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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.

CropMobster is trying to solve that problem, by connecting communities to reduce waste. For starters, they find buyers for family farms' excess food, both helping their bottom line and getting food to those who need it most. So far they've prevented more than a million servings of local products from going into the waste bin–and they're just getting started.

To learn more about the people behind CropMobster, check out Food Tank's inte...

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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.

Shoes should never be a luxury, and two young athletes living in Mumbai have decided to do something about it. Their company Green Sole converts old shoes into new footwear, and distributes it to Indian schoolchildren. And they're not alone: an entire category of companies in India has sprung up around repurposing old materials into new products.

To read more about Green...

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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.

Today, at 66, Shiva has founded a biodiversity farm, Navdanya, as well as Earth University, a learning center that teaches students principles of biodiversity and what Shiva calls "Earth Democracy." Her commitment to farmers' rights and poison-free farming has earned Shiva a slew of awards and accolades, and she has been called an environmental hero by n...

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Ethiopia has made a lot of encouraging progress in recent years, but despite two decades of economic growth, its economy is still struggling. The nation has one of the world's lowest GDPs per capita, and many Ethiopians still rely on subsistence farming. 29-year old tech entrepreneur Selam Wondim is up to the challenges facing her home country, however. And recent changes on Ethiopia's political horizon, including the election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, have her feeling optimistic.

These days, young Ethiopians are looking more and more to technology–and it's not in search of the latest food delivery app. Where much of new technology in the West is convenience-driven, in Ethiopia peop...

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When Joelle Eyeson and her organization Hive Earth set out to address housing problems in Ghana, their goal was to provide structures that were both eco-friendly and affordable. For instance, building with cement is especially bad for air quality in Ghana's hot climate, so they came up with an alternative: their "rammed earth" technique combines laterite, clay and granite chips for a cheaper, more sustainable material that eliminates 95% of the toxic cement.

This is just one of the innovations they are incorporating into their homes to make them not just more sustainable, but more livable as well. They've also come up with a ventilation method that utilizes a solar pump, an arrangement that c...

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In the developing world, one of the most common problems is the expansion of food production to feed growing populations. Historically, the answer in many places has been to replace forests with agriculture. Currently, the practice is responsible for over seventy-five percent of global deforestation, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

But there are alternatives. A small West African nation of just over two million people, The Gambia is managing to both produce more food and grow more forests. And in the process, they are providing a valuable example for other developing countries around the world.

How are they doing it? Since 1990, the Gambian government has been ...

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Papua, New Guinea is a country of more than 8 million people, but most would be hard-pressed to point it out on a map. That isolation, caused by years of colonialism and exploitation, makes it very difficult for citizens to find markets for their products.

Thankfully, two New Zealand entrepreneurs have made it their mission to connect the country's producers of essential oils and spices with customers around the world. Tamati and Rebekah Norman also work to safeguard traditional and natural production methods in the country. The two created Native Rituals, a modern apothecary incorporating traditional Māori preparations, and they're the subject of a recent Business Is Boring podcast (which is...

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In a very welcome development, an influx of new venture capital is being directed to companies dedicated to the elimination of food waste. According to a recent report by ReFED, more than $125 million has been invested in the category so far in 2018.

Food waste and food access have long been a focus here at Billions Rising–and with an estimated $218 billion of food going to waste each year, that's hardly a surprise. The problem of food waste in particular has now become a hot topic among VC firms, including such major players as S2G Ventures. As pointed out by Chuck Templeton, S2G's Managing Director,"Food waste is a huge problem hidden in plain sight,” and it offers huge potentia...

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When Ken Jacobus quit his Silicon Valley job to set up Good Start Packaging in 2009, he had little knowledge of the packaging industry, and less than $10,000 in inventory. To make sure every dollar went as far as it possibly could, the entrepreneur did the only sensible thing: he did everything himself. He took on sales, admin, management and even the delivery of product.

Today, Jacobus' company is changing the way that restaurants handle packaging, and helping to create a new sustainable paradigm for the fast food industry. To find out how, read the brand-new Forbes article here.

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Food access in the inner city is a problem that we've long struggled with, and the inability to find anything other than fast food in many of our urban environments is a serious health concern. Thankfully, we've seen some inroads in this area, especially in the world of nonprofits.

One remarkable nonprofit group is Denver's The GrowHaus, which has taken a community-centered approach to the problem. They've considered everything from local food production to education, food habits and food waste, and come up with some truly unique solutions.

Ortilia Lujan Flores has struggled with access to food for a long time. Like everyone, Flores wanted to be able to buy affordable, wholesome food. But she ...

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