ABC - Business News
Subscribe To This Feed

Wolterk/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Boeing announced Wednesday that it was taking an initial $1 billion hit on the grounding of the 737 Max jet following two fatal plane crashes in five months.

The company also abandoned its previous full-year financial outlook as it grapples with the aftermath of the 737 Max fallout and works to implement software upgrades to its best-selling plane. Boeing is also halting stock buybacks.

The crashes of the 737 Max jets operated by Indonesia's Lion Air on Oct. 29 and by Ethiopian Airlines on March 10 killed a total of 346 people (189 and 157 deaths, respectively).

Chicago-based Boeing disclosed the information early Wednesday ahead of a call with investors.

The company reported Q1 earnings of $2.15 billion on revenue of $22.9 billion. Boeing said that losses from the 737 Max were partially offset by higher defense and services revenue.

Boeing also said it is making steady progress on the path to final certification for a software update on the 737 Max, with over 135 test and production flights of the software update complete.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

David Tran/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Representatives from Facebook will be among the social media executives attending a May 15 summit being organized by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to combat the spread of terrorist material online.

The summit, which Ardern will co-chair with French President Emmanuel Macron in conjunction with the G7 "Tech for Humanity" meeting, will ask world leaders and the CEOs of technology companies to support the "Christchurch Call," a pledge to remove terrorist content online

The pledge is being launched in response to last month's terrorist attack in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, where Brendon Tarrant killed 50 worshipers and wounded dozens more at two mosques. The attack was live streamed on Facebook and widely shared online.

Facebook was drawn further into the controversy when company representatives didn't comment on the case until two weeks after the attack. In a letter to the New Zealand Herald, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company was "committed to reviewing what happened," without outlining specific policies to counter similar activity in the future.

In a statement Wednesday to ABC News, a Facebook spokesperson said the company will be sending representatives to the summit.

"We share the commitment of world leaders to keep people safe and look forward to collaborating with government, industry and safety experts on a clear framework of rules to help achieve this. We're evaluating how we can best support this effort and who among top Facebook executives will attend."

Facebook officials said they removed 1.5 million videos of the shooting in the 24 hours following the attack, 1.2 million of which were blocked while in the process of being uploaded.

However Ardern says that more had to be done in the wake of the attack, as social media was being used in an "unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate."

“We’re calling on the leaders of tech companies to join with us and help achieve our goal of eliminating violent extremism online at the Christchurch Summit in Paris," she said Wednesday in a statement. “We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared."

Ardern described the summit as "an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and tech companies."

“Social media platforms can connect people in many very positive ways, and we all want this to continue," she said. “But for too long, it has also been possible to use these platforms to incite extremist violence, and even to distribute images of that violence, as happened in Christchurch. This is what needs to change.”

Twitter representatives did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock(NEW YORK) -- The latest rumble in the fallout over the Rock N' Play baby sleeper comes in the form of a class action lawsuit.

The suit was filed by one named mother, Cassandra Mulvey, on behalf of herself and others, against Fisher Price and Mattel, who the suit claims marketed the product as safe for infants to sleep in.

"This marketing was dangerously false and misleading, as the product is not safe for all-night or prolonged sleep for infants," the lawsuit states.

This month, all models of the sleeper were recalled following more than 30 infant deaths.

The lawsuit claims the angle at which children would be resting in the sleeper "increases the infant’s risk of developing flat head (plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (torticollis) syndromes, conditions that often require babies to wear expensive head-molding helmets and undergo physical therapy."

Mattel and Fisher Price did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment about the lawsuit, but in a statement after the recall last week, Fisher-Price said they "stand by the safety of our products," but "decided to conduct a voluntary recall" because of "reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to the safety warnings and instructions."

The lawsuit alleges this is an "egregious case of corporate greed run amok."

The plaintiff is asking for, "on behalf of herself and a class of owners of at least 4.7 million" owners, "damages and all other relief available under law and equity from Fisher-Price and its corporate parent Mattel, including punitive damages for their appalling and unconscionable misconduct."

This class action suit was filed April 19, a week after the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued its recall.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/sdominick(NEW YORK) -- Federal prosecutors charged drug distributor Rochester Drug Cooperative and its former CEO with drug trafficking charges Tuesday -- the first criminal charges for a pharmaceutical company and executives in the nation's ongoing opioid crisis.

The charges signify a groundbreaking move by the government to try to combat the opioid epidemic, which kills 130 Americans every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the first time, a pharmaceutical company and white collar executives were charged like street dealers and traffickers.

“This prosecution is the first of its kind: executives of a pharmaceutical distributor and the distributor itself have been charged with drug trafficking, trafficking the same drugs that are fueling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging this country. Our Office will do everything in its power to combat this epidemic, from street-level dealers to the executives who illegally distribute drugs from their boardrooms,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.

