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Posts tagged as BRUSSELS

Creating Boozy Beverages from Food Waste: 10 Brewers Doing it Right

From spirits, beer, wine, and even sake, Food Tank has compiled a list of businesses that are transforming food waste into alcoholic beverages.

McGovern confirmed that humans have been enjoying alcoholic beverages for approximately 9,000 years, which started as wine made from rice, honey, and fruit. And although drinkers hear a lot about the health impacts alcohol has on the human body, there is little awareness of the environmental impacts alcohol production has on the planet, including its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, distribution, and packaging.Fortunately, the brewers listed below are using food waste to create their boozy concoctions.

1.Alchemy Distillery Located in Humboldt County, California, Alchemy Distillery strives to reduce their impact on the environment in every area of their production system. They even donate 100 percent of the grain leftover after distillation to a pig farm, which has exceeded over 30,000 gallons to date.More recently, Alchemy Distiller took on the challenge of making whiskey from day old bagels. Alchemy reclaims roughly 60 pounds of stale bagels per week from a local bagel shop with similar views on reducing waste and sustainability.The anticipated release date for the bagel-based whiskey is sometime near the end of 2019.

2.The Brussels Beer ProjectDid you know that people have been enjoying beer for over 7,000 years? According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, it is believed that beer most similar to the beverage we enjoy today was first made from fermented barley bread. The Brussels Beer Project in Belgian has taken a page out of these ancient traditions and has created a craft beer from leftover stale bread.
The beer is named Babylone, based on the brewing process that was traced back to the city of Babylon.

3.Carrot VodkaIn an attempt to reduce food waste on their farms, Gen Windley and Alice Gorman, members of Kalfresh customers focus team, came up with an idea to use carrots unfit for the supermarket to make vodka. It seems that the use of carrots to make alcohol is becoming a bit of a tradition in Gorman’s family, as her husband also used carrots to make beer, which he called “the Wabbit Saison.” The carrot-based beverages can be found in Queensland, Australia.

4.Catch of the DayCatch of the Day by-product designer Björn Steinar fights food waste by rescuing fruits from dumpsters and transforming them into vodka. Located in Reykjavík, Iceland, Steinar demonstrates that you can transform various fruits into spirits without any fancy equipment, as Steinar uses a simple open-source distilling machine.The creative name refers to the flavor of vodka based on the fruit that was repurposed, ranging from blueberry, banana, strawberry, and pineapple.

5.Dairy Distillery: VodkowBased in Ontario, Canada, Dairy Distillery utilizes milk permeate, a sugar-rich by-product of cheese and yogurt production, to make a smooth spirit, which they have named Vodkow. The two founders, Omid McDonald and Neal McCarten, recognized a gap in the dairy production system and saw this as an opportunity to make use of a useful by-product.In doing so, Dairy Distillery also creates a means of cost saving to Ontario dairy farmers as the disposal of milk permeate is part of the collective milk price.

6.Inman Family WinesLocated in Santa Rosa, California, Inman Family Wines has a different take on closing the loop from farm to table. What they refer to as “Four-Course Compost” is the use of compost as the sole source of fertilizer for their grapes, eliminating the need for chemical inputs.The compost used at the vineyard is derived from food waste accumulated in restaurants, hotels, and residences in the San Francisco area. This is not the only eco-friendly practice followed at the winery.To name a few, the wineries’ solar-powered systems powers up to 98 percent of their electricity requirements, they repurpose all waste water to be used for vineyard irrigation, and they have even invested in lighter weight wine bottles, which require fewer inputs due to their thinner glass and have a higher content of recycled material.

7.Misadventure VodkaFound in over 50 restaurants in Southern California, Misadventure Vodka follows the motto “leave no trace” and has put this into practice by redirecting food waste out of the landfill to create their product. Based in San Diego, the two founders create their craft using baked goods no longer suitable for food banks, otherwise destined for the landfill.From cake to cookies and pretty well any baked good you can think of, Misadventure Vodka uses it all.

