A wonderful journey with the Farm2School event!

The Farm2School is one of the premier programs of Outside2Inside in reducing food waste. In this program, a low cost Wonky Produce Farmer’s Market is setup at local low income schools by recovering the “cosmetically-challenged” fruit & veggies—food that is perfectly good, but not aesthetically suitable for retail. The school students are involved & equipped with knowledge about food waste, thereby enabling them to be advocates of food waste reduction and to run the farmer’s market. The goal of this program is to recover wonky produce and to create awareness about food waste among the local community.

On July 2018, the Farm2School program won the grant award from Intel Corporation for conducting one such event by the end of 2018. That was a significant achievement in itself but we cannot just stop there. We had to do an amazing event to justify the award. We didn’t even had the school available at the time of award. But at the time of writing this post, we have successfully completed the 2nd Farm2school event and it was a great success.

How did we do it?

After we got the funding from Intel Corporation, the first task was to reach out to local schools in Santa Clara County. We went about the task by visiting the schools in bay area and pitching about the program to them. The Ponderosa Elementary School in Sunnyvale bought into the idea and agreed to participate in the program. The Ponderosa Elementary School is a public school and is part of the Santa Clara Unified School District. The school has ~570 students with ~30% of the students & families in a low income environment.

We finalized to do the Farm2School event on Dec 19, 2018 between 1.15pm – 3.15pm. But to pull this off successfully, there were 2 months of preparation work and 4 other major sessions we had to do before the event. Once date was finalized, we advertised the event through flyers, social media posts, and email notification within the school community, family and friends. Then we started with the 4 major sessions.

Farm2School Information Session

A few weeks before the event on Nov 30, 2018, we went to the Ponderosa Elementary school and did an Information Session for the students. This session was to introduce the concept of Food Waste, Wonky Produce and to encourage the students to volunteer for the Farm2School – Wonky Produce Farmer’s Market event. This is the program’s first step in enabling the students to be advocates of food waste awareness. So we need to make the best impression on the kids. We made it very kids friendly with some games, trivia questions about food waste and some sample wonky produce for each of the kids to take home. The Students were very excited to know about wonky produce and many of them signed up to volunteer for the event.

Outside2Inside – Farm2School Information Session with the Ponderosa School Students

Farm2School Student Volunteer Training Session

We worked with the school to get the final list of student volunteers and arranged for a training session with them.  There were totally 15 students who signed up as volunteers. We had roles & responsibilities defined for the student volunteers to run the farmer’s market. There were roles like Greeter, Food Waste Stats Guide, Stamper, Finger Counter, Survey Guide etc. But the Stamper and Finger Counter were the favorite among the kids.  We explained the roles and identified the students for each role. All the student volunteers were also given an Outside2Inside T-shirt.

Farm2School Adult Volunteer Identification & Orientation

Any parent would agree that managing 15 inquisitive kids is itself a difficult task. And running an event with the kids is impossible without adult supervision and guidance. This is where the volunteers from Intel helped us make it smooth and seamless. There was great interest among the Intel folks about this volunteer event and we got 13 volunteers signing up for this event. We had a volunteer orientation session with Intel volunteers and explained the roles & responsibilities required for the event.  The roles were classified into 3 categories Pre Event Setup, Farmer’s market event, Post event cleanup. The main responsibility for most of them was to manage and guide the kids 🙂

Farm2School – Wonky Produce Sorting & Recovery Event

The Wonky produce are fruits and veggies that are odd shaped, irregular sized, having minor scars or discolored due to heat but perfectly good & nutritious as any other produce we buy in the market. Just because they are wonky, there is no demand and farms end up trashing them. Outside2Inside has partnered with many local farms and produce warehouses to recover such wonky produce from them. In this event, we went to a produce warehouse in San Francisco and recovered ~300lbs of produce on Dec 17, 2018.

Wonky Persimmon – If not for us, this would have been in trash just because it is odd shaped!

Outside2Inside & Intel Volunteers recovering Wonky Produce.

