Michael Peñuelas

Research & Writing Fellow

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Michael is a Research & Writing Fellow with Food Tank, as well as a farm hand, scholar, and community organizer based in northwest Washington State. Michael graduated in 2017 with a Master’s in Environmental Policy and Management from the Stanford University School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences. He also holds a B.S. from the same program with concentrations in food systems and in conservation ecology. Get in touch at michael(at)foodtank(dot)com, find out more about his work at www.michaelpenuelas.com, or follow him @mmpenuelas. He was born and raised on Duwamish land.

How Better Packaging Saves Food

Innovations that help consumers store and use food at home can be effective at improving food security and tackling food waste. Today, scalable innovation in consumer packaging is making home storage easier and more efficient than ever.

Food Policy Action Plans Broad-Based Opposition to Draft Farm Bill

Food Policy Action is mobilizing stakeholders from across the United States to voice their united opposition to the draft 2018 Farm Bill released by the House Agriculture Committee. Advocates have a narrow window in which to convince House members that supporting a Farm Bill that cuts support for SNAP, small farmers, and the working class is not only irresponsible, but will lose them support at the ballot box, says FPA executive director Monica Mills.

The Sound Food Uprising: A Movement to Reimagine Food in the Puget Sound

The Beecher’s Foundation is launching a ten-year consumer education campaign to reimagine the food system of the Puget Sound, the metropolitan region surrounding Seattle that is home to nearly four million people. Called the Sound Food Uprising, the campaign plans to teach one million eaters to challenge the way food is manufactured and deceptively marketed.

Claire DiMattina on McDonald’s New Packaging Goals

McDonald’s director of U.S. Public Affairs sat down with Food Tank to discuss the world’s largest restaurant company’s new goals focused on packaging and recycling. It plans to meet both by 2025 in each of its 37,000 restaurants.

Farming Accelerator in Brooklyn Produces Entrepreneurs and Fresh Leafy Greens Year-Round

Square Roots is a high-tech indoor farming accelerator in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, working to ensure that city residents can source fresh, sustainable produce twelve months a year. In a major urban center like New York City, where fresh produce can be tough to find even in seasons of peak agricultural output, Square Roots is proving the potential of indoor, climate-controlled agriculture.

Pasta Advisory Council Helps Eaters Tailor Pasta Portion Sizes

In response to recent research confirming that very few Americans consume pasta in the healthiest ways, The Barilla Group has released a new portion reference guide to help eaters unlock the health benefits of the Italian staple. When prepared in the right ways, pasta can be a central component of a healthy diet, but American restaurants on average serve portions 480 percent larger than nutritionists recommend.

Jayson Lusk Works to Reframe Food Debates with Data

Food Tank sat down with Dr. Jayson Lusk, the Head of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, to talk about controversies, data, and economics. He is working to reframe major facets of the food discussion by making sure that arguments are underpinned by solid data.

Framework Agreement on Climate Change Reached at COP23 Climate Negotiations

For the first time in the 25-year history of international climate negotiations, the 197 member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have reached an agreement on agriculture. The milestone came near the close of the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) of the UNFCCC and formally establishes a process called the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture.

Susan Ungaro’s Reflections on 11 Years As President of the James Beard Foundation

After 11 years at the helm, Susan Ungaro is stepping down from the role of president of the James Beard Foundation (JBF). Food Tank had the opportunity to sit down with Ungaro ahead of her departure from the Foundation and discuss the elements of her legacy that she is most proud of, the challenges from which she learned the most, and what’s next, both for her and for JBF.

U.S. Law Schools Launch Healthy Food Policy Project to Support Local Policies/Legislation

A team of leading food lawyers and legal scholars in the United States (U.S.) is launching the Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP), a collaborative initiative working to identify and elevate effective local food laws as examples for advocates in communities across the country. The website features a searchable database of local laws that seek to promote access to healthy food while contributing to strong local economies, an improved environment, and health equity.