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20 Most Sustainable Food and Health Solutions on the Planet

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20 Most Sustainable Food and Health Solutions on the Planet

Editor’s note: This is part three of our look at various aspects of the Sustainia100. Here are parts onetwofourfive and six.

Sustainable solutions in food and health extend well beyond the wellness of the individual digesting a particular food or using a certain product. Some companies and organizations focus on minimizing water and energy use, while others incentivize their communities for making healthy choices.

Variety doesn't even begin to describe the food and health solutions found in the Sustainia100. Between the two categories, you'll find protein bars made with cricket flour, animal feed created with fly larvae and menstrual pads made with banana fiber.

Sustainia’s research team reviewed more than 900 projects before selecting the 10-category list of 100. The Sustainia100 Advisory Board consists of 21 sector experts from 11 international research organizations. Here are the 10 solutions from food and health:

Food

  1. Netafim: Drip irrigation maximizes crop yields for smallholder farmers
  2. AgriProtein Technologies: Harvesting larvae from waste for animal feed
  3. Mitticool: Clay refrigerator cools through evaporation
  4. BioTrans Nordic: Reusing food waste as energy and fertilizer
  5. International Rice Research Institute and Syngenta: Monitoring water levels for smarter rice irrigation
  6. Groasis: Growing trees in deserts with minimal water use
  7. Exo: Cricket flour for high-protein bars
  8. Marrone Bio Innovations: Bio-based products for pest Management and plant health
  9. West African Fish: Green fish farming fosters local growth
  10. Hotel Union Geiranger: Smaller plates at buffets reduce food waste

Health

  1. We Care Solar: Solar suitcases light up maternal health care
  2. Robohand: Open-source software for 3D-printed prosthetics
  3. FairShare CSA Coalition: Health care rebate for healthy eating choices
  4. Peek Vision: Smartphones helping to prevent blindness
  5. Sustainable Health Enterprises: Menstrual pads made from banana fiber
  6. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP: Designing hospitals to maximize daylight
  7. ClickMedix: Quality health care through eHealth platform
  8. Desso: Carpets that clean the air for better indoor climates
  9. Mali Health Organizing Project: Broadcasting health information to slum communities
  10. D-Rev and Phoenix Medical Systems: Phototherapy for neonatal jaundice in low-income hospitals

 

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If the capacity can be increased, researchers believe bricks can be used as a cheap alternative to lithium ion batteries — the same batteries used in laptops, phones and tablets.

The first power bricks are only one percent of a lithium-ion battery, but storage capacity can be increased tenfold by adding materials like metal oxides, Julio D'Arcy, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who contributed to the paper and was part of the research team, told The Guardian. But only when the storage capacity is scaled up would bricks become commercially viable.

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"If [that can happen], this technology is way cheaper than lithium ion batteries," D'Arcy added. "It would be a different world and you would not hear the words 'lithium ion battery' again."

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