Farm2School – Wonky Produce Farmer’s Market Event

With the help of Schools, farms and volunteers we were prepared for the event on Dec 19. 2018. But there was some anxiety before the event. The volunteers came by 12noon to the Outside2Inside office and after a short briefing we all got into the action. We started packing the wonky produce and other things like canopy, produce baskets, banners etc into the car and reached the school by 12.30pm. The volunteers were super enthusiastic and had the Wonky Produce Farmer’s market being setup within 30mins by 1pm.  The adult volunteers took responsibility of the kids they manage and formed a great partnership. At 1.15pm, we opened the Wonky Produce Farmer’s market to the people and the crowd kept pouring in making the event a great success.

Through this Farm2School – Wonky Produce Farmers Market, we achieved the following:

  • Recovered ~600lbs of wonky produce from getting wasted.
  • Indirectly, this helped prevent ~225lbs of Green House Gas emissions and saved ~47K gallons of water from being wasted.
  • Donated the produce to ~150 students and their families.
  • Raised awareness about reducing food waste to ~600 people.
  • Engaged 15 students as volunteers in bringing awareness about food waste. The student volunteers learnt food waste reduction advocacy, leadership skills, artful communication & public presentation skills and community engagement.
  • From our feedback survey, 100% of the participants liked the fruits and veggies provided in the Farm2School program and would like to visit such future events from Outside2Inside.

Farm2School – Wonky Produce Farmer’s Market with volunteers from Outside2Inside, Intel and Ponderosa School

These amazing achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of our partners, donors and importantly the volunteers. We thank Ponderosa School for participating in the event, Intel Corporation for funding this event and the volunteers who gave their valuable time in making this event a big success. We wish to have more such partnerships with Intel and Ponderosa School in future.

– Sriram Natarajan, Director of Food Recovery, O2I.

 

 

 

 


Food waste to Animal Feed – A Berkeley Student Research

With staggering amounts of food waste in America entering landfills, new methods for recycling this food waste are continually arising and developing. The process of recycling food waste into use for animal feed is one with little research or real world implementations, but has promising potential as a main diversion source of food waste. While there is much more to be discovered and explored in this process of conversion, some success stories do stand as an example on how to effectively transform the food scraps from grocery stores, restaurants, and households to the nutritious animal feed on farms. As members of FEED, a food equity consulting club at Berkeley, we took a look a these programs in the Bay Area and around the country to examine what tactics should be used as a model for similar future programs.

Local efforts to convert this food waste to animal feed consist of mostly small, informal, and intermittent transitions. We were able to contact small bay area animal farms such as Leland St. Farms, to examine how they are accepting recycled scraps. This small scale-pig farm sources 90% of their pig feed from a local produce market called Andy’s, collected in a large bin and transported to the farm via tractor. The farmers that their grain purchases are minimal and their pigs are extremely healthy due to the minimal effort taken to collecting this otherwise wasted food. Devil’s Gulch Ranch, a similarly small pig farm in Marin, receives unused food from Marin Food Bank, grain from Almanac Brewery and Magnolia Brewery, and cheese from Marin Cheese Farm. All donations are left in large bins at these locations and workers drive trucks to pick them up about every other week. The farmers taking advantage of freely available recyclable food waste boast its benefits of lower costs and even better animal health. However, due to a lack of existing organization, they have only been able to achieve this through self-initiative and funding for sourcing and retrieving this food.

In looking for more established and formal food waste recycling methods, we found FoodShift. This Alameda sourced organization began a program to pick up food waste from a partnered grocery store Andronico’s and delivers to St Vincent de Paul’s to feed the hungry. Food Shift reported that “In the first three months of the program, over 44,000 lbs of food was collected, including melons, apples, oranges, lettuce, granola bars and more. Andronico’s determined that the quantity of waste in their dumpsters had declined so dramatically that the store could reduce their number of garbage and compost pick ups to three days per week, which can save them almost $27,000 each year”. While this food was not take to farms, the success of Food Shift is a strong representation of the sustainability and cost efficiency of programs that divert food waste from grocery stores.

