Issue 006 / Upcycling, Poetry as Protest and the Next Big Food Craze

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 

This Week's 5 Links

Corporate Backers of Hate
In the 100 days that U.S. President Donald Trump has been in office, countless U.S. citizens have risen up to #resist his agenda. This new online platform, launched by The Center for Popular Democracy and Make the Road New York, makes it even easier for activists to direct that energy to corporations that allegedly support or profit from Trump’s “anti-immigrant, anti-worker” agenda. Current companies include JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Disney, Boeing, IBM and Uber.
☞ TAKE ACTION: Visit the website to learn more about these companies’ links to the current administration. If you don’t like what you see, click the buttons to “give ‘em hell."

Everything We Knew About Sweatshops Was Wrong — The New York Times
It's commonly said that factory jobs — even those with appalling working conditions — are “an escalator out of poverty” because they are better than existing alternatives in less developed countries. Expecting to prove this argument, two researchers headed to Ethiopia — one of the next frontiers for garment manufacturing — to perform the first randomized trial of industrial employment on workers. In this article, they share their unexpected findings.

Sweden Opens an Entire Mall Full of Reclaimed Goods — Inhabitat
Leave it to progressive Sweden to introduce the world’s first shopping mall offering exclusively used and upcycled goods. ReTuna Återbruksgalleria sells items that have been collected from surrounding communities, fixed up or repaired if needed and distributed across 14 themed shops. 

The Five Levels of Building an Ethical CultureBSR
It’s one thing to embed sustainability into business operations. But how do you build an ethical company culture from the ground up? This new working paper from Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) suggests that businesses should embrace systems thinking and group dynamics theory at an individual, interpersonal, group, intergroup and inter-organizational level.

Poetry as Protest and Sanctuary: Jane Hirshfield’s Magnificent Poem Against the Silencing of Science and the Assault on Nature — Brainpickings
“The facts were told not to speak / and were taken away. / The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.” So goes this evocative poem from Jane Hirshfield written for the 2017 March for Science in Washington, D.C.

Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the “culture of waste,” which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.
— His Holiness Pope Francis at TED2017

Spotlight: Are Crickets The New Kale?

People love a good food trend. There were ramen burgers, then kale, then avocado toast, then poke… what’s next?

A few recent media reports claim to have found the answer — crickets. Yep, bugs. 

Let’s set aside the immediate “ew” reflex and think about this for a minute. 

In a 2013 report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations proclaimed that edible insects were an untapped resource for solving global hunger. Already, an estimated 20% of the world’s population consumes insects as part of their diet. They are a great source of lean protein, they're high in essential amino and omega acids and they’re chock-full of calcium and vitamin B12. And unlike other protein sources like beef and chicken, insects have a teeny-tiny ecological footprint — they emit very few greenhouse gases, require very little water and do not need significant space in order to be raised humanely. 

A crop of new start-ups have started to explore this new market opportunity. Bitty Foods makes cricket baking flour and posts Pinterest-worthy recipes for banana bread and apple persimmon cranberry cobbler. Exo cricket protein bars have found a following among athletes and paleos. Or, go all in with Aspire Food Group’s Aketta whole roasted crickets, available in flavors like Texas BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion and Sea Salt & Vinegar. Bon appétit!

Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!