8.SachiA research team from the National University of Singapore have come up with a way to utilize tofu whey, a by-product of tofu production, to develop the first of its kind, sake-like alcoholic beverage. With an increase in demand for plant-based proteins, such as tofu, this will be followed by an increase in the waste associated with tofu production.
Not only does the repurposing of this by-product reduce food waste but it also offers an alcoholic beverage with health benefits from the tofu whey including high levels of calcium, prebiotics, and isoflavones, which have been related to improved heart health, bone health, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

9.Toast Ale Toast Ale rescues day-old bread from bakeries and the heel ends of bread from sandwich factories to make their award-winning brew. To date, Toast Ale has diverted over 1 million slices of bread from the landfill.Founder of Toast Ale, Tristram Stuart, was inspired to reduce and take action on food waste after a conversation with another brewer on our list, Brussels Beer Project. Not only does the use of bread to make beer reduce food waste, it also reduces all other components involved in the process chain of beer production and bread decomposition, including the associated greenhouse gases produced from growing, malting, and transporting barley, and the methane gases produced from bread rotting in the landfill.

10. Waste Not Chef Mario Batali teamed with brewer Sam Calagione to create a beer made out of food waste.Their recipe idea follows a similar concept to pruno, an alcoholic beverage that originated in prisons created by prisoners to make alcohol under the radar using any ferment able foods available. However, the ingredients Chef Batali and Mr.Calagione use are a little bit on the higher end in comparison, for example they’ve used overripe tomatoes rather than ketchup, as well as rotten grapefruit, Ugli fruit, stale bread, and Demerara sugar. The two have proven that it is possible to make a good tasting beer and reduce food waste at the same time.

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Big Tobacco’s push for Big Vape

Citizens’ initiative calls for vaping to be treated differently from traditional smoking – and is backed by industry associations.
By Katie Jennings2/26/19, 7:58 PM CET2/27/19, 10:01 AM CETAll major tobacco companies are moving into vaping | Niklas Hallen/AFP via Getty ImagesAll major tobacco companies are moving into vaping | Niklas Hallen/AFP via Getty ImagesLinkedInWhatsAppCommentPrintBig Tobacco has a new lobbying tactic in Brussels — people power.
A petition calling for vaping products to be treated differently from tobacco was this month registered with the European Commission, using a process that’s designed to give the public a say in decision-making.However, the campaign received a €10,000 contribution from U.K.-based Imperial Brands, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, and the individuals listed on the application include Imperial’s head of EU corporate affairs and representatives from national vaping industry lobbies.
As EU rules put the squeeze on cigarette sales, tobacco companies are expanding into vaping products and the industry is making huge efforts to ensure they avoid the regulatory fate of traditional smoking.The petition, which calls for looser controls on vaping products by having them treated separately from tobacco products, is part of that drive.Under the rules of the European Citizens’ Initiative process, the petition’s organizers have a year to collect 1 million signatures from at least seven EU countries. If that happens, the Commission must consider their request (although it can reject it).
The involvement of individuals with direct ties to the tobacco and vaping industries “reduces the [citizens’ initiative] tool to absurdity” — Olivier Hoedeman, researcher The Commission declined to name those behind the initiative — called “Let’s demand smarter vaping regulation” — when it was announced on February 12.But the subsequent registration listed Dustin Dahlmann and Mosè Giacomello, representatives of the German and Italian vaping industry associations, and Valerio Forconi, head of EU corporate affairs and a registered lobbyist for Imperial Brands.Also On Politico  Amsterdams Brexit bonanza Naomi OLearyAlso On PoliticoCancer and corruption: In Romania, its the same fightSarah Wheaton Forconi said Imperial is supporting grassroots activism by funding the campaign, and the individuals that registered the initiative said they are acting in a personal capacity.However, a corporate watchdog group called the petition an “abuse” of the system.
Tobacco companies are taking a different approach toward regulators with e-cigarettes than they did with traditional cigarettes | Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images“Imperial Brands has vested commercial interests in getting vaping products excluded from the Tobacco Products Directive and is abusing a democratic tool for citizen participation,” he said.Imperial Brands (which used to be Imperial Tobacco Group and sells Gauloises cigarettes and Montecristo cigars) expanded into vaping through its subsidiary Fontem Ventures, which makes the brand Blu.
The U.S.and U.K.are its two biggest markets, and the company has also introduced the products in France, Germany and Italy.The petition argues the Commission needs to come up with a vaping policy that ensures “access to tobacco-free less harmful alternatives,” through “bespoke, evidence-based legislation” that takes vaping products away from the shadow of Big Tobacco.
A Commission spokesperson said that while companies cannot launch citizens’ initiatives, there is nothing in the rules to prohibit employees doing so in a personal capacity.Organizations “can promote or support initiatives provided that they do so with full transparency,” the Commission said.Flipping the playbook From the 1950s onward, tobacco companies worked to emphasize scientific uncertainty and downplay links between smoking and lung cancer, and nicotine and addiction.With vaping they are flipping the playbook.
All major tobacco companies are moving into vaping, including Altria (parent company of Philip Morris), British American Tobacco and Japan International Tobacco. In tandem with vaping industry associations, tobacco companies are relying on public health arguments to make the case that electronic cigarettes are “less harmful” than traditional ones.
“What [tobacco companies] were doing in the past was saying that there was no real evidence. In fact, it’s almost .
turning on its head at the minute,” said Martin McKee, a professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.“We want to reduce the health impact of tobacco by encouraging smokers to switch to products with lower health risks like vaping ones” — Valerio Forconi, head of EU corporate affairs at Imperial BrandsVaping devices contain nicotine but not tobacco, heating a tank of liquid containing the addictive chemical to create a vapor that can be inhaled.
The EU cracked down on both tobacco and nicotine products as part of the 2014 Tobacco Products Directive, which limited the size and strength of e-cigarette tanks, restricted advertising and set rules on packaging.The Commission is scheduled to review the directive before May 2021.One of the aims of the citizens’ initiative is to repeal Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive, which outlines the regulations on vaping products, and have them dealt with under separate rules.“We want to reduce the health impact of tobacco by encouraging smokers to switch to products with lower health risks like vaping ones.
We support proportionate evidence-based regulation that encourages smokers to use alternative products that have the potential for reduced harm,” Forconi said.Several scientific studies have found vaping to be less harmful than traditional smoking.While England’s public health body has strongly endorsed e-cigarettes to reduce health harm, other researchers and officials, including European Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, are urging caution.European Commissioner for Health Vytenis Andriukaitis | John Thys/AFP via Getty ImagesThe industry bolsters its argument by citing a 2015 review by Public Health England that found e-cigarettes are “around 95 percent safer” than traditional cigarettes.
“That figure has no credibility whatsoever,” said McKee, who co-authored a commentary in medical journal The BMJ challenging the methodology of the national health body’s review. “England is completely out of line with the rest of the world,” he said.Australia and Singapore have banned e-cigarettes and the U.S.is cracking down on flavored products, saying they appeal to kids.Vaping may not bring the same risk of lung cancer as smoking “but there are serious questions about cardiovascular disease and there are enough questions there that I think the precautionary principle should be adopted,” McKee said.An alternative, McKee said, would be to regulate e-cigarettes as a medicine, if there is evidence to show they could get people off nicotine completely.“I see no justification for rolling them out as consumer goods, that’s a completely different ballpark,” McKee said.Industry opposes this route, since it would mean much stricter regulatory scrutiny. The petition states that vaping should be considered separately from pharmaceutical products.‘Time is money’Imperial’s €10,000 has gone toward building a website on which people can add their signature to the petition, and which is expected to launch in a few weeks, according to Brandon Mitchener, a managing partner for consultancy Instinctif Partners, based in Brussels.The tobacco company contracted the consultancy to provide “monitoring and strategic advice on a number of issues but mainly related to vaping,” according to Imperial’s Forconi.
That contract was worth between €50,000 and €99,000 in 2018, according to an entry in the EU’s transparency registerImperial spent more than £700 million investing in next generation products through 2018, according to a company report.“Time is money and everyone is contributing a significant amount of time to ensure the success of this initiative” — Dustin Dahlmann and Mosè Giacomello, vaping association representativesForconi said it is “hard to predict” how much money Imperial would spend promoting the petition, adding the campaign “will mainly run through social media instead of using the traditional communication touchpoints.”Giacomello and Dahlmann, who represent national vaping industry associations in Italy and Germany, said they expect their associations and others from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic and France “will contribute to the campaign according to [their] individual means.” “Time is money and everyone is contributing a significant amount of time to ensure the success of this initiative,” Giacomello and Dahlmann said in a joint statement, adding that their associations’ investments would likely be more than €10,000, and would meet the EU’s transparency requirements.Andriukaitis’ office declined to comment on the petition or the involvement of the tobacco and vaping industries. The health commissioner has previously said e-cigarettes should be included in smoke-free legislation, and branded the argument that e-cigarettes should be freed from regulation because they help people quit smoking as “ridiculous.
”This article is part of POLITICO for a complimentary trial.