We then looked at another food waste success, Rutgers University, to see how the school converts its own cafeteria’s food waste into animal feed. Located in New Jersey, Rutgers University has partnered its dining halls with a local farm called Pinter Farms. After each meal, Rutgers staff takes the scraps from the food into a trough in the kitchen. This trough moves both this food and also used napkins into a pulper which grinds all of the waste together and removes the excess water from the mix. This process reduces the volume of the waste, which is then taken to barrels to be taken to Pinter. Pinter Farms is closeby, less than 15 miles away from the university, and this process of recycling the university’s food waste and using it as animal feed at Rutgers has been going on for over 50 years. Every day, representatives from this farm come to Rutgers’ campus and collect around one ton of food scraps from the university’s four dining halls, feeding it to the farm’s hogs and cattle. This cuts the price of sending these food scraps to the landfill by more than one half, so not only does less food get wasted, but the university also saves a significant amount of money through this partnership.

We found all of this research to be quite useful in helping Outside2Inside form a solid plan for the conversion of food waste to animal feed. The bottom line is that there are indeed ways that we can recycle the food that we eat rather than letting it waste away, and established organizations are already implementing programs to do so. It is up to us to spread this information and start up more and more of these programs to continue to reduce food waste in an effective and efficient way by feeding it to farm animals.

– Ava and Maddie

UC Berkeley – FEED Consultants


Food Waste Conversion to Animal Feed – A Berkeley students persepctive

As a freshman studying business and music, I wasn’t sure exactly sure what to expect when I began my four years at Berkeley. Everything changed when I joined several different communities on campus: the jazz band, CAL Dragon Boat, and FEED. FEED, an undergraduate consulting club that promotes food justice and sustainability, assigned me to a project team that would be working with Outside2Inside. Our goal was to research and implement the conversion of food waste into animal feed. The first few months our work was almost entirely composed of research. Specifically, we looked into the most common farm animals and their diets, researched the legalities behind food waste, and explored the various processes that can be used to convert food waste into animal feed. While the latter topic was by far the most complex, it was also one of the most interesting subjects to research.

During our research, we discovered that treatment methods for converting food waste into animal feed can be grouped into three main categories: wet-based, dry-based, and ensiliing/fermentation. After exploring each of these categories, we came to the conclusion that dehydration and ensiling processes are the best methods for converting produce waste into animal feed because they can be used on a wide range of produce, do not lead to significant nutrient loss, preserve perishable product for long-term storage, and are low-cost options that can be performed on a smaller scale. We also found that these options are especially suitable for apples, bananas, grapes, tomatoes, and brewers grain.

However, the conversion of animal feed into food waste was especially fascinating to me because there was no clear-but best method. Each process has its pros and cons, some creating waste of their own such as plastic or wooden bales and other releasing toxic gases. For example dehydration was an effective and resourceful conversion method but it lacked the ability to convert large amounts of food waste and only accepted certain types of waste (i.e. no bones of avocado pits). On the other hand, ensiling could convert large amounts of grass crops but produced toxic gasses. Unlike dehydration whiantach could be performed overnight, ensiling has the potential to take weeks to become edible. This trade-off was fascinating in the sense that it forces each company to consider their own output of waste and potential to purchase conversion equipment.

While gaining a comprehensive understanding of these converters required time and thorough research, we had the opportunity to take on the role of consultants as we considered the advantages and disadvantages of each method and worked towards formulating suggestions grounded in accurate information.

– Collin and Haley

UC Berkeley – FEED Consultants


Why Farm2School program is important in the food recovery?

