The Pig Idea

I’m thrilled that Tristram Stuart was in Nat. Geo. today. See the link at the bottom of my article.

Diane Walters - Writer

Wiki Commons Bagel Dumpster

A slide appeared, on the screen on TED.com, of a dumpster full 13,000 bread crusts as social entrepreneur Tristram Stuart mused about never being able to get a sandwich from a retail shop that was made from bread crusts. Where do all the bread crusts go? From this single bread factory (shown on the slide), 13,000 bread crusts are dumped into the trash every day.

This food waste expert explained that in America, and other well-developed nations, grocery stores usually carried double the inventory it expected to sell. And, if you add in the food that is fed to livestock, there is up to quadruple the amount that is needed to feed the masses. In his further investigation of food waste, Stuart visited a farmer who was letting 16,000 pounds of spinach die because there were some blades of grass growing here and there. It was not suitable for…

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We Care Solar

We Care SolarIn 2008, Dr. Laura Stachel visited northern Nigeria on a research trip to study maternal mortality in a state hospital. She found that the conditions in northern Nigeria were challenging to say the least. Women were 70 times more likely to die than in the U.S. from complications due to health problems and lack of adequate supplies and equipment.

One of the most attention-grabbing situations, in the hospital she was visiting, was the lack of reliable lighting due to sporadic electricity. Electricity in the main hospital was available no more than 12 hours a day, and there was no guarantee that it would stay on that long. If a woman was giving birth at night, many times there was little to no light at all to deliver the babies. A cesarean section would have to wait until morning or be performed by flashlight; deliveries were performed . . . (Read Full Article)

One Man’s Fight to Save Little Girls

There is a place in Southeast Asia where three countries join their borders to make a very scary place — especially to little girls. The Golden Triangle joins Thailand,Wikipedia Prostitution of Children Laos and Burma — an area once renown for the world’s production of opium. In the past 30 years, the drug trade has dwindled, but crime in the area has not. With 367,000 square miles, large sections have zero law enforcement making this a perfect haven for criminal activity. In Thailand, it is estimated that 25 percent of the economy is based on child prostitution. With that much money at stake, the child sex trade is lively, full of dangerous people trying to get their share of the take.

Families living in the small towns and villages are often surviving in extreme poverty. Loan sharks are readily available to lend a hand in tight circumstances. This financial arrangement can go awry very easily, so much so that even the thought of selling off the daughters closest to puberty is done on a regular basis in order to keep trouble at bay. The social stigma is that children are born to work. Working in retail, a factory or a brothel is equated … (Read the Full Story)

The Empowerment Plan

The Empowerment Plan 3

A woman came out of the shelter that I was in, and she was yelling at me — she was full-on screaming, ‘We don’t need coats! Coats are pointless! We need jobs!’”

This is how social entrepreneur Veronika Scott’s dream job was born. It started in a class she was taking in college. The project was to design something that would fulfill a need. Scott did her research at homeless shelters, and came up with a unique coat design that would turn into a fully utilized sleeping bag. It looks like a regular coat. The bThe Empowerment Plan 2ack of the coat unfolds to open up the bottom half of the sleeping bag through Velcro enclosures. When the coat isn’t in use, it folds up into a bag. For the 20,000 Detroit homeless, she thought this was a great idea.

“Really, she was completely right,” Scott posits about the angry woman at the shelter, “because a coat is just a Band-Aid for a systemic issue. And, what really would make a difference is hiring a population that would need them in the first place.”

That’s was Scott did. She hired homeless single mothers. In her startup phase, there were plenty of naysayers with discouraging The Empowerment Planstatements that homeless people will never be able to work a normal job. Scott found that to be so untrue. The women they’ve hired at The Empowerment Plan have proven to be excellent employees and many have managed to … (Read the Full Story)

Catching Water in Sand

A simple technology that can save millions of gallons of water in areas that are parched and barren for most of the year is what captured Simon Maddrell’s hWikipedia Buidling Sand Damseart. He left the corporate world in search of a way to help people — who sometimes had to walk 12 hours a day to find enough water to make one meal. Meanwhile, the younger children would be left at home without schooling, and the livestock were uncared for during these absences. The land area would be almost useless for agricultural purposes because of the arid conditions.

