Monday, March 21, 2016

Food Foolish #6: A Year Later

What a difference a year makes.

It was about this time in 2015 that we began assembling material for Food Foolish.  Food waste was an important topic then, but nothing like it’s become in the last twelve months.

I now follow about 70 food-related Twitter feeds, from the Michael Pollans and Mark Bittmans of the world to groups focused on campus kitchens, ugly produce, food banks, and climate action.  Together, they present a picture of improved understanding and rapid acceleration around solving the issues of food waste and climate change.

Some of the 70 or so feeds I follow to keep track of food waste and related climate issues.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

More Dead Entrepreneurs: Grove Street Cemetery at Yale

If you're serious about collecting luxury watches, eventually you'll need to add a Patek Philippe.  If you're a baseball card aficionado, you must, one day, buy a Honus Wagner.  And if you're a serious birder, you'll need to take a bush plane to record the grey-headed Chickadee.

But if, like me, you're trying to collect dead American entrepreneurs, you'll eventually need to bag the Big Kahuna.  The original Steve Jobs.  The Henry Ford-before-there-was-a-Henry Ford.

So, that's what I did.  On my way home from a visit to Gettysburg I stopped at the Grove Street Cemetery, in the shadow of Yale's impressive Sterling Law Building.  That's where I found Eli Whitney. (My first post on this early entrepreneur and his incredible, final invention is here.)

Whitney is the Father of Interchangeable Parts--maybe.  He's the patron saint of the American System of Manufactures--perhaps.  He's the inventor of the cotton gin--quite probably.  And in the 20th century, Whitney became a major bone of contention among technology historians--for sure.  At his death, however, there was no confusion.  The prestigious Niles Register termed his loss in 1825 a "public calamity."

So, on a snowy March morning in 2016, we finally met.