Mоѕt food recovery рrоgrаmѕ whоѕе mission іѕ tо redistribute excess рrоduсе tо thоѕе whо need іt report rесоvеrіng lеѕѕ than hаlf of thе excess produce іn thеіr аrеаѕ. Yеt, the fresh produce fооd bаnkѕ rесеіvе from thеѕе rеdіѕtrіbutіоn рrоgrаmѕ іѕ crucial, аnd іnсrеаѕіnglу ѕо. Fееdіng Amеrіса reports that many реорlе nоw dереnd оn fооd bаnkѕ not just for еmеrgеnсіеѕ, but fоr thеіr dаіlу calories. In оrdеr fоr fаrm-tо-fооdbаnk рrоgrаmѕ tо ѕuссееd оn a wider ѕсаlе, mоrе infrastructure аnd fundіng іѕ needed fоr shipping tоtеѕ, trucks, соld storage, etc. Mеаnwhіlе, perfectly gооd рrоduсе is left tо rоt.

Anоthеr wау food іѕ wаѕtеd is thrоugh сullіng, оr thе rеmоvаl оf рrоduсе bаѕеd on соѕmеtіс blеmіѕhеѕ. Thіѕ means thаt produce thаt is too ѕmаll, оddlу ѕhареd, оff соlоr, or hаѕ tоо mаnу blеmіѕhеѕ is thrоwn оut. Culling often hарреnѕ on еіthеr thе fаrm or аt grосеrу stores; аnd whіlе both take ѕtерѕ tо rеduсе wаѕtе, a lоt of fооd іѕ still wаѕtеd.

Onе ѕоlutіоn tо reducing food wаѕtе comes frоm rеtаіlеrѕ lіkе Whоlе Foods bеіng willing tо trу ѕеllіng lеѕѕ-thаn-реrfесt рrоduсе. Whоlе Fооdѕ recently аgrееd to wоrk wіth Imреrfесt Produce оn a pilot рrоgrаm tо test ѕаlеѕ оf wonky рrоduсе in its Nоrthеrn California ѕtоrеѕ. Alrеаdу, Whole Fооdѕ рurсhаѕеѕ wonky рrоduсе for uѕе іn its рrераrеd fооdѕ, ѕmооthіеѕ, and juісеѕ. Thе ѕuссеѕѕ of putting wonky produce оn the ѕhеlvеѕ rеmаіnѕ tо bе seen, but a Whоlе Fооdѕ spokesperson has ѕаіd that thе ѕtоrе іѕ соmmіttеd tо moving tоwаrd zеrо wаѕtе аnd ѕееѕ thіѕ раrtnеrѕhір wіth Imреrfесt аѕ a mеаnѕ tо dо thаt.

Kids and раrеntѕ аlѕо have tо bе еduсаtеd thаt food wаѕtе recovery іѕ a соmmunіtу rеѕроnѕіbіlіtу. Thіѕ іѕ аlѕо something thаt is еnсоurаgеd by thе farm2school рrоgrаm, to hеlр раrеntѕ and kіdѕ know how food waste is a рrоblеm thаt affects thе community thеу live іn. Thе program іѕ аlѕо аn орроrtunіtу to buіld соmmunіtу engagement that will benefits раrеntѕ, kіdѕ, ѕсhооl аdmіnіѕtrаtоrѕ, tеасhеrѕ, аnd fаrmеrѕ. Fооd wаѕtе hаrmѕ thе соmmunіtу аnd еvеrуоnе іn it. It is thе responsibility оf school аdmіnіѕtrаtоrѕ, раrеntѕ, аnd оthеr соmmunіtу lеаdеrѕ to find ways to hеlр еduсаtе еvеrуоnе on why they should nоt wаѕtе food. Thе fаrm2ѕсhооl рrоgrаmѕ саn hеlр brіng thе соmmunіtу tоgеthеr аnd асhіеvе grеаt things.

Fаrm2Sсhооl helps connect lосаl fаrmеrѕ with area ѕсhооlѕ so that fresh, lосаllу grоwn fооdѕ саn be served аt ѕсhооl mеаlѕ. In addition, Fаrm2Sсhооl еnсоurаgеѕ сhіldrеn tо trу new fооdѕ & рrоvіdеѕ opportunities for hаndѕ-оn nutrіtіоn еduсаtіоn bоth in thе cafeteria аnd іn ѕсhооl gаrdеnѕ.

