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Family farms are a strong tradition in the United States, and the vast majority of American farms are family-owned. Unfortunately, food waste is a big problem with smaller farms, and nearly one-third of the food produced by local families is never consumed.

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Though difficult for most of us to even imagine, it's a reality for tens of millions of impoverished kids around the world: living every day without shoes on your feet. In India, it's shockingly common to see shoeless infants and toddlers, an obvious health risk that can lead to infections like hookworm and even elephantiasis.

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Despite the fact that standards of life in the U.S. are generally far higher than those in Africa, social scientists puzzle over the fact that suicide rates in Africa are much lower than in the Americas–and nearly half those in Europe. In a culture that is objectively cleaner, safer and more orderly, what breeds this desperation?

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Hospitality and restaurant workers have tough jobs. In fact, they experience higher rates of substance abuse, alcoholism and depression than almost any other field.

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When Mohan Sudabattula was volunteering in the prosthetic department of a Utah hospital, he noticed that medical rehab equipment like crutches and wheelchairs tended to have a short life: that is, it was typically used by one person, then thrown away.

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Last year, bicycle-sharing startup oBike ceased operations in Singapore, leaving the city with an inconvenient parting gift: thousands of abandoned bicycles, left behind in parks and other public spaces.

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Each year, 313 million surgical procedures take place around the world. Unbelievably, only 6 percent take place in our poorest nations, and it's estimated that 5 billion people worldwide lack access to safe and affordable surgery. The problem is especially dire on the continent of Africa, where people are routinely forced to do without medical services that are taken for granted elsewhere in the world.

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When Vandana Shiva was growing up in the wilds of the Himalaya, her father was a forest conservator, her mother a farmer. Her close relationship with nature was set early on, and her involvement with Chipko, a nonviolent org that emerged in response to large-scale deforestation in the region, soon put Shiva on the path to a career in ecology.

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For all of the transformation we've seen in the world of venture capital in recent years, evidence suggests that old ideas persist. Unfortunately, barriers still pervade the space: current figures show that women CEOs net only 3 percent of venture capital, and black women CEOs get only 0.2 percent.

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When Jen Hidinger-Kendrick’s late husband, chef Ryan Hidinger, contracted gall bladder cancer in 2013, the Atlanta restaurant community rallied around him. Moved by the couple's struggle, they threw a benefit to defray the costs of Hidinger’s cancer treatments, and managed to raise over $300,000.

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