Half of all US food is trashed because of "cult of perfection"

A “cult of perfection” in US food production and consumption is causing more food to be thrown away than is eaten. The Guardian reports that “vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the US are left in the field to rot, fed to livestock or hauled directly from the field to landfill, because of unrealistic and unyielding cosmetic standards.” It bases its findings on a combination of official statistics and interviews with farmers, packers, truckers, researchers, campaigners and government officials. The upshot is a “cult of perfection” that increases hunger and poverty, and takes a heavy toll on the environment it writes.

Ikea safety recall faces China crisis

When Ikea announced it was recalling 29 million pieces of furniture sold in the US that were linked to toddler deaths through falling accidents it excluded Europe and China saying the products met local regulations. That was a bad move in a globally connected and informed consumer society. As the New York Times reports, “After criticism online and in government-controlled Chinese media, Ikea switched course, saying it would recall 1.7 million chests and dressers in China.” Could Europe be next?

Discrimination is Airbnb’s biggest challenge - CEO

Sharing economy giant Airbnb faces many regulatory problems across the world as it seeks to dominate the travel business. But government isn’t its biggest headache. It’s discrimination says CEO Brian Chesky who acknowledged that racism and other prejudice “was not a problem that he and his fellow co-founders - all white men - gave much thought to when designing the platform,” Business Insider reports.

Will Juno offer a better deal for gig economy drivers?

There’s a new kid driving around the ride-hail taxi block and it aims to beat Uber by being nicer to its drivers. The BBC reports on New York-based Juno and how it aims to attract drivers to deliver its service by taking a lower commission and offering them better benefits. As the BBC puts it: “Juno's pitch is this: happy drivers lead to better rides with happy passengers who tell their friends.” Can being nice really trump Uber’s ruthless efficiency? That would make for a very unusual New York story.

Amazon's treehouse office perk

Finally today, forget fussball. When employees move into Amazon’s new Seattle home they’ll be able to relax and think in their own corporate treehouse. As the New York Times explains the novel sphere-like collection of buildings “will be packed with a plant collection worthy of top-notch conservatories, allowing Amazon employees to amble through tree canopies three stories off the ground, meet with colleagues in rooms with walls made from vines and eat kale Caesar salads next to an indoor creek.” Wow. Imagine if Caterpillar designed its headquarters after its corporate name?


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