It is estimated that over 80,000 Chicagoans are homeless and struggle to survive the brutal cold every winter. It is a tragic problem, but one we can all solve. To help those in need, we gather one night a year to spread our warmth through our beautiful city of Chicago - sharing tea, conversation, and kindness with those who feel Chicago’s cold shoulder the most.
Spread the Warmth is an event held by the Tiesta Tea Foundation every January to provide warmth and everyday necessities to our fellow Chicagoans in need. Each year, volunteers from across our community gather together to pass out hot tea and Warmth Kits filled with food and warm clothing items to those in shelters, soup kitchens and on city streets.
Sign up to volunteer here: tiestatea.com/pages/spread-the-warmth
KeHE Distributors, a national leader in the distribution of natural and specialty foods, has been recognized for the sixth time by the Trade Show News Network as the Top 25 Fastest Growing trade shows in net square footage. KeHE’s 2019 Summer Show in Nashville, TN welcomed over 4,000 industry professionals and nearly 750 exhibitors from all product categories. This accolade is just one of many ways KeHE is showing their commitment to industry innovation. The upcoming KeHE Summer Show in February in New Orleans will feature the second Next Generation Innovation Showcase which offers emerging brands across the country a chance to present items to KeHE leaders. Applications are now closed but more opportunities to come!
You can also connect with KeHE at the Chicagoland’s Food and Beverage Network Panel Event on December 5th. Director of Growth Solutions at KeHE Distributors, Daena Rexho will speak on KeHE’s perspective regarding future innovation and industry trend. She is one of many industry insiders that is scheduled to discuss the future of Chicagoland’s food industry. To learn more about the event, click the link here.
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) recently announced a $1 million donation to Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering in the world's poorest countries. The donation will fund the creation and implementation of the Lifesaving Education and Assistance to Farmers (LEAF) Project, which will provide immediate and longer-term responses to chronic malnutrition and hunger for people living in extreme poverty in Kenya and Ethiopia. The project is predicted to directly benefit nearly 50,000 individuals.
“At ADM, we fundamentally believe that providing access to nutrition has the power to solve many of the world’s challenges,” said Juan Luciano, ADM Chairman and CEO. “In partnership with Concern Worldwide, we are unlocking the power of nature to save lives today, and to enrich them tomorrow. We’re hopeful that by leveraging our collective knowledge, expertise and perspectives, we can help make a difference in the dire nutrition situation for thousands of residents in Ethiopia and Kenya, while being good stewards of the environment.” Learn more here.
Here in ASCM’s hometown of Chicago, about 55 million pounds of food is wasted each month, despite the fact that one in six Chicagoans suffers from food insecurity. Alan Reed, executive director of nonprofit Chicagoland Food & Beverage, says this regrettable fact is what compels his organization to work with both industry and food banks “in order to find new and innovative ways to address these issues.” Read more here.
A term often thrown around in the culinary and beef world is“aging”. The waiter at a steakhouse may tell you, "This cut of beef has been dry-aged for flavor and tenderness." Others will tell you their steaks have been wet-aged for, again, flavor and tenderness. Both aging methods will result in a delicious steak. One is not superior to the other, it just depends on how the beef will be used in the end. Both can be served by candlelight accompanied by a glass of red and a view. The difference will be price, taste, and whether you are at a restaurant or your own kitchen table. Read more here.
The interconnected nature of our food system proved the overarching theme in the third quarter as the global issues of international trade and climate change guided conversations. The balance of business and environmental priorities trickled down into other topics, bringing stewardship and sustainability messages to the forefront. Access this report here.
GlobalTranz was honored with the coveted award given its consistent, unparalleled commitment to providing strategic transportation and logistics solutions, exceptional service, and for acting as an extension of the Niagara team. GlobalTranz will move 70,000 truckloads totaling more than 110 million cases of bottled water for Niagara in 2019, and currently has a 99 percent load tender acceptance. Read more about their recognition here.
Recently named one of Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 100 Cannabis Leaders, Cresco Labs is among the largest cultivation, manufacturing and retail cannabis operators in the U.S. We provide a full suite of consistently dosed products catering to all consumers, from the novice to the connoisseur, from the medically treated to the recreational user. The company’s core values emphasize educating consumers while seeking to eliminate social stigmas associated with marijuana. We have developed strong partnerships with dispensaries, law-makers, physicians, and local communities – putting Cresco in a unique position to establish a national operation in the complex and developing cannabis industry. Learn about CFBN Member Cresco Lab's openings here.
As convenience and accessibility to delicious, plant-based meat options continue to increase, the number of flexitarians is also anticipated to grow. And as independent Gen-Z buying power flourishes in the coming years, it may very well correlate with the growing number of self-proclaimed flexitarians (as Gen Z ethos overlays nicely with flexitarians values). Read more here.
Scientists at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, along with youths led by Gretta Thunberg, presented the urgent need for immediate climate action related to de-carbonization, biodiversity and removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. We can all respond to this urgency with our food dollars and increasing our support for sustainable farmers who are leading the way in these areas. We need changes in how food is produced and distributed, including better soil management and crop diversification. Imagine if all our food was grown productively by farmers that rejuvenate the soil with composting, crop rotation, organic practices and cover cropping, not only making the food healthy and delicious, but also removing and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the soil effectively. The goal to capture 1 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide worldwide is supported by The Rodale Institute, Soil Health Institute, Indigo Agriculture and others that see this focus as key to fighting climate change. The Marin Carbon Project states that regenerative farmers can capture 1 metric tons of carbon on approximately 2.5 acres of land just using composting techniques alone.
The U.N. Panel on Climate Change also calls for changes in consumer behavior. First, we can demand and purchase sustainably grown foods from local farms that grow diversified crops which then travel many fewer miles to our plates. When you eat food that is locally grown, say within 100-250 miles, you are likely to save 1,250 or more food miles and reduce the use of fossil fuels for food transportation. Supporting the growth and success of existing carbon sequestering local farmers, is the best way to encourage more farmers to join the green food revolution, especially after this year of tariff wars. We can incentivize more farmers to transition to growing crops for human consumption (rather than corn and soy for biofuel and animals), reducing deforestation in the process. Second, we need to be less wasteful by buying, preparing and consuming just what food we need. In developed countries, overproduction in the food service, hotel, supermarket and restaurant industries, as well as in our homes, is the leading cause of food waste.
If you want to do more to fight climate change, then act with your food purchase dollars to support local sustainable farms. At Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks we are dedicating our lives to this and we take this mission seriously. We partner with and support dozens of farms using these regenerative practices so we can deliver their fresh foods grown in the most earth healing way.
An open letter from Shelly Herman, of Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks, CFBN Member Company
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
1 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653