In 1984, Maddrell met Joshua Mukusya whose passion and desire to find a way to have access to clean water for himself and his neighbors, started an investigation into techniques used during the colonial period, which slowed down water flow. Noticing how much green vegetation those areas had, he started working on plans to enlarge … (Read The Full Story).

The Pig Idea

Wiki Commons Bagel Dumpster

A slide appeared, on the screen on TED.com, of a dumpster full 13,000 bread crusts as social entrepreneur Tristram Stuart mused about never being able to get a sandwich from a retail shop that was made from bread crusts. Where do all the bread crusts go? From this single bread factory (shown on the slide), 13,000 bread crusts are dumped into the trash every day.

This food waste expert explained that in America, and other well-developed nations, grocery stores usually carried double the inventory it expected to sell. And, if you add in the food that is fed to livestock, there is up to quadruple the amount that is needed to feed the masses. In his further investigation of food waste, Stuart visited a farmer who was letting 16,000 pounds of spinach die because there were some blades of grass growing here and there. It was not suitable for market.  It is quite common for farmers to throw out 1/3 to 1/2 half of their crops due to imperfect sizes, shapes or color that would be turned away at market.

In Europe, in 2001, feeding regular unprocessed food to livestock became illegal because of the foot and mouth disease epidemic. Because of the ban, soy has since become a major crop in South America.  Due to the expansion of this commodity, forests are being cut down in places like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to grow soy. From 1965 to 2004 soy production rose from 29 to 200 million tons, most of which is used for livestock feed after the oil is extracted. For 9,000 years, pigs had been fed with the surplus food products and refuse that people did not eat. Presently, people throw away this human grade food by the ton every single day — and pay to have it hauled away to rot in landfills. Then, they buy pig food.

The Pig Idea was born from what Stuart had learned from the overwhelming food waste problem. He joined forces with other Londoners to create public awareness of food waste around the world with the hope that the animal food ban will be lifted. The idea is ecologically sound. Eliminating so much processed feed would save the planet about 20 times more carbon dioxide emissions. More of the rainforest in the Amazon would be saved, as not as much farmland would be needed. More farmers in Europe would be able to stay in business by saving the cost of the expensive grain they are forced to buy. The problem of the foot and mouth disease can be eliminated by cooking the food given to the pigs and chickens.

To bring awareness to this issue, Stuart and his colleagues — the hambassadors, seven of London’s best restaurants, and thousands of Londoners gathered in Trafalgar Square to enjoy over 5,000 portions of free food, including pork that had been raised on food that would have otherwise been wasted at The Pig Ideas’ Feast of 2013.

Stuart started studying food waste at the age of 15 when he raised pigs to supplement his income. He is a renowned author for his book “Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal,” and has won numerous and prestigious awards for his dedication to preserving the planet as well as the pigs.

UPDATE: Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tristram Stuart was featured in the National Geographic Web edition in an article by Elizabeth Royte “How ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger.”

Check it out –

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/03/global-food-waste-statistics/?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=pom_20160228&utm_campaign=Content&utm_rd=1697077923

One Who Teaches with Experience

Wikipedia 375px-Computer_RecyclingTechnology changes at a rapid rate. It’s important for successful businesses to stay up-to-date with new technology. The site eWeek reports that a study done by Techaisle, an analyst and market research foundation, found companies that hold on to their computers for longer than three years, end up spending between $326 to $401 on maintenance of those computers with an extended warranty. For those companies without a warranty that figure jumps up to about $526 for repaired and upgraded computers. They also found that computers malfunction more often after a period of three years, and they suggest replacing them for the most efficient and cost saving measures.

A staggering figure of 355.2 million computers were sold globally in 2011. In 2010, the number was a bit lower at 346.2 million computers that were sold around the world. That means, about every three to five years a large number of those computers are being tossed out, in one way or another.

In 2005, social entrepreneur, Cormac Lynch from Dublin, Ireland, had a plan to do something with all those computers that were being thrown out into the landfills. He wanted to refurbish them for the children around the world, so that they could gain an education. The company he started was named Camara, which is West African for “one who teaches with experience.” In June 2007, 70 volunteers set off with 1,000 computers, and the initiative . . . (Read Full Article)