 The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York charged Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC), one of the country's largest distributors of opioids, with "knowingly and intentionally" violating federal narcotics laws "by distributing dangerous, highly addictive opioids to pharmacy customers that it knew were being sold and used illicitly," according to a press release.

RDC was also charged with failing to properly report thousands of suspicious orders of oxycodone, fentanyl and other controlled substances to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), officials said.

The DEA has been investigating for years whether RDC failed to comply with pharmaceutical reporting laws. The company has previously paid to resolve claims it failed to properly report the theft of opioids.

According to court records, from 2012 through 2016, RDC filled more than 1.5 million orders for controlled substances from its pharmacy customers, but reported just four suspicious orders to the DEA. In reality, there were at least 2,000 suspicious orders in those four years, federal prosecutors said.

Despite being briefed by company employees, top executives allegedly ignored "red flags" like cash payments and customers traveling from out of state to buy opioids.

"Today’s charges should send shock waves throughout the pharmaceutical industry reminding them of their role as gatekeepers of prescription medication," DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said in a statement. "DEA investigates DEA Registrants who divert controlled pharmaceutical medication into the wrong hands for the wrong reason. This historic investigation unveiled a criminal element of denial in RDC’s compliance practices, and holds them accountable for their egregious non-compliance according to the law.”

In the opioid industry, RDC is a middleman that buys controlled substances from manufacturers and sells them to individual pharmacies. As one of the nation's 10 largest drug distributors, it delivered to more than 1,300 pharmacies and took in over $1 billion in revenue during the relevant five-year period, officials said.

RDC agreed to a non-prosecution consent decree and agreed to pay a $20 million penalty. It will be monitored by the government for the next five years.

"We made mistakes," Jeff Eller, a company spokesperson said in a statement. "RDC understands that these mistakes, directed by former management, have serious consequences."

"One element of the opioid epidemic is a dramatic increase in the volume of prescriptions for opioids and all narcotics," the RDC statement continued. "With that dramatic volume increase came an increase in our business, resulting in an increase in orders we should have identified as suspicious order, which we failed to report to DEA."

The company's former chief executive, Laurence Doud III, surrendered to federal agents and appeared in Manhattan federal court late Tuesday. He was handcuffed and wore a dark suit as he was led up the stairs of the courthouse by federal agents.

Doud, 75, of New Smyrna, Florida, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He faces a minimum of 10 years, if convicted.

Separately, William Pietruszewski, 53, RDC's former chief of compliance, pleaded guilty earlier this month to participating in a narcotics distribution conspiracy from January 2012 to March 2017. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of willfully failing to file suspicious order reports with the DEA.

He has agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

Prosecutors say RDC employees told Doud and Pietruszewski that some of the company’s customers were "very suspicious," and went so far as to describe some pharmacy clients as a “DEA investigation in the making” or “like a stick of dynamite waiting for [the] DEA to light the fuse.”

But in the relevant five year period, RDC, under Doud's leadership, increased its sales of oxycodone and fentanyl "exponentially," prosecutors said.

"From 2012 to 2016, RDC’s sales of oxycodone tablets grew from 4.7 million to 42.2 million – an increase of approximately 800 percent – and during the same period RDC’s fentanyl sales grew from approximately 63,000 dosages in 2012 to over 1.3 million in 2016 – an increase of approximately 2,000 percent. During that same time period, Doud’s compensation increased by over 125 percent, growing to over $1.5 million in 2016," the U.S. Attorney's office said.

RDC was also among the drug distributors named last month in a civil lawsuit by the New York Attorney General's office, which alleged fraud, willful misconduct and gross negligence.

Between 2010 and 2018, the company sold more than 143 million oxycodone pills to customers in New York alone, the state's attorney general's lawsuit said.

“At this time, it would not be appropriate to comment on ongoing litigation," Eller told ABC News in a statement.

Opioid manufacturers are facing over 1,700 lawsuits over their role in the current crisis. Paul Hanly, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the federal litigation, which he said includes 2,000 cases, welcomed the move by U.S. prosecutors.

"The charges make the civil case against RDC easier to try and provide a potential road map to evidence that may prove the civil claims against other distributors," Hanly told ABC News on Tuesday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

holgs/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Samsung is delaying the rollout of its $2,000 foldable phones after several tech reviewers reported that their review units became damaged within a day or two of using them.

The Galaxy Fold, which was originally slated to start shipping to consumers on April 26. A new ship date was not specified, but the company said it would be announced in the “coming weeks.”

"While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience," Samsung said in a statement. "To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold.”

The hybrid Galaxy Fold has a 4.6-inch display when folded as a phone and 7.3-inch display when unfolded as a tablet. The new device starts at $1,980, depending on region and carrier, and will come in an LTE or 5G option.

The problem began last week when reviewers for Bloomberg, The Verge and CNBC reported different problems with the breakthrough "foldable" screens (which are actually hinged) on the new Samsung phones.

The Verge's Dieter Bohn wrote that a small bulge on the crease of the phone was "just enough to slightly distort the screen."

"My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen," Bohn wrote. "It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit."

CNBC's Todd Haselton had a different problem with his device.

"A review unit given to CNBC by Samsung is also completely unusable after just two days of use," he wrote.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman had a phone that quickly became damaged. He tweeted: "The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Hard to know if this is widespread or not."

 Gurman did say he accidentally removed a protective film on the screen, as did YouTube tech reviewer Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee and Wall Street Journal reviewers. Gurman said he expected that most customers would probably do the same

CNBC's Haselton, though, said his Galaxy Fold stopped working despite having the protective film intact.

Troubles for the Galaxy Fold come at a pivotal time for the mobile phone industry. Smart phones sales have slowed globally as phones become more expensive, and the market has become saturated. Foldable phones were expected to boost the market, and several companies unveiled their foldable versions at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Interim Archives/Getty Images(BLACKSBURG, Va.) -- With the Federal Aviation Administration's historic certification, Wing Aviation’s drone deliveries are set to arrive in Virginia.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced Tuesday that the FAA awarded air carrier certification to Google’s Wing Aviation, the first drone delivery company to be awarded one, according to a FAA news release.

With the certification in hand, Wing Aviation can turn its tests into commercial deliveries in the U.S.

Packages from local businesses are set to be delivered in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia, after the company consults with the local community, according to the release and a Medium post by the company. The goal is to launch a delivery trial later this year, Wing wrote in its Medium post.

“For communities across the country, this presents new opportunities. Goods like medicine or food can now be delivered faster by drone, giving families, shift workers, and other busy consumers more time to do the things that matter,” Wing wrote in the Medium post Tuesday.

Since graduating in July 2018 from Google X, a division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, that incubates innovative technologies, Wing Aviation is now an independent Alphabet business, according to Google X’s website.

Wing Aviation conducted over 70,000 test flights with more than 3,000 deliveries to Australian doorsteps, driveways and backyards over several years in order to meet the FAA’s safety requirements to qualify, according to the news release and Medium post.

“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Chao said in a statement. “Safety continues to be our Number One priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential.”

Wing Aviation said their data showed a delivery by drone carried a lower risk to pedestrians than if the same trip was made by car, according to the company’s Medium post. The company stressed that drone delivery provides more independence to people who need assistance with mobility and that the all-electric drones will reduce traffic and pollution with zero carbon emissions.

Wing’s drones can fly up to 120 kilometers, or about 74.5 miles, per hour, and can fly up to 400 feet above the ground, according to Google X’s website. The first of Wing's drone deliveries were completed in 2014 in Queensland, Australia, where everything from dog treats to a first-aid kit were delivered to farmers. Two years later in 2016, Wing’s drones delivered burritos to Virginia Tech students, according to Google X’s website.

Through Wing’s app, users can order products, such as meals or medicine, to be delivered by drone. Wing currently operates in Australia and Finland, according to the company’s website.

Working with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech, Wing Aviation participated in the Transportation Department’s Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program, according to the news release. The program works with both state and local governments, as well as private companies, to assess risks and successfully integrate drones into the airspace, according to the FAA’s website.

Mark Blanks, director of the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, said that commercial delivery is one of the most significant ways to introduce the public to drones.

“But until now there hasn’t been a clear pathway for traditional aviation regulations, which were designed for manned aircraft, to accommodate it,” Blanks said in a statement. “That’s why this certificate is so significant: It’s a testament to Wing’s meticulous work and unwavering focus on safety, but it’s also a milestone for the industry because it demonstrates that there’s a way to do drone delivery under the current regulatory structure.”

In a report last June by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the FAA was characterized as taking an "overly conservative" approach toward regulating drones and integrating them. Drones have often been feared for their potential to crash into planes, and operations were temporarily paused at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey in January due to drone activity.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

SweetBabeeJay/iStock(MENOMONEE FALLS, Wisc.) -- Affordable fashion retailer Kohl's has announced that it is expanding its Amazon returns program this summer.

All 1,150 Kohl's locations will accept opened packages starting in July for free, Kohl's said in a statement. Eligible items will not need a box or label to be returned.

The partnership is a result of a "shared passion in providing customer service" and "combines Kohl’s strong nationwide store footprint and omnichannel capabilities with Amazon’s reach and customer loyalty," Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass said in a statement.

"This new service is another example of how Kohl’s is delivering innovation to drive traffic to our stores and bring more relevance to our customers," Gass said.

Kohl's will also begin to carry Amazon products in more than 200 stores, the company announced last month.

A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Niall_Majury/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz thinks airlines are reaching a breaking point with shrinking seat sizes.

"I think we are nearing a point certainly that we can't do that anymore," he told ABC News' Senior Transportation Correspondent David Kerley.

Munoz acknowledged having to stay competitive with peers and match many of their moves, but he admitted passengers may have had enough.

Another common complaint? Wi-Fi. Why does it so often not work on flights?

"It's complicated technology," he said. "We will fix that, and, frankly, we would stop a lot of our growth if we could just stop and find the right provider and get that done. That's how important Wi-Fi is to us and to our customers."

Munoz recognizes the changing culture of air travel -- an experience that for many transformed from an exciting experience to a painstaking one. He hopes that will change soon.

"It's become so stressful," he said, "from when you leave, wherever you live, to get into traffic, to find a parking spot, to get through security."

"Frankly," Munoz added, "by the time you sit on one of our aircraft ... you're just pissed at the world," and improving the flying experience won't ultimately depend on "what coffee or cookie I give you."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The company announced it would be delaying the rollout of the Galaxy Fold after initial reviews highlighted flaws in display screens.

"Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge," Samsung said in a statement. "There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance."

In 2016, the Galaxy Note7 had problems overheating and bursting into flames shortly after it was released in August, prompting the U.S. Consumer Product Commission to recall the device. The CPSC said nearly 1 million Note7 smartphones were sold in the United States, and an estimated 97% of those contained a defective battery.

That same year, a Florida man sued the company after he said his Samsung Galaxy Note7 ignited while in his pocket.

Samsung said it plans to announce a new release date for the Galaxy Fold in the coming weeks.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Moussa81/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The embattled maker of OxyContin is attempting to "cry poverty" to avoid accountability for the company’s role in the nation’s opioid epidemic, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Monday, as the state expanded its lawsuit against Purdue Pharma.

Tong filed an amended lawsuit that alleged hundreds of millions of dollars were fraudulently transferred from Purdue Pharma to the Sacklers, the family that controls the company, to evade liability.

"Purdue Pharma and the individual former directors of the company vigorously deny the allegations filed today in Connecticut and will continue to defend themselves against these misleading attacks," Purdue Pharma said in a statement in response to the amended complaint. "We believe that no pharmaceutical manufacturer has done more to address the opioid addiction crisis than Purdue, and we continue to work closely with governments and law enforcement agencies on this difficult social issue."

The lawsuit seeks to claw back transferred funds and a court order to prevent any additional transfers of money.

"We will not allow Purdue Pharma to cry poverty after illegally transferring hundreds of millions of dollars to members of the Sackler family—unearned funds these individuals reaped as Connecticut families suffered,” Tong said in a statement.

Connecticut, along with a number of other states, sued Purdue in December 2018, alleging the company pushed patients toward OxyContin even as opioid addictions skyrocketed. The company recently settled a lawsuit with Oklahoma for $270 million.

Illinois' attorney general also filed a lawsuit against the company earlier this month.

“Our investigation has left no room for doubt—Purdue and the Sacklers ignored all human cost while pushing deadly opioids in blind pursuit of profit,” Tong said.

Purdue and the Sacklers pushed a false narrative telling doctors that addiction was "not caused by drugs" but instead was the result of "susceptible individuals," the amended complaint said. It also alleged Purdue insisted patients suffered from "pseudoaddiction" caused by inadequate dosage. To treat it, the lawsuit said doctors needed to up the dosage.

The company has accused the different states of cherry picking the most damning information from their internal documents.

Purdue Pharma did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment on the Connecticut attorney general's amended suit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

BackyardProduction/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The nation’s Social Security program is running out of money with benefits on track to be reduced by around 2035 unless Congress steps in, according to a report released Monday by the Trump administration.

The prediction is somewhat better than last year’s annual assessment delivered to Congress, when the government predicted a reduction of benefits a year earlier in 2034.

The government also concluded Monday that Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund will run out of money in 2026. That’s on par with last year’s assessment.

"Lawmakers have many policy options that would reduce or eliminate the long-term financing shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare," according to an administration statement. "Lawmakers should address these financial challenges as soon as possible."

The viability of America’s 84-year-old Social Security program has become an urgent question for politicians looking to court voters in next year’s election.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed not to touch the popular program or Medicare, the health insurance program for seniors. But his 2020 budget proposed spending less on both programs over the next 10 years, including some $26 billion on Social Security programs and hundreds of billions trimmed from Medicare. Administration officials insisted that the cuts wouldn't impact benefits and the cost savings would be found by rooting out fraud and changing how the Medicare pays providers like hospitals.

House Democrats have vowed to block the budget proposal from being enacted.

"Americans pay into these essential programs throughout their working lives, and they expect to receive the benefits they’ve earned," said Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Options to fix the program could include increasing the payroll tax, raising the retirement age or modifying the formula that determines how people receive their benefits. Some 94% of workers participate in Social Security.

One House bill would expand benefits for individuals, implement a payroll tax to earnings that are more than $400,000, and lower taxes for some recipients, among other things.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., who serves as the chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees Social Security and is a co-sponsor of that bill, said the report “underscores why it is so important that Congress take action now to prevent cuts from occurring in 2035.”

"With 10,000 Baby Boomers becoming eligible for Social Security every day, and with people facing a retirement crisis after still not fully recovering wealth lost during the Great Recession, the time to act is now," Larson said in a statement.

Nancy Berryhill, acting Social Security commissioner, said the program was able to buy more time before it depletes its reserves because of a decline in people receiving money for disability. Since last year’s estimate, the trust funds supporting Social Security increased by $3 billion in 2018 to a total of $2.895 trillion in reserves.

"Disability applications have been declining since 2010, and the number of disabled-worker beneficiaries receiving payments has been falling since 2014," she said in a statement.

But even with that extra cash on hand and plenty of political support, the cost of the program has struggled to keep pace with the cost of paying out benefits for some 174 million Americans and their 63 million beneficiaries.

"Social Security’s total cost is projected to exceed its total income (including interest) in 2020 for the first time since 1982, and to remain higher throughout the remainder of the projection period," the report found.

The assessment was completed by Berryhill, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

James Beard Foundation(NEW YORK) -- Attention foodies, home cooks and eaters: Chefs have long practiced incredibly smart ways to fight food waste, and you can implement their top tips, recipes and other ways to practice a sustainable relationship with food in your own kitchen.

For Earth Day ABC News' Good Morning America spoke to leaders in the food community who shared insights from full-use cooking methods to best practices as diners and how everything we do has an impact on the links in the food chain.

If you've ever thrown out wilted greens that you forgot about in your crisper drawer, tossed out the tops and stems of veggies without a second thought, or only buy boneless poultry, then you are missing out on some seriously delicious flavor and future star ingredients.

What is food sustainability?

Katherine Miller, the vice president of impact at the James Beard Foundation, knows a thing or two about food sustainability policy and advocacy.

"Sustainability for us at the James Beard Foundation is about three principles: good for people, good for the planet and the community," she said. "We focus on these pillars in our practices related to food waste reduction."

Miller developed the foundation's signature training program, Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, where professional chefs cook and learn skills to practice sustainability in their kitchens and at the community level.

Along with the Foundation's "Waste Not" cookbook that shows readers how to get the most from their food, Miller said JBF also has a chef-to-chef curriculum to create a full-use, no-waste kitchen.

Sara Brito, president and co-founder of Good Food 100, which measures chefs and restaurants' commitment to and impact on a sustainable food system, said everything that eaters, chefs and restaurants do has an impact.

"How they spend their money has an impact on every link in the food chain: the environment, animals, farmers, ranchers and fishermen, farm workers and food service workers," Brito explained. "People should vote with their food dollars to support food that is as good as possible for every link in the food chain."

Did you know?

Food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent in the U.S.

"This estimate, based on estimates from U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service of 31% food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010," according to a USDA report.

Meet the chefs practicing what they preach

Michael Anthony, executive chef Gramercy Tavern, New York City

Anthony said that the restaurant is set up by design to share top-quality ingredients across multiple menus offered in the tavern and main dining room.

"This interconnectivity, which highlights different price points and different aesthetic style of dishes, creates a perfect setting to eliminate waste," he said.

"Every dish at Gramercy Tavern is conceived to express a combination of thrift and ingenuity," he said, adding that there is an organizational obligation at Gramercy Tavern to transform every ingredient into "delicious, profitable dishes."

"We respect the effort that goes into producing these great ingredients," he added. "We train our staff to handle them reverentially, and we work with organizations like Rethink Food that are heroically entering our kitchen at the end of service and happy to capture preparations that will not be able to be served the following day."

Suzanne Cupps, executive chef Untitled by Union Square Hospitality Group, New York City

Cupps said sustainability is "at the heart" of her cooking and hailed practices passed down from chef Mike Anthony who helped her "understand what it is to be a mindful chef" and be aware of waste.

"Sustainability for me means supporting the folks around me, being the best steward of the ingredients that I can be and really being mindful of what our guests are eating and what's leftover after," she said.

Her restaurant focuses on "sourcing local, delicious food that is sustainable" from the Union Square Greenmarket, from which they buy 90 percent of their produce.

Karen Akunowicz, executive chef and owner Fox and the Knife, Boston

The James Beard-nominated chef believes in using "as much as we can of our ingredients -- root to stem if you will."

"Broccoli stems are delicious," the chef said. "In our grilled broccoli Caesar salad we cut the stems off half way down and grill plank sections with stem attached," she said of one example. "Then we peel the remainder of the stems, and slice the stems thin, into half moons to add back to the salad raw for lots of crunch."

Top tips and best practices

These are some of the simple things you can do every day to help create a sustainable food chain:

Love your freezer

"Freeze everything." This was the resounding message from every chef and food leader we heard from, so it's no wonder this was Miller's No. 1 tip.

"You may realize, 'Oh, I bought that ground beef and decided not to use it tonight,' or you have a whole bunch of vegetables from the farmers market and you have all these ends you're not going to eat right away -- put it in the freezer," Miller said.

Freeze leftover vegetables and even rotisserie chicken bones to be used for soup stock.

Plan your menu so you don't over-prepare

"Especially for home cooks, another tip is to plan your menu," Miller said. "Plan for your guests and don't over-prepare. You want people walking away happy, not stuffed."

She also said that despite the idea for a host to have an abundance, it's better to "leave 'em wanting more."

Encourage leftovers and elevate it with an egg

"In the same way we do at the [James Beard] House, encourage people to take leftovers home with them," Miller said. "You will waste far less food."

The Good Food 100 co-founder also said people can incorporate this practice when dining out at restaurants.

"Don't be afraid to ask (or let others make you feel cheap for asking) for all of the leftovers to take home," Brito said. "Almost all leftovers taste good the next day for breakfast or lunch with an egg on it."

"Even the extra bread in the bread basket makes for delicious toast the next day or breadcrumbs to freezer for later use," Brito said.

Chef Kwame Williams, a private chef from New Jersey who also attended a JBF boot camp, suggested another great use of leftovers: "Stir fry!"

"A traditional stir fry is made with day-old rice -- combine that with any leftover meat that might be in your refrigerator, along with fresh or frozen vegetables," Williams added.

Scraps into stars

Miller suggested to "juice the stems and turn it into a lovely cocktail" and to "save the bones from a chicken and turn it into a soup. Use all the peels and ends of your onions, carrots and other vegetables to make into a lovely broth on a rainy day."

Brito added that purees are another perfect way to preserve and capitalize on using an ingredient.

"Puree any leftover vegetable to make a quick and delicious vegetable soup," she suggested.

Cupps, who loves Asian cooking techniques, said pickling -- and particularly fermenting -- is a great way to reinvigorate produce and give it new life.

"In a lot of Japanese and Korean cookbooks," Cupps added, "they suggest things like Kimchi, which is just a way to ferment with a little chili. It's just a little funkier but it adds some spice, some kick to your food and it does preserve the product for weeks."

In addition to pickling or making pesto, Williams also offered an additional option: "Jams can definitely be used when you have an ingredient in excess."

Eat ugly

That's right, you don't have to pick the most Instagram-able fruits and vegetables. In fact, food advocates like Miller think you shouldn't.

Consumers can help reduce waste by supporting the movement to eat misshapen foods. Some companies, like Imperfect Produce, will even deliver the delicious fruits and veggies that don't make it off the farm to grocery stores for nearly 30 percent less than supermarket prices.

It's even become popular on social media accounts that show off carrots that look like they're hugging or other produce shaped like a heart.


First In, First Out: When you put your groceries into the fridge or pantry, move the older products to the front and put new products in the back. You'll be more inclined to use the older stuff in front before it expires.

Keep a list of what you have

With an inventory of all the items at your finger tips, you may be less likely to purchase more of the same without using what you have on hand.

Save cooking and braising liquid

Another great practice in Akunowicz's kitchen is to save cooking or braising liquids to add back more flavor. With a filled pasta dish at Fox and the Knife, she uses simmering liquid and the peels from the parsnips to steep the pasta.

"It adds more parsnip flavor and body to the sauce!" she noted.

They also braise vegetables in the duck fat and stock from duck confit.

“The braising liquid is used as the base of the pasta sauce and we save the duck fat to confit our crispy potatoes," Akunowicz said.

Learn how to properly store ingredients

There are an array of online resources to show tips for proper food storage such as storing fresh herbs in a jar with water or putting mushrooms in a paper bag and removing the tops of root vegetables to keep them fresh.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

thredUp(NEW YORK) -- We live in a world where "fast fashion" is supreme and retailers are creating clothing at the drop of a dime. But is it time to slow down?

Multiple reports suggest that in addition to oil, fashion is the next largest industry to pollute the world. However, that might change as awareness of the issue increases.

How can you help? You may already have the answer.

"I think finding affordable, sustainable fashion always starts with your own closet," said Dominique Drakeford, the chief curator of MelaninASS (Melanin and Sustainable Style), a space to celebrate sustainable fashion, natural beauty, wellness and land justice from the lens of communities of color. "Look at your wardrobe and see what you can mend and repurpose or upcycle before throwing an item away."

If you are already inspired to start shopping for more environment-friendly fashion finds, understanding some of the key terms and symbols placed on clothing can put you on the right track.

A few tell-tale words that are usually associated with sustainable fashion include:

Recycled: This may be the most obvious term, but one of the most important. Pieces that include a recycled stamp have been produced from previously used materials.

Certified organic: When an item has the certified organic stamp, this means the clothing was created through an organic farming process and under strict regulations.

Naturally dyed: This simply means the garments were dyed using only plants, vegetables and minerals, and without the use of animals.

Fair trade: If you notice this verbiage, it's safe to say your clothing was fairly traded between companies in developed countries and that those who produced the clothing were paid fair prices.

How to make sustainable fashion more affordable

Sustainable fashion isn't a completely new idea, but it is one that has notoriously been associated with a wealthier class-type.

Devonne Jackson is an upcycle style and earth advocate. She's also the founder of Positive Obsession, Inc. which is a platform that sparks sustainable lifestyle conversations through events, education and experiences. She said that the most affordable and ethical way to be sustainable is to simply check out everything you've already bought in your closet.

"So, clean out that closet and fall in love again," she said.

Jackson also made clear the value in saving for sustainable goods.

"We save up for good kitchen pots, a first car or a much-needed crew vacation," she said. "Save for the memories that will last."

Sustainable stylist Lauren Engelke has become a master at styling herself and her clients consciously without compromising style.

"I help my clients figure out what occasions they dress for during the week, and then we brainstorm a handful of outfit options for each," said Engelke. "Usually, we'll realize that they don't need a whole new spring wardrobe, but one pair of spring booties and one new blazer will make everything they have feel fresh again. Then, we shop for just those two things."

Engelke also suggested slimming down your wardrobe so that you can identify your own authentic style.

"By being able to identify the silhouettes and colors that you love, you can lean into and play around with your personal style without buying mountains of new clothing," she said.

Yes, sustainable fashion has made lots of progress, but like anything else, it doesn't come without challenges and a dark past.

"The sustainable market still isn't doing a very good job of dressing plus-size people. I have a bigger body myself," Aja Barber, a London-based stylist and writer, who more recently vowed to dress more sustainably, told ABC News' Good Morning America. "But, I do believe more and more designers are waking up every day and pledging to do better in that category."

"I find it unacceptable to call yourself ethical but exclude plus-size people from the narrative," said Barber. "Buying from Etsy is wonderful because you can get things tailored to your size no matter what size you are! And that's a beautiful thing!"

Drakeford also chimed in, explaining how overcoming systemic oppression ties into the challenge of more sustainable fashion.

"The infrastructure of the industry was built on slave labor and thrives by way of exploitation, while the environmental crisis disproportionately affects black and brown communities," Drakeford said. "Dismantling a system that's doing exactly what it was intended to do is a constant battle and fashion plays a huge role in all of this. It not just about wearing cute clothes, it's much deeper."

With the highs and the lows of sustainable fashion, overall, there is forward movement in the right direction. In addition to advocates and stylists pushing for more of it, there are brands that are doing the necessary work to help consumers shop more consciously.

Five sustainable fashion collections leading the charge for 2019

Rent The Runway

Rent The Runway is becoming the Uber of sustainable fashion and shopping. You can sign up for a subscription to rent rather than buy outfits for everything from formal events to office attire. The popular subscription service is disrupting how people traditionally shop by allowing consumers to keep up with the latest styles and returning when they are done -- with zero waste.

Amour Vert

Amour Vert means "green love" in French, and the brand is at the forefront of fashion sustainability in everything from their FEC-certified forest fibers to environmental partnerships that help plant trees around North America.

This year for Earth Month, there is an initiative where shoppers can add trees to their cart and one tree will be planted for each dollar spent. You can also share the tree with a loved one or have one planted in their honor. This initiative has allowed the retailer to plant 220,000 trees to date.


ThreUp is one of the world's largest fashion resale websites and actress Olivia Wilde recently teamed up with the brand to launch a secondhand capsule collection to raise awareness for how "choosing used" can end textile waste. The line features more than 4,000 unique items and it is size inclusive, with sizes ranging from XS to 3X.


On April 25, the brand is launching a sustainable pair of unisex sneakers under the name "Tread by Everlane." The new footwear line is 94.2 percent plastic-free and comes with a mission to "make the world's lowest-impact sneakers."

Ralph Lauren

The luxury retailer debuted the Earth Polo shirt on April 18. It is made from an average of 12 plastic bottles and dyed with a waterless process. Ralph Lauren has also committed to removing 170 million plastic bottles from landfills and oceans by 2025.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Courtesy Josh and Blakeley Drake(MANCHESTER, Tenn.) -- A couple hoping for a second child are playing Easter Bunny this year to fundraise an adoption.

Josh and Blakeley Drake of Manchester, Tennessee, are offering to plant Easter eggs in the backyards of local families. In return, they're accepting donations from people in their neighborhood.

"Adopting another child, it's everything," Blakeley Drake, 27, told "Good Morning America." "We never thought we were going to be able to have children and to be chosen by someone to parent their child is the biggest blessing that I think that you can have."

Josh and Blakeley Drake were married in 2011. Shortly after, Blakeley Drake was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The couple underwent fertility treatments but Blakeley Drake had two miscarriages. The Drakes ultimately decided to adopt, welcoming daughter Delaney, who is now 2.

The Drakes were self-matched with Delaney's birth parents, who were acquaintances of the couple. Because of the connection, the Drakes were able to forgo any adoption agency fees, Blakeley Drake said.

"We were hoping to do that again but if we're not, we have a little bit better of what the cost is going to be--we are looking at $25,000 to $35,000," Blakeley Drake said.

Now, the Drakes are hoping for a second child but instead of crowdsourcing, they decided to give back to their community in exchange for those donations.

The Drakes posted a flyer on Facebook advertising their adoption fundraiser which is titled, "Egg My Yard."

For two nights before Easter, they'll hide candy-filled eggs in the yards of families who have signed up for an "egging." The cost ranges from $30 to $70 depending on the amount of eggs and parents can customize the hunt based on allergies and level of difficulty in an online survey, Blakeley Drake said.

Each egg hunt will include a note left on one's door from the Easter bunny. So far, the Drakes have had 25 families sign up.

Ashlyn Allen is one parent who has signed up for the Drakes' egg hunt.

"I love that they're providing an actual service in order to raise money for the adoption," Allen told "GMA." "I'm happy to play a small role in this adoption process."

Blakeley Drake said she's excited to plant the eggs with her husband and toddler.

"We'll make it magical for kids and take a little pressure off the parents too," she said. "Our daughter is the light of our lives. We know she's going to be a great big sister."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Orgis Energy via Walt Disney World(ORLANDO) -- Disney just got a whole lot greener!

Walt Disney World has unveiled its newest and largest solar farm. At 270 acres, the site is almost twice the size of the entire Magic Kingdom.

"Here at Disney, every day is Earth Day," Angie Renner, Environmental Integration Director of Disney Parks told "

The new facility is Disney's largest solar endeavor to date and is expected to generate enough energy to power two of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World.

The 50 megawatt solar farm features 500,000 panels, which "is equal to about removing 10,000 cars from the road," said Renner.

This is the second solar plant at Walt Disney World — the company announced a 22-acre Mickey Mouse-shaped facility in 2016 near EPCOT.

These facilities are all part of Disney's goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020.

"[These projects] tag onto a long legacy of environmental stewardship that started with Walt [Disney]," Renner noted.

The new site was built in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and Origis Energy.

"A lot of companies are understanding their carbon footprint and their impacts across the globe," said Orgis Energy's Scott Shivley when asked about the rising corporate trend of using solar energy.

"It's been a lot easier [for companies] to be cost effective as well as to meet the goals of renewable energy," added Reedy Creek director John Giddens.

Along with the solar energy harnessed by the panels, Disney also worked with environmental and horticulture experts to ensure the new plant is a nurturing habitat for wildlife, like bees and butterflies.

Two-thirds of the facility is pollinator-friendly and it also features an experimental test garden to improve research on the area.

"We have a really important opportunity here to make this site as pollinator-friendly as possible," said Rachel Smith, a Conservation Programs Manager from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team.

"We know they give back to us so much so we're trying to create that habitat for them," Smith added.

 The company's longstanding commitment to environmental conservation could offer a whole new world of Disney magic to visitors coming to its parks.

"I hope everyone is as excited as we are to harness the power of the sun and about this new renewable facility that’s helping bring magic and clean energy to the Disney Resort," said Renner.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Congrats to Wings 4U in Cushing!!!!!! The Winner of Wing Wars 2019!!!!!!

Listener Poll
Calf Fry, May 2nd-4th at The Tumbleweed. Which night are you looking forward to the most?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Find Us On Facebook