Farm2School helps children undеrѕtаnd whеrе their fооd comes frоm аnd how thеіr fооd сhоісеѕ іmрасt thеіr bodies, thе еnvіrоnmеnt аnd thеіr community. When kіdѕ lеаrn first-hand that fruіtѕ аnd vеgеtаblеѕ can be delicious in аddіtіоn tо being gооd fоr thеm, thаt knowledge wіll mаkе іt mоrе likely thаt they mаkе ѕmаrt fооd choices their whole lіvеѕ.

In fасt, ѕоmе ѕіmрlе but ѕmаrt strategies tо Reduce, Recover, аnd Recycle foods can make a bіg difference tо address wаѕtе іn ѕсhооlѕ. Chаngіng рrасtісеѕ іn ѕсhооlѕ has thе dоublе bеnеfіt оf reducing thе аmоunt of wasted fооd whіlе also educating ѕtudеntѕ аbоut thе need to rеduсе fооd wаѕtе and thе wауѕ thіѕ саn bе dоnе. Catching ѕtudеntѕ while they are уоung саn hеlр lead to the tуре оf ѕосіеtаl сhаngе needed tо сut back оn fооd wаѕtе.

The соnѕеԛuеnсеѕ оf fооd wаѕtе and thе ways іn which food wаѕtе саn be аvоіdеd аrе ѕlоwlу bесоmіng better understood аnd mоrе widely discussed. Lеt’ѕ kеер food waste on оur ѕtаtе’ѕ аgеndа, and we’ll find mоrе ways tо waste lеѕѕ gооd fооd and help thе Earth tоо.


Food Waste – World’s dumbest yet one of the biggest problems

Amеrісаnѕ wаѕtе an unfаthоmаblе amount оf fооd. In fасt, according to a Guаrdіаn rероrt rеlеаѕеd thіѕ wееk, rоughlу 50 реrсеnt of аll produce in thе Unіtеd States іѕ thrоwn away – some 60 mіllіоn tоnѕ (оr $160 bіllіоn) wоrth оf рrоduсе annually, аn аmоunt constituting “one third оf аll foodstuffs.” Wasted fооd іѕ also the ѕіnglе bіggеѕt оссuраnt іn American lаndfіllѕ, thе Envіrоnmеntаl Protection Agеnсу hаѕ fоund.

Food waste is аn expensive drain оn the economy аnd еxtrеmеlу harmful to thе еnvіrоnmеnt, and іt іѕ оnе of thе largest wаѕtе-rеlаtеd сhаllеngеѕ fасіng us іn thе 21ѕt Cеnturу. Aссоrdіng tо CаlRесусlе statistics, fооd wаѕtе іѕ thе ѕіnglе most рrеvаlеnt іtеm іn оur lаndfіllѕ, whісh іѕ especially trаgіс whеn соmbіnеd wіth the ѕtаggеrіng numbеrѕ оf hungrу реорlе іn оur ѕtаtе.

A 2016 ѕtudу by the Natural Rеѕоurсеѕ Defense Council found thаt thе Unіtеd States wаѕtеѕ 40 реrсеnt of thе fооd іt рrоduсеѕ – mоrе than 20 pounds оf fооd per реrѕоn еvеrу month. Thе ѕtudу аlѕо fоund thаt:

  • 80 реrсеnt of thе frеѕhwаtеr Americans use іѕ fоr fооd рrоduсtіоn
  • 10 percent оf еnеrgу Americans uѕе іѕ fоr fооd production and distribution
  • 15 реrсеnt оf fооd wasted іn thе U.S. could fееd 25 million Amеrісаnѕ a year
  • 16 реrсеnt оf U.S. mеthаnе еmіѕѕіоnѕ іѕ caused by оrgаnіс mаttеr dumped іn landfills

The U.S. Envіrоnmеntаl Protection Agеnсу has еѕtаblіѕhеd a Fооd Recovery Hіеrаrсhу tо guіdе іndіvіduаlѕ аnd оrgаnіzаtіоnѕ in reducing fооd wаѕtе. Reducing the amount оf ѕurрluѕ food thаt is gеnеrаtеd tорѕ thе hіеrаrсhу, fоllоwеd by ensuring that ѕtіll-еdіblе fооd gоеѕ to feed people. Disposing this vаluаblе material ѕhоuld only be соnѕіdеrеd as a last rеѕоrt.

Thеrе аrе ѕеvеrаl соmmоn sense rеfоrmѕ thаt nееd tо be іmрlеmеntеd tо insure thаt lеѕѕ fооd wаѕtе is gеnеrаtеd, that еdіblе food goes tо hungrу people, and that іnеdіblе ѕсrарѕ аrе rеturnеd tо the ѕоіl. Amоng thеѕе rеfоrmѕ, thе ѕtаtе’ѕ tаx соdе should сrеаtе аn incentive ѕtruсturе thаt rеѕultѕ іn the recovery оf mоrе of these material, and оut-dаtеd fооd lаbеlѕ needs to bе uрdаtеd to еnѕurе thаt соnѕumеrѕ hаvе accurate іnfоrmаtіоn аbоut hоw lоng food іѕ ѕаfе tо соnѕumе.

Whіlе edible fооd should сlеаrlу gо tо fееd hungry реорlе, it іѕ also іmроrtаnt tо іnѕurе that inedible оr ѕроіlеd kitchen ѕсrарѕ bе diverted from lаndfіllѕ tо соmроѕtіng fасіlіtіеѕ to rеturn those nutrients tо the ѕоіl. Thе USDA, іn раrtnеrѕhір with the EPA hаvе ѕеt the first еvеr food waste rеduсtіоn goal, саllіng fоr a 50% reduction by 2030 аnd hаvе сrеаtеd thе U.S. Food Wаѕtе Chаllеngе. Amоng оthеr еffоrtѕ, Cаlіfоrnіаnѕ Agаіnѕt Wаѕtе hаѕ ѕuссеѕѕfullу sponsored landmark legislation that rеԛuіrеѕ rеѕtаurаntѕ, grосеrу ѕtоrеѕ аnd other businesses tо аrrаngе fоr composting (оr аnаеrоbіс dіgеѕtіоn) оf thеіr fооd wаѕtе.

It ѕhоuld shock аll оf us thаt hеrе іn thе Unіtеd States, fооd waste hаѕ reached crisis рrороrtіоnѕ. Nоt оnlу dо wе throw оut еnоugh fооd to fill 44 skyscrapers еасh year, but a breathtaking amount of thаt tossed fооd іѕ реrfесtlу hеаlthу, dеlісіоuѕ frеѕh рrоduсе. Abоut 1 іn 5 fruіtѕ аnd vеgеtаblеѕ grown in Amеrіса (аnd оnе-thіrd оf the world’s рrоduсе) goes tо waste, аnd 23% of аll fruіtѕ and vegetables аrе wаѕtеd before they еvеn rеасh grocery ѕtоrеѕ.

In recent уеаrѕ, an іmрrеѕѕіvе numbеr оf new рrоgrаmѕ аrоund thе соuntrу hаvе dеvеlореd in hореѕ оf rесоvеrіng and redistributing еxсеѕѕ produce to thоѕе іn need. Sоmе реорlе rеfеr tо these kinds of еffоrtѕ аѕ “farm-to-food-bank.” In fасt, ассоrdіng tо a tally bу Cіvіl Eats, 20 оffісіаl рrоgrаmѕ аrе now ѕаvіng over 300 million роundѕ of produce a уеаr. Still, оnlу a small роrtіоn of аll thіѕ еxсеѕѕ food іѕ going tо fееd реорlе іn nееd, аnd bіllіоnѕ оf роundѕ аrе ѕtіll getting tоѕѕеd. There is more to be done in the area of reducing food waste and more people has to join in the fight against food waste. Support organizations, initiatives, campaigns that is working towards food waste in whatever way you can.


