The women who are on the 2016 list are knee-deep in the biggest food cruxes of our time, attacking them through business, policy, and science.
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The issues of food waste and food safety, to start, are being addressed by Emily Broad Leib of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, who focuses on legislation that will make the differences between safe food and fresh food easier to distinguish on labels and knock down the barriers that impede food donation. And by Kavita Shula of FreshPaper, a company that produces naturally antibacterial sheets that keep produce fresh for longer (they're working on sheets for cheese, bread, and flour, too).
There's concern for food transparency, as well. Betsy Babcock of Handsome Brook Farm, which consists of a network of farms that produces 58 million eggs from pasture-raised chickens a year, is on a mission to make high-quality eggs from chickens with plenty of space to forage available to more people.
And there's a focus on local farms—Monica Garnes of Kroger supermarkets made the list for her focus on building relationships with local farms who may have never thought they could do business with Kroger—and on wellness, for both the planet and the human body: Susie Weintraub of Compass Foods wants to make it easier for the people her company serves—8.5 million meals every day in 4,000 locations across the country—to make more nutritious food choices, for example.
Most of the women on the list touch address more than one of these problems, of course. Kristy Lewis, the founder of Quinn Snacks, is included on the list because her company produces GMO-free (food transparency) microwavable popcorn (individual wellness), the origin of which you can see on the company's website (local farms), in recycled, compostable paper bags (sustainability).
And special shout-out to tomato soup genius Chef Barbara Lynch, who is getting more women involved in the hospitality industry and teaching students in Boston about nutrition by showing them how to cook.
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.