Here is a shameful statistic: A little more than 1 billion tons of food is wasted every year around the world. Researchers are working to find ways to reduce the staggering amounts of wasted food, and one of the latest studies on the topic suggests that thinking of fresh produce in terms of human traits may help.
This humanizing of food may help people look at fruits and vegetables that are a little less than fresh or imperfect in a different way. “We suggest that when old produce is humanized, it is evaluated more favorably, since it leads consumers to evaluate the old product with a more compassionate lens,” write the researchers, who are from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Houston. A couple of the ways that the researchers anthropomorphized produce that was slightly past its prime in images was to show a banana lounging in a chaise and arranging cucumber slices in a way to show a human face. Subjects rated these types of images more favorably than images of produce that was not anthropomorphized.
The researchers suggest that store managers and food marketers could adopt a similar format to showcase produce that may look less than perfect but is otherwise nutritious and safe. They published their study in Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.
Seeking a way to increase grain yield, researchers at The University of Hong Kong, the University of Calgary, and Rothamsted Research collaborated on a study that lays the foundation for improving rice yields by augmenting the size and weight of grains by 10%.
The latest research published in Environmental Science & Technology showed that tiny mealworms are not only able to eat and digest various forms of chemical-laden plastic waste, but they also remain safe as a protein-rich food source for other animals.
Researchers at the University of Surrey and Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials investigated the effects of plastic pollution in water. They determined that the freshwater that enters water and wastewater plants contains perhaps millions of tiny pieces of plastic that existing water treatment plants are not designed to detect, remove, or effectively treat.
Picture cherry tomatoes growing in a cluster on a short vine in an urban environment, like the roof of a skyscraper. If the gene-edited tomato plants recently designed by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory prove successful, tomatoes and other crops could one day be the stars of city gardens.
Mondelēz International has announced an agreement to acquire a significant majority interest in Give & Go, a North American manufacturer of sweet baked goods.
Mintel has announced two trends that are impacting the global packaging industry this year: Ahead of the Recycling Curve and In-Store Refill.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com introduced its checkout-free technology in a large grocery store, called Go Grocery, in Seattle on February 25.
Graphic Packaging International (GPI) has launched a new line of PaperSeal trays, offering brands and retailers the opportunity to replace modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and vacuum skin packaging (VSP) plastic trays with a new barrier-lined paperboard alternative.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, a department-wide effort to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands.