Up Your Food Sustainability Smarts And Try These Tips To Fuel The Cause

Young Woman Harvesting Home Grown Lettuce

As we enter a new decade, many communities and consumers are rethinking the way we produce and use resources. We may see increasing focus on how factors like land degradation, overfishing and declining soil fertility are impacting the environment’s ability to meet our current needs. The United Nations reports that if the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, we’ll require almost three planets’ worth of resources to live the way we do today.

No wonder the sustainability movement is building momentum. And as it does, education among consumers is crucial. What qualifies as sustainable food? What changes can we make as individuals to improve environmental stability and help protect our planet for generations to come?

The Three Pillars Of Environmental Sustainability

“Sustainable food is produced in a way that will allow you to keep producing it over time,” says Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. “That means it will not deplete the soil, pollute the air or destroy the waters around it.”

What exactly is the definition of sustainability? According to the advocacy group Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming, sustainable food typically describes food that is produced, processed, distributed and disposed of in ways that:

  • Contribute to the economy
  • Protect biodiversity of plants and animals
  • Ensure environmental health by maintaining healthy soil; managing water wisely; and minimizing air, water and climate pollution
  • Provide social benefits and educational opportunities
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Together, these environmental, economic and social pillars provide a robust foundation for producing and consuming food in eco-friendly ways that are safe for the land and its billions of inhabitants.

Why Should We Care?

As the UN describes it, the global impact of nonsustainable practices is alarming. Its website reports that less than 3% of the world’s water is drinkable; humans are polluting water in rivers and lakes faster than nature can purify; and the food sector accounts for about 30% of global energy consumption, and 22% of greenhouse gas emissions.

(Farming) Practice Makes Perfect

The good news is that sustainable farming practices can offset some of the damage being done to the planet. One example is crop rotation—or planting a variety of crops. According to Hanson, many “agricultural programs really encourage the growing of corn all the time, anywhere it can be grown.” That’s a mistake, he says, as crop rotation is critical to improving pest control, preventing the spread of disease and protecting soil fertility for future food production.

Another farm sustainability practice entails reducing or eliminating tillage. The Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that by reducing reliance on traditional plowing (tillage) techniques, which often lead to significant soil loss, and inserting seeds directly into the soil, farmers can minimize erosion and enhance soil fertility.

A growing body of research shows that animal welfare also plays a key role in more sustainable agricultural development. For example, many farmers are adopting innovative grazing management strategies, such as alternating periods of grazing, matching animal numbers to predicted forage supply and ensuring plant diversity, reports the Beef Cattle Research Council. These practices not only prevent overgrazing, but also ensure productive pastures and greater animal health and productivity.

You Have The Power To Make Change

Farmers aren’t the only ones responsible for supporting the sustainability movement. Those outside of the agriculture industry also have the power to embrace social responsibility and work toward creating a more sustainable future.

“One of the things people can do is support their local farmers market,” says Hanson. That’s getting easier to do. According to the Farmers Market Coalition, there are now more than 8,600 farmers markets—up from nearly 2,000 in 1994.

What food you buy is just as important as where you buy it—which means it’s time to support organic farming. Hanson recommends buying organic produce when possible. And when it comes to fish, consider opting out of farm-raised options: “If you have a choice between a farm salmon or a wild salmon, take the wild one. It costs more, but it’s worth it.” Other strategies include cutting back on processed foods and heavily packaged products.

And finally, buy only as much as you’ll consume. According to the UN, we produce 1.3 billion tons of food waste each year. However, by spreading awareness around environmental issues and educating consumers about food production, we can improve social responsibility and create an environmentally sustainable future.

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Source: Amway BrandVoice: Up Your Food Sustainability Smarts And Try These Tips To Fuel The Cause

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The Popeyes Fried Chicken Sandwich Is Back. Here’s What You’ll Find

The Popeyes fried chicken sandwich that kicked off last summer’s Great Fried Chicken Sandwich Wars returned on Sunday. And judging by my experience in getting one, the buzz around the sandwich is back, too. Popeyes announced the sandwich’s return last week, in time for National Sandwich Day. The signs were up, but there was no sign of the sandwich.