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May hails Brexit talks ‘progress’ but no breakthrough

BRUSSELS: Prime Minister Theresa May said she had made ‘progress’ in talks with the EU on Wednesday as she sought to extract concessions on the terms of Britain’s divorce, but as expected there was no major breakthrough.
With less than six weeks until Brexit day, May met European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hoping for movement on the Irish backstop issue after EU leaders insisted they would not restart negotiations.Fears are growing that Britain could yet crash out without a deal, and there was fresh drama just before May headed to Brussels as three of her MPs resigned from her Conservative party in protest over Brexit to join a new independent group of lawmakers.Citing the risk of a hard Brexit, ratings agency Fitch on Wednesday warned it could downgrade Britain, while the pound slipped against the US dollar.A joint statement from May and Juncker called their meeting constructive, striking a slightly more positive tone than when they met a fortnight ago.How Europe reacted to Brexit deal defeatThe two leaders agreed that talks had been constructive, and they urged their respective teams to continue to explore the options in a positive spirit, the statement said,Separately, May said she had stressed the need for legally binding changes to the backstop though the EU has ruled this out.Weve agreed that work to find a solution will continue at pace, time is of the essence and its in both our interests that when the UK leaves the EU it does so in an orderly way.And so weve made progress, May said.May and the other 27 EU leaders approved a Brexit withdrawal agreement at a summit on November 25 last year, but the British leaders own parliament rejected it overwhelmingly on January 15.Since then, May and her ministers have repeatedly met EU leaders and their negotiator Michel Barnier to urge them to reopen the text to find a way to appease eurosceptic MPs.The main stumbling block has been the Irish backstop, which provides for Britain to remain in the EU customs union until a way is found such as a future free trade deal to ensure that Irelands border with Northern Ireland remains open.
Brexiteers in Mays own Conservative party see this as a trap to keep Britain tied to the bloc indefinitely, and have demanded a time limit or exit clause.But such a clause would be seen in Brussels as a betrayal of EU member Ireland and has consistently been given short shrift by EU officials.May and Junckers statement indicated a fresh push to see what guarantees the EU could offer on the backstop to convince sceptical MPs it will not be used to trap Britain.In sadness, EU leaders approve Brexit dealIt also suggested the political declaration outlining plans for future EU-UK ties could be beefed up to increase confidence that both sides will try to reach a future deal as soon as possible, so the backstop never has to be used.May said her Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox would be back in Brussels on Thursday just three days since their last visit as the pace of negotiations picks up.A European source said Cox, whose legal analysis of Mays deal confirmed Brexiteer fears, will have a key role to play.
If Brussels does enough on the backstop to persuade Cox to soften his advice, it could help swing the parliamentary arithmetic behind the prime minister.Without a deal, Britain is due to leave the Union abruptly after four decades on March 29, with no follow-on agreement or transition period to manage trade and economic relations.Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will meet Barnier on Thursday.Officials in both Brussels and London have played down talk that an EU-Arab League summit in Egypt this weekend could become a Brexit in the desert meet, insisting the issue would not hijack the gathering.Both sides have said they want to avoid a no deal Brexit, and many experts foresee economic chaos, even warning of food and medicine shortages or a renewed threat of unrest in Northern Ireland.Manufacturing supply chains could be disrupted, and Brexit uncertainty has already been cited as a contributing factor in the closure or departure of several British-based businesses.One option to avoid no deal would be for Brussels to accord Britain an extension to the March 29 deadline, although May insists she will not request a delay.A delay could keep Britain inside the EU for May 23-26 elections for a new European Parliament, which will start sitting from July 2, presumably without any British members.

