Area home. The result is a great guide to sustainable seafood consumption that's equal parts fish tale and cookbook. Finn talked to us about her adventures in fishing from her houseboat in Sausalito.

GOOD: What is your favorite forage fish?

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Comfort Food Is Real: Scientists Discover 'Good Mood Foods'

New research pinpoints foods with mood-boosting effects similar to those in prescription mood stabilizers.


The phrase "comfort food" has traditionally been more marketing than anything else, used to describe foods or menus that take us back to childhood or make us feel warm and cozy on a cold day. Mac 'n' cheese and fried chicken tend to be involved. But scientists looking at the effects of different foods and food flavors on mood have recently found evidence that certain flavors are truly comforting.

At the national meeting of the American Chemical Society last month, Karina Martinez-Mayorga, Ph.D., presented the latest findings from her ongoing study of the effect of various food flavors on mood. It turns out that molecules in chocolate, a variety of berries and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids positively affect mood. Moreover, Martinez-Mayorga and her team have found that the chemical components of these food flavors are structurally similar to valproic acid, the primary ingredient in several pharmaceutical mood stabilizers, including Depakene, Depakote and Stavzor.

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