“Sunday at 10 am sharp,” the counter clerk told me, via the drive-thru intercom. “You better get here early.”

I hadn’t been planning to be there at the opening bell, but I woke up in time, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time. So, I bundled my 91-year-old aunt, Maxine Clapper, into my Prius and set off.

The scene. We arrived at 9:50 am to find a knot of people waiting outside the door, and 14 cars in the drive-thru and the parking lot. We were car No. 11 in the drive-thru.

But at 10 am, we were told there was a delay. The restaurant would open at 11 am, despite the instructions we were given and the hours posted on the door .

The delay wasn’t explained, but the restaurant then posted “cash only” signs which made me think it might have been a credit card processing issue.

The wait. We contemplated leaving, but decided to stay. Around us, others stayed, too, including the group at the door. A manager eventually came out and gave those people numbers so they could go wait in their cars in the 37F cold.

As the 10 am hour ticked by, more people arrived. The drive-thru line re-formed, and eventually, it stretched down the side of the restaurant, through the parking lot, past the front of the restaurant and onto the road outside.

I chatted with a couple of customers, and learned they had been unable to get the Popeyes sandwich during its first appearance (I nabbed one just before it sold out).

They were determined to get one this time. And after the restaurant doors finally opened at 11 am, the first customers emerged, holding their Popeyes bags high in victory.

It took us about 25 minutes to get up to the drive-thru window and collect our sandwiches. We pulled into a parking lot space, and opened the bag. On Friday, I stopped by my local Popeyes near Ann Arbor, Mich., just to see if it had arrived early.

The sandwich. This iteration of the Popeyes fried chicken sandwich seems identical to the previous version. For $3.99, you get a generous portion of fried chicken breast, a dollop of mayo, two pickles and a soft bun.

If anything, the chicken was even more moist than last time, perhaps because it was prepared in the morning rather than afternoon.

And the pickles seemed thicker, almost a little too thick for a sandwich. We both took them off the sandwich and ate them as a side dish.

Since I’d tried it before, I was curious what Maxine thought of it.

She pronounced it “good,” her all-purpose compliment for something she enjoys eating, and said she would have one again if I brought it home to her. (She’s not from the eat-in-your-car generation, which is understandable.)

She was unable to finish her sandwich, which seems a little large for elderly appetites. Popeyes would do just fine if it made a chicken sandwich slider.

The buzz. A huge advantage to this Popeyes launch, of course, is that it took place on Sunday, when its main rival, Chick-fil-A is closed, and something Popeyes touted in its run up to the chicken sandwich’s return.

Popeyes sign

That Sunday availability is likely to result in a big launch day.

As we drove off, I counted 25 cars waiting in the drive-thru line, and the parking lot was nearly full. I asked the counter clerk how many she thought they would serve, and she estimated it would be more than 100.

Based on the early demand, they most likely sold them all by the end of the lunch hour.

Business may not keep up at that rate, and Popeyes might not get the massive marketing boost that the chicken sandwich generated last time.

But at least for now, it has successfully fired its second shot.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I’m an alumni of the New York Times and NPR. I learned to cook from my mom, and studied with Patricia Wells and at Le Cordon Bleu. E: mamayn@aol.com T: @mickimaynard I: @michelinemaynard Sorry, I don’t honor embargoes.

Source: The Popeyes Fried Chicken Sandwich Is Back. Here’s What You’ll Find

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Capital One BrandVoice: 5 Fall Festivals For Food Lovers

Fall is peak foodie season—and packed with great culinary events, from coast to coast. If you’re hungry for a culinary adventure this autumn, try these standout food festivals. They’re as fun as they are delicious.

South Beach Seafood Festival

The South Beach Seafood Festival is much like the Miami neighborhood that gives it its name: chic, glossy and very VIP.