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Brexit: Theresa May to return to Brussels for further talks

Prime Minister Theresa May will return to Brussels later to continue Brexit talks with the European Union. She is trying to renegotiate the Irish backstop – the insurance policy to prevent the return of customs checks on the Irish border./news/uk-politics-47292833Read more about sharing.
These are external links and will open in a new window Related Topics Brexit Getty Images Mrs May is expected to request legally-binding assurances that the backstop will not extend indefinitely.However, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said he does not expect a “breakthrough” in talks.
The backstop policy is part of the withdrawal agreement Mrs May agreed with the EU, and became one of the main reasons her Brexit deal was voted down in Parliament in January.Critics fear it would leave the UK tied to a customs union with the EU indefinitely and see Northern Ireland treated differently.
MPs gave their backing for Mrs May to renegotiate the policy in a vote earlier this month and said she was “working hard to secure the legally binding changes” that Parliament wants.But the EU has consistently refused to make changes.Tories ‘manipulated by Brexit zealots’Sturgeon to urge EU citizens to stay Brexit: A really simple guideChancellor Philip Hammond said on Tuesday evening the government accepted the EU will not agree to replace the backstop arrangements for the Irish border with technological alternatives in time for the scheduled date of Brexit on 29 March.The so-called “Malt house Compromise” – proposed by Remainers and Leavers – included proposals to use technology and checks away from the border to ensure the backstop was never activated.
But Mr Hammond said he hoped the technological solution would form part of negotiations over the following 21 months on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.He added that legally-binding changes to ensure the backstop does not become permanent “would deliver the core of a majority for a deal in the House of Commons”.
Leading Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker insisted they were happy with this arrangement, saying the Malt house proposals were “alive and kicking”.Media playback is unsupported on your device,Media caption Confused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics Jeremy Corbyn also announced he would be going to Brussels to meet the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Thursday.
The Labour leader said they would discuss his party’s Brexit proposals – including a permanent customs union and a strong relationship with the single market – and that it was a “necessity” to take no deal off the table.The meeting, on the issue of the Irish backstop, was described as “productive” but Mr Barnier “expressed concerns”.At the time, a European Commission spokesman said: “The EU 27 will not reopen the withdrawal agreement. “We cannot accept a time limit to the backstop or a unilateral exit clause – and further talks will be held this week to see whether a way through can be found that would gain the broadest possible support in the UK parliament and respect the guidelines agreed by the European Council.
“Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a speech in Berlin later, will say all sides in the Brexit process have a “heavy responsibility” to ensure an agreement on the UK’s withdrawal is successfully reached.The PM has promised to return to Parliament to update MPs again on 26 February and, if she had not got a new deal by then, to give them a say on the next steps in non-binding votes.

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