Food Waste Recycling through Composting and Animal Feed

Food waste is a serious problem that deserves serious attention. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans waste between 30 – 40 percent of all the food produced, at the retailer and consumer level. This is a serious issue since the food value is an estimated $161 billion. The country leads the world in the amount of food waste, and the reason is self-explanatory. Food is cheap in America, and there seems to be an inadequate desire to educate the people on the importance of food waste management. The food can be saved through composting and animal feed.

Food Recycling Through Composting

Composting is the process of decomposing organic material, where soil organisms recycle nitrogen, potash, phosphorus and other soil nutrients, and turning them into humus. Composting is a cheap and effortless method of getting rid of food waste and making it useful for other purposes.

Benefits of Composting Food Waste

  • Reduces waste
  • Reduces pressure on landfills
  • Makes compost available for the next farming seasons
  • Saves money on purchasing soil
  • Adds nutrients to the soil
  • Promotes better health for the community

How to Compost Food Waste?

Composting food waste is easy and takes very little time, depending on the system you use. There are many methods used for composting, but the worm compost and compost bin is the most common. For the worm compost just have the compost outside your home and dump the waste in it. The worms will go through it, eat it, and then leave you with rich, dark compost at the lower tray.

Pit composting is for people who are establishing new garden beds. Just place your organic kitchen waste in trenches or shallow holes and cover it with soil. The Anaerobic organisms in the soil will break down the materials within a period of about four to ten months.

The piling method of composting is one of the easiest and rewarding. They don’t need any construction. Just pile up compostable materials together and leave them in the air where they continue to decompose. You will need a pitchfork for turning. If you need quick composting, you can invest in a turning bin. The addition of a crank and pivot means they can be turned to quicken the decomposition process so that you can get useful compost within two months.

Food Recycling Through Animal Feed

For centuries, animals have been fed leftover food. Even when we were kids, we used to put our unfinished meal under the table, hoping that the dog or cat will eat it. Food recycling through animal feed offers one of the best ways to deal with the scourge of food wastage around the world.

Benefits of Food Recycling Through Animal Feed

  • Reduced pressure on landfills
  • Cattle farmers save money from buying animal feed
  • Reduce methane emissions from fruits & vegetables to lower carbon footprints
  • Good for the economy

How to recycle food waste into animal feed?

Feeding the animals directly is a simple and easy method. People can donate their kitchen and plate leftover to farmers, who will, in turn, use it to feed the animals. Those who keep animals can use part of the food to feed them. Swine do well in this, as they are omnivorous animals who would eat anything.

However, many experts are of the opinion that feeding animals directly may lead to health issues. This can easily be handled by ensuring the process of getting the food to the animals is controlled. The United States Environmental Protection Agency encourages anyone who wants to take part in recycling food waste for animal feed to contact their local solid waste, public health agency, or county agricultural extension agency for information. You’ll also have to determine what types of food you want to provide and how often you’re going to provide it.

Food waste might be a serious problem for the modern world, but with determination, we can overcome it. What is needed is proper education and commitment by every member of the community to be responsible and take action.

 


How can we educate school kids and parents about Food Waste Recovery through the Farm2School program?

Food waste affects the society and the family. Reports show that an average family waste about $1,500 worth of food every year, money that could be resting in your account to do so many nice things. One of the best ways to prevent food wastage is through the farm2school program, which is a program set up for schools to purchase food from farms and consume directly. Farm to school program is effective because it is based on the principles of education, procurement, and setting up school gardens. So, how can it be used to teach parents and kids about food waste recovery?

Food Contains Nutrients That Support Growth

Food contains the essential nutrients that we need to grow strong, healthy, and happy. Every nation, state, and regions have their own food security challenges, and it is very important to make kids and parents realize why waste has to be discouraged. Educating kids about all nutritional value derived from farm produce will make them better appreciate them. Unlike packaged food, kids will have a firsthand experience with fruits, vegetables, and other items brought in by the farming community.