This weeklong event includes ticketed dinners where cutting-edge chefs do their stuff in exclusive locations.

Star chefs doing innovative things with expensive ingredients is a big part of the event. But there are still plenty of affordable, family-friendly activities to enjoy.

Pop-up cafes will serve great inexpensive food in the balmy air. DJs will spin music. And the Milam’s Markets Culinary Showcase Kitchen will feature live cooking demos, so attendees can sharpen their kitchen skills.

Arkansas Cornbread Festival

People in Arkansas take their cornbread seriously.

That’s all to the culinary benefit of visitors to this late-October event in Little Rock’s fashionable SoMa district.

But great cornbread isn’t all there is here. There’s also live music and artisan booths, heaps of Southern cooking besides cornpone and lots of debate about those eternal cornbread questions: White flower or yellow? Sugar or no sugar? Baking pan or cast-iron skillet?

The festival peaks with a cornbread baking competition that Southern foodies take very seriously. Festival attendees get to vote for the winner, so get ready to sample lots of the big-flavored golden stuff that gives this event its reason for being.

Eagle River Cranberry Fest

Just shy of Wisconsin’s northern border, the small town of Eagle River celebrates one of autumn’s quintessential foods. More than 40,000 visitors buy 10,000-plus pounds of fresh and dried cranberries there each October. Impressive for a town with a population of 1,500.

The event is both culinary and educational. Sure, visitors will get their fill of cranberry pancakes, cranberry sausages, hot cranapple cider and shredded cranberry pork sandwiches. But they can also tour the local cranberry marsh to learn about the role that this tiny red fruit has played in Eagle River’s economy and culture over the centuries.

And to round out a long weekend of fun, there’s an art show, an antiques market and live entertainment.

Pickle Day

A big festival in a small town is great. But a small festival in a big city can be just as delicious.

Each October, New York City’s Lower East Side celebrates its immigrant history with Pickle Day. In a nod to the neighborhood’s long-ago pushcart market, vendors line three city blocks with pickled everything, courtesy of local restaurants and other picklers.

There’s also live music, face painting, carnival games and a giant talking pickle.

If you don’t actually make it to lower Manhattan to give pickled watermelon, kimchi or good ol’ pickle-on-a-stick a whirl, you can still get in on the fun. The festival sells whimsical Pickle Day merchandise online. It’s perfect for pickle enthusiasts everywhere.

West Virginia Roadkill Cook-off

Don’t worry. There’s no actual roadkill at this festival. But if it was called the “West Virginia Wild Game Cook-off,” it just wouldn’t be as fun.

And fun is at the heart of this quirky event in the tiny town of Marlinton, West Virginia. At the end of each September, inventive chefs assemble here from all over the country.

They join locals in taking a gourmet approach to ingredients ranging from the humble—like squirrel, deer and rabbit—to the exotic—think iguana, snapping turtle and wild boar.

In addition to the chance to try once-in-a-lifetime dishes like squirrel gravy over biscuits and teriyaki-marinated bear, visitors get to enjoy a bit of true Americana. Come for the rabbit Alfredo, stay for the square dancing and Miss Roadkill contest.

Ready to taste your way through fall? With these mouthwatering food festivals on your calendar, this could be your most appetizing autumn yet.

A former downtown development professional, Natalie Burg is a freelancer who writes about growth, entrepreneurialism and innovation.

This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or legal advice, or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances.

Capital One does not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to cardholders, including digital tools, that help cardholders save time and money. Being confident in knowing that finances are under control should be a priority for rewards cards customers. Capital One has its customers’ backs so they can be confident and in control of their finances. Capital One is committed to finding new ways to make the payment experience easy for customers and is always innovating with cardholders – and their busy lives – in mind. For more information on Capital One credit cards, visit https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/rewards/.

Source: Capital One BrandVoice: 5 Fall Festivals For Food Lovers

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Hawaiian barbecue is no-frills and mixed, just like the Filipino-Chinese entrepreneur who made it mainstream: Eddie Flores, Jr.

Hawaii’s quintessential plate lunch of meat, macaroni salad and two scoops of white rice originated in the late 1800s as the midday meal for workers on Hawaii’s pineapple and sugar plantations, with immigrants from Japan, China, the Philippines, Korea and Portugal adding their food traditions. Hence, you’ll find katsu, char siu, adobo, Korean fried chicken and Portuguese sausage on the menu, in addition to native Hawaiian dishes like Kalua pork.

It seems only fitting then that L&L Hawaiian Barbecue was recently rated by Entrepreneur magazine as the top Asian fast food franchise in the U.S. The Honolulu-based restaurant chain serves affordable island comfort food at more than 200 locations from California to Florida, all of which are independently owned, mostly by immigrants. (Panda Express, in contrast, owns all of its outlets.) L&L also has two locations in Japan, with Flores open to more Asian expansion. The company recorded $95 million in sales in 2018.

And the founder and CEO is an immigrant himself.

I met Flores at an L&L inside a Walmart in downtown Honolulu. He’s ambitious and a dreamer, “cocky,” as his wife would say. He’s working to have an L&L in every Walmart on the mainland.

Flores’ family moved to Hawaii from China when he was a youth, the eldest boy of seven children. His Filipino father, a musician, and Chinese mother, have sixth-grade educations and were part of the middle class in Hong Kong. In Hawaii, his father worked as a janitor and his mother a restaurant cashier and dishwasher to make ends meet.

Today In: Asia

That’s what sparked Flores’ entrepreneurial spirit. “I told myself I’m not going to be poor,” he said.

But it wasn’t easy for the 72-year-old, who had a learning disability and repeated grades four times in China. Still, he learned to be aggressive and business savvy, working in banks and then real estate. In a few years, he became a millionaire and bought a restaurant for his mom in 1976, which would eventually be the first L&L, and the birth of a food empire.

Before poke became Hawaii’s hottest food trend, Flores popularized Spam musubi, a handheld snack of seaweed-wrapped grilled luncheon meat on top of rice. He says he was serving brown rice on his menu before most of the mainland U.S. knew what it was.

“No one ever took a concept of Hawaii to the mainland and made it. We were the first one,” Flores said. “We’re the only true Hawaiian brand serving Hawaiian food.”

To stay true to the brand, potential franchisees spend time in Hawaii to get to know the local icon’s “Aloha spirit.”

His upbringing made him a long-time champion of immigrants, especially the Filipino community in Hawaii. And while he made his fortune in real estate and franchising, he says his real legacy is building the 50,000-square-foot Filipino Community Center, the largest cultural center outside the Philippines. It aims to support the 300,000 or so Filipinos living and working in the state–about a quarter of the local population–with health and educational services as well as entrepreneurial and business incubation. Furthermore, about 60% of the new immigrants in Hawaii are from the Philippines.

“It’s for the pride of the Filipino. Filipinos are relegated to the lowest socioeconomic status here, like janitor, dishwasher,” Flores said. “I believe in political empowerment for the community and teaching them entrepreneurship so they can own their own businesses.”

Many of the Filipinos in Hawaii have little education, so it will take two to three generations to move up, Flores added. “Of the 1,200 board of directors of publicly traded companies here, only three are Filipino.”

Flores has also brought Hawaiian business delegations to the Philippines to explore opportunities with the motherland. But he admits cultural differences make it difficult to do business there. Entrepreneurship doesn’t come naturally for many Filipinos, he explains. Even in the United States, where immigrants grow up believing in the American dream, starting a business requires taking risks and a willingness to fail–an approach that runs counter to the more cautious culture of many Asians.

It’s a reality Flores is working to change, especially as an immigrant who overcame poverty and adversity to become one of the most successful Asian food franchise operators in the U.S.

“We are first-generation immigrants,” he said, “and since we’ve been able to achieve the American dream, I want to give back.”

I’m an international news anchor, Asia correspondent and freelance content creator based in Manila, with 20 years of experience in news, business and lifestyle reporting, producing and anchoring across Asia and the United States, including Singapore, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. In 2017, I launched ABS-CBN News Channel’s morning newscasts Early Edition and News Now as lead anchor and managing editor and hosted the popular “Food Diplomacy” segment. From 2013-2016, I was an anchor/correspondent for Channel NewsAsia and hosted “What’s Cooking,” a weekly food and travel show. Before moving to Asia, I worked in New York as an anchor, reporter and editor for several major media companies, including Forbes, CNBC, HGTV, Yahoo and Bloomberg. Born in Los Angeles, I graduated from UCLA and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism

Source: How This Entrepreneur Built A Top-Rated Asian Fast Food Empire

Edit: I honestly can’t believe I posted this garbage video lol. Forgive the low quality. I intend on replacing this video with something much better. But thank you for those who watched through this atrocity haha. I went into L&L Hawaiian BBQ in Las Vegas to see what it was all about! Check it out :D. Follow me on social media!! Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigpileofwesley Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bigpileofwesley Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bigpileofwesley Snapchat: bigpileofwesley

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, Now A Sell-Out, Is A $65 Million Marketing Win

You couldn’t watch a television news program or scour Twitter or Facebook the past week without spotting some mention of Popeyes fried chicken sandwich. But how did that translate to marketing value?

Awfully well, as it turns out.

Apex Marketing Group estimated Wednesday that Popeyes reaped $65 million in equivalent media value as a result of the Chicken Sandwich Wars.

The firm, based outside Detroit, defines that as the price a company would have to pay to purchase the attention it received for free.

Apex takes into account television, radio, online and print news reports, as well as social media mentions.

The evaluation was conducted from Aug. 12, when the sandwich went on sale nationally, through Tuesday evening, yielding 15 days’ worth of data.

Today In: Consumer

The $65 million figure is nearly triple the $23 million in media value that the sandwich generated in its first few days on sale, according to an earlier Apex estimate.

On Tuesday, Popeyes announced that the chicken sandwich would be sold out by the end of the week at its U.S. restaurants.

But it says it is scurrying to bring back the chicken sandwich as a feature of its regular menu, not simply a limited-time offer.

“It is a permanent menu item,” Dana Schopp, a Popeyes spokesperson, said Wednesday.

Eric Smallwood, the president of Apex Marketing, says the chicken sandwich’s media value built relatively slowly in the days right after it went on sale.

The big jump in media value came when news outlets began running taste tests comparing the sandwich with other fast food companies’ chicken offerings.

That coincided with social media and news reports that Popeyes restaurants were running out of sandwiches.

The Chicken Sandwich Wars have been a godsend to Popeyes’ owners, Restaurant Brands International, in their effort to raise the chicken restaurants’ profile.

RBI bought Popeyes in 2017, and has been on a drive to expand Popeyes 3,000 outlets world wide. It recently announced a Popeyes push into China.

“Popeyes is not top of mind when it comes to fast food,” Smallwood said. But thanks to the chicken sandwich, “now everybody’s looking and asking, ‘Where’s the closest Popeyes?'”

The attention that Popeyes received could not have happened a decade ago without social media, Smallwood said.

As soon as a company launches a promotion that is noticed in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, “it picks up, and it explodes from there,” he said.

Until Popeyes launched its sandwich, Chick-fil-A was considered the fast food industry gold standard in chicken sandwiches.

McDonald’s franchise holders recently pleaded with the company to give them a sandwich that could compete with Chick-fil-A’s offering.

Now, “Popeyes comes in and steals some of the glory,” he said.

Some Twitter users have criticized the company for running out of chicken sandwiches so fast. On Tuesday, Popeyes said that it had sold the allotment it expected to have through the end of September.

