Friday Buffet

Mandatory composting is officially a go in San Francisco (and should start this fall), as Mayor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law. You can read the text of his speech or watch it:

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Mottainai! Here’s a heartening, non-food related post on my favorite Japanese word (and concept).

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Also from Japan, here’s a fascinating look into the business of convenience stores. They need to have sandwiches and bento boxes available for purchase, but that means great waste (I’ve heard 25%).

…stores that reduce orders run the risk of regularly selling out and leaving their shelves empty, dealing a blow to the business model convenience stores are based on.

Maybe the model isn’t sustainable?

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Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) introduced legislation that would make permanent tax breaks for farms and small businesses donating food. The current law on the topic is set to expire at the end of 2009.

Here’s a very important paragraph:

Current law permits businesses a deduction from their taxes for a donation equal to either 1) twice cost basis; or 2) the difference of cost basis plus one half the difference between cost basis and fair market value. Food donations from all sizes of businesses can qualify for this type of donation. Lugar’s bill introduced today increases the valuation to full market value of the donation and makes this provision a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code.

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Finally, if you skip to the second-to-last paragraph here, you’ll get an indication that the food industry is beginning to pay more attention to waste. Then again, it is the second-to-last graf…

William V. Hickey, president and CEO of Sealed Air Corp., urged agility and an end to inertia in combating food waste. “Food has never been more in abundance. But if there is enough food, why do one in seven people go hungry? I believe we can feed all of the world’s hungry people without cutting down another rain forest. The issue is not how much food we produce but how much we waste.”

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