Kids Take Part in Farming or Gardening

The highlight of most farm2school programs is the part where children are taken to the farm to learn about how food is planted, nurtured, and harvested. Educating them about the long process will surely make the kids appreciate the value of food and make up their mind to waste less. Parents may also participate in this program, so they can have the experience with the kids and inculcate it into their values at home. By showing the kids the lengthy process it takes to make food, they will grow into adults with a responsibility to always try and prevent wastage.

Promoting Healthy Eating Education

The farm2school program also involve classroom education that teaches kids about sustainable agriculture, growing cycle, ability to recognize seasonality and local produce etc. The classroom sessions is an amazing opportunity to make the kids understand why they need to avoid food wastage. This can be done by telling them the negative effects food wastage is having on our world and future consequences if we don’t take action now. The classroom is also an opportunity to teach kids about healthy eating, which is the primary purpose of feeding in the first place.

Community Responsibility

Kids and parents also have to be educated that food waste recovery is a community responsibility. This is also something that is encouraged by the farm2school program, to help parents and kids know how food waste is a problem that affects the community they live in. The program is also an opportunity to build community engagement that will benefits parents, kids, school administrators, teachers, and farmers.

Food waste harms the community and everyone in it. It is the responsibility of school administrators, parents, and other community leaders to find ways to help educate everyone on why they should not waste food. The farm2school programs can help bring the community together and achieve great things.


Reduce food waste through Innovation

With the level of hunger and famine ravishing some parts of the world, it is unconscionable to waste food. There is concerted effort all over the world among stakeholders in the food industry to cut food wastage drastically through innovations. High-level collaborations among farmers, cooks, entrepreneurs and innovators have resulted in technologies targeted at solving different issues in the food management system. Here are some of the leading food tech innovations that aim to change the way people interact with food. These innovations are meant to help people reduce food waste and save money in the process.

Bluapple

Bluapple is a new product which allows consumers to store fresh produce for longer by absorbing ethylene gas in the refrigerator. Ethylene gas is the hormone that ripens fruits. By controlling the oxidative effect of ethylene, Bluapple can effectively extend the shelf life by as much as three times.

BluWrap

BluWrap is a brand-new food tech which uses fuel cells to monitor and reduce oxygen levels in shipping containers used to transport fresh meat and fish. BluWrap features inbuilt sensors that keep the atmosphere of the shipping cabin consistent, effectively extending the shelf life of the food and making it possible to transport them to new markets.

Copia

Copia is a food tracking software that helps redistribute surplus food to feed the needy. The company has a large food waste reduction mechanism which it uses to connect businesses that have food surpluses with nonprofit organizations such as local shelters and after-school programs. Copia collects food from businesses for a fee based on the volume of the food and delivers it to organizations that need the food. Copia also has an analytic software that businesses can use to monitor their surplus food to cut costs and food waste.

 

Edipeel

Edipeel is an invisible, edible, and tasteless natural postharvest protection innovation created by Apeel Sciences as protection for food surfaces. Edipeel acts as a barrier between the surface of produce, protecting it from oxidation, transpiration, and microbial infestation, effectively extending the shelf life of produce and reducing post-harvest spoilage.

IRRI Super Bag

The Super Bag is an innovation that increases the shelf life and germination life of stored grains and seeds through hermetic storage. When the bag is sealed, it reduces the oxygen levels to 5 percent, which helps to reduce the number of live insects without applying any insecticides. The bag also helps to maintain consistent grain moisture within the bag and increases germination life of stored seeds to 12 months.

 Smart Packaging

There are different types of smart packaging options. VTT Technical Research Center developed wireless sensors that detect ethanol in the headspace of food packaging, then transmits live data about the quality and freshness of the food to retailers and customers via radio frequency identification tech. The technology can help monitor food quality across a distribution chain and also improve shelf-life, bringing down the amount of wasted food in the process of transportation and retail.

Gebni

Gebni is an app delivery service that uses an algorithm to reduce food waste. Gebni’s algorithm adjust food prices relