Chipotle’s video of regret?

Chipotle’s image as a clean, healthy and “good” company has taken a beating in recent years. Now, as the fast food company seeks to regain its reputation it has released a new animated advert (following its previous Back to the Start and Scarecrow videos) that, once again, takes aim at the evils of industrialised food but also points to its own failures. The video, titled Love Story, depicts two kids - a boy and a girl - running lemon and orange drink stalls in friendly competition. Then the boy discovers marketing and soon an orange and lemonade battle ensues until both are running rival corporations and all semblance of natural ingredients have been eliminated. Sounds like Big Food right? As Adweek writes: “It also bears the unmistakable aroma of Chipotle's recent history—the food safety scares, the executive cocaine ring scandal. And in light of all this, it's easy to start wondering, Is this story about Chipotle itself?”

Can the UK really prepare for global warming?

The so-called Great Tide of 1953 flooded London and was viewed as a once in a lifetime event. Could this type of storm catastrophe soon become commonplace? In a long feature the Guardian considers just how prepared the UK is for the forces of climate change and previews a new, authoritative risk report to be released next week detailing the threat posed by flooding. As the Guardian writes: “The current cost of UK residential flood damage [is estimated to be] £340m per year, a figure that will rise to £428m as the average global temperature rises by 2C.” Experts cited in the report estimate that 180,000 British homes will be at risk of flooding by 2050.

Danone buys health-focused WhiteWave Foods

In what marks Danone’s biggest acquisition in a decade the French food company has agreed to acquire WhiteWave Foods, the US-based maker of natural and health focused foods, the Financial Times reports. The deal values WhiteWave at $12.5bn including debt and is the latest in a growing push by Big Food companies to make their product line more sustainable. “Demand for more healthy fare has transformed the US food industry, forcing older companies to slash costs, reformulate recipes and invest in smaller, faster-growing companies with offerings better suited to today’s American consumer,” the FT notes.

Are autonomous cars good for sustainability?

They will be able to drive themselves and they may well fast-track a new culture of car sharing rather than ownership but will autonomous cars be good for sustainability? That’s the question GreenBiz asks as driverless technology grabs the news headlines. It suggests that an autonomous vehicle revolution “could lead to a rise in car use at the expense of lower carbon public transport.”

Toffler’s legacy and what we haven’t learned

Finally today, in the wake of futurist Alvin Toffler’s death The New York Times has revisited his landmark tome, Future Shock. At a time when technology is radically altering the global political landscape and global business the NYT notes that Toffler’s “diagnosis has largely panned out, with local and global crises arising daily from our collective inability to deal with ever-faster change.” The problem is that even as Toffler’s futurism has been proven correct we are not preparing enough for the future. “We all just sort of bounce along in the present, caught in the headlights of a tomorrow pushed by a few large corporations and shaped by the inescapable logic of hyper-efficiency — a future heading straight for us. It’s not just future shock; we now have future blindness,” the NYT writes.

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