Recyclers are typically known for driving the circular economy: e.g. putting things back to use instead of to the landfill. At Harvest, we’ve noticed a trend in the media signaling that foodies and health conscious folks are increasingly shaping the conversation. Here are four reasons why this might be happening.
Targeting wasted food saves money and resources. Folks in the restaurant industry know that, in the United States, 40% of the food we produce is going to waste (see Wasted! video, below). Targeting this dumpster-bound material by with the three R’s – reducing it (aligning supply with demand with data-driven programs such as LeanPath), reusing it (see this clever reuse of food waste in ice cream), or recycling it (composting) – saves costs and resources. Foodie and columnist Andrea Clurfeld spurred her readers to do just this in NJ Monthly’s article, “Waste Not: Pro Chef, Home Cook – Everyone Can Compost."
Good soil grows yummier food. By recycling organics back to the earth, it improves the soil which enhances the crop’s flavor. Increasingly, restaurants have direct relationships with local sources of produce and protein. Those same farms that provide veggies can then possibly take in the veggie scraps for composting. Compost begets healthier soil, which yields stronger, tastier veggies. It’s a full circle of win win wins.
People care about safe and clean environments. Speaking of circles, the apt phrase “What goes around comes around” comes into play when we’re talking about organic waste and healthy soil. Compost helps eliminate the bad while boosting the good. Harvest recently presented, "Soil as a Gateway for Eliminating Toxins" in Connecticut's Natural Nutmeg publication. An excerpt includes:
Did you know that in one teaspoon of living soil there are 100 million to 1 billion bacteria? These bacteria act like an enormous, microscopic, hungry army that metabolizes surrounding materials and help regulate the soil, suppress disease, and discourage pests. It’s a small, wild world teeming with life, and compost helps the good guys keep playing all season long.
Food waste is at the epicenter of energy, nutrients, and innovation. Recently, Edible Orlando columnist Marta Madigan took a tour of Harvest’s Energy Garden in Orlando, Florida. In the resulting article she describes the transformation of regional food scraps into clean energy and class AA granular fertilizer.
Do you consider yourself a foodie or a health nut, ahem, health-conscious individual? What’s your interaction with food waste and/or the circular economy?