Food waste is a hot button issue in the food industry, and a ton of great minds are trying to address it in creative, innovative ways. We asked around and did our own research to find 6 of the coolest organizations taking matters in to their own hands:
When your slogan is "Eat Beer" you get BlueCart's attention. As they watched the rise of craft breweries, two friends had an idea. The beer was amazing, but it came with a lot of waste. They created ReGrained to take the most wasteful part--the spent grain byproduct of the beer-making process--and mold that into granola bars. Grain that would otherwise be thrown out is presto-change-o now a delicious snack. So when they say "Eat Beer" it's no gimmick. You can now have your beer and eat it too!
A lot of suppliers know they have a waste problem, and are desperately trying to find a product that puts them in touch with people that can find value in their surplus. Manjia has stepped in to help with a FREE solution for suppliers. Their platform facilitates food donations by letting suppliers post their excess food, so that anyone who has signed up can reach out and request the leftovers. We had to mention Manjia because, hey - who doesn't like [a free platform that improves streamlines communication and makes a difference...(www.bluecart.com) ;)
Everyone knows the story of the Ugly Duckling, but not many have heard the tale of the Ugly Carrot. Once upon a time an ugly carrot wasn't good enough to get plucked from the garden and was thrown out instead of getting sent to the grocery store. With Imperfect Produce, the ugly carrot story doesn't end there- actually it just begins. Imperfect Produce takes those ugly carrots, and delivers them to your door step. Love what you're tasting? You can order in bulk and enjoy all those fruits and vegetables that might be a little plus-sized.
Ordering the right amount of food for restaurant kitchens is tricky business, so of their is either too little or too much. You could say restaurants are goldilocks trying to find the amount to order that is just right. One app is making it easier than ever. Mint Scraps allows restaurant managers and chefs to input data into their nifty app and that app goes good will hunting on the data. Mint Scraps then grabs all the info and puts into an easily understandable chart to monitor and reduce food waste.
Food Waste is often seen as a one-way trip from the farm to the landfill, but one food waste company is attempting to make it a closed loop. Re-Nuble takes organic food waste from restaurants or local farms, combines it with plant supplements and transforms it into a fertilizer for hydroponic farming. I think it's safe to say that the endless loop is starting to close.
Started in 1987 with the goal of reallocating food from those who have too much to those who have too little, Food Runners is a veteran organization battling food waste. Leveraging 250 volunteers, and 15 tons of food donated weekly from over 450 restaurants, grocery stores, caterers and farmers markets Food Runners is able to provide over 5,000 meals a day to those in need in the Bay Area. Founder Mary Risley has been named the Humanitarian of the Year in by the James Beard Foundation. Not too shabby.
These 6 organizations pioneering solutions to food waste to develop more efficient and sustainable systems to provide food security for more people. Interested and want to talk more? Join us, Mary of Food Runners, and a panel of experts for food, drinks and a discussion and education on food waste on March 7. Register for our Dinner Table Event Series, Food Waste: A Food Fight Worth Joining. Don't let our free beverages and food go to waste!