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Bloomberg reports that “food prices in the U.S. may be rising faster than the government forecast as companies including Coca-Cola Co., Safeway Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill pass higher commodity costs on to consumers. Rallies in meat, grain and dairy products since February may mean the increase in food costs will surpass the 3 percent to 4 percent that the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts, said Christopher Hurt, an agricultural economist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The USDA today left its forecast for this year’s gains unchanged and said 2012 prices will increase 2.5 to 3.5 percent.”

• The Press-Telegram reports that Long Beach, California’s new ordinance banning single-use plastic shopping bags goes into effect today, which the paper says “makes Long Beach the 12th city or county in California to restrict plastic bags since San Francisco's in 2007 ... About 66 larger retailers, such as supermarkets, drugstore chains and stores including Target and Walmart, are now banned from distributing the bags.”

• Cargill announced it will be investing approximately $36 million (Canadian) in a waste-to-energy project at its High River, Alberta, beef processing facility that will increase to 80 percent the plant’s ability to generate energy it uses to produce meat products.  A portion of the funds, approximately $10 million, will be provided by the Government of Canada as part of its initiative to help meat processors reduce their environmental footprint.  This public-private collaboration for creating energy from waste that otherwise would be destined for a landfill is the first of its type in North America and the largest single waste-to-energy project Cargill has undertaken on the continent.
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