But Smallwood said that’s an acceptable excuse. “Running out of a supply is ideal economics,” he said.

Depending on how Popeyes handles the sandwich’s return, “there will be a boost” to its business, Smallwood predicts.

But he doesn’t think Popeyes should handle the sandwich any differently than it already has. “I don’t want to spoil their recipe,” he says.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I’m an alumni of the New York Times and NPR. I learned to cook from my mom, and studied with Patricia Wells and at Le Cordon Bleu. E: vmaynard@umich.edu T: @mickimaynar

Source: Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, Now A Sell-Out, Is A $65 Million Marketing Win

When Popeyes launched its fried chicken sandwich on August 12, it got a lot of positive attention — the Twitter announcement got more than 31,000 likes, which is pretty impressive considering that their posts usually get less than 400. What the world didn’t know was that tragedy was soon to strike. Popeyes ran out of chicken sandwiches before the month was over. But what’s the real reason it disappeared? And when will the Popeyes chicken sandwich be available again, if ever? To find out, we have to go back to the beginning. For the longest time, Popeyes only sold chicken pieces and tenders, with no sandwiches on their menu. They have a loyal fan following nonetheless, including the late Anthony Bourdain, who is said to have once eaten at a Popeyes buffet for three days in a row. The Popeyes chicken sandwich, made with their signature crispy fried chicken on a spicy mayo-slathered brioche bun and topped with pickles, was bound to be a hit with fans, but it had a few competitors who wanted to make their presence known when the newcomer started getting attention. Chick-fil-A, a big name in the chicken sandwich game, was compelled to tweet out an equation alluding to the fact that they have the original chicken sandwich, stating: “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the [love] for the original.” Popeyes wasn’t having it, tweeting a simple “… y’all good?” in response. While Chick-fil-A’s tweet got more than 23,000 likes, the reply from Popeyes got almost 325,000. Round one goes to Popeyes. Wendy’s, with its notoriously on-point Twitter game, also tried to get in the fight, posting a tweet that said: “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich.” But once again Popeyes’ reply — “Sounds like someone just ate one of our biscuits. Cause y’all looking thirsty.” — got way more engagement from customers. The fast food chicken sandwich war has officially begun. It’s not just social media hype, either. The masses seem to agree that Popeyes chicken sandwich really is superior to Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich, calling it better and cheaper. CBS This Morning’s Gayle King, who called 15 different Popeyes locations trying to get her hands on one, said on her first bite, Even celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse gave his version of a five-star review. He posted on Twitter that he was about to try the Popeyes chicken sandwich, and when a fan asked what he thought of it, Lagasse replied with two explosion emojis, the picture version of his famous catchphrase. But not everyone managed to try one of the chicken sandwiches. Just 15 days after they launched, Popeyes made an announcement on Twitter, dashing the dreams of hopeful diners. “Y’all. We love that you love The Sandwich. Unfortunately we’re sold out (for now).” A Popeyes spokesperson told CBS why the sandwich sold out so quickly, explaining: “The demand for the new Chicken Sandwich in the first few weeks following its launch far exceeded our very optimistic expectations. In fact, Popeyes aggressively forecasted demand through the end of September and has already sold through that inventory.” The chain hasn’t said exactly when the Popeyes chicken sandwich is coming back, only that they, along with their suppliers, are quote, “working tirelessly to bring the new sandwich back to guests as soon as possible.” If you want to know the second it becomes available, you can download the Popeyes app and enable push notifications. You’ll get an alert as soon as the sandwich hits stores, so keep gas in your car and a go-bag by the door, because you never know when the call might come. And don’t worry — once the Popeyes chicken sandwich becomes available it won’t be disappearing again. According to a Popeyes spokesperson, the chicken sandwich is permanently on the menu. That’s great for fans of the chain, but the question remains: What are we going to do with ourselves while we wait for its return? Watch the video to find out the real reason Popeyes ran out chicken sandwiches! #Popeyes #Chicken #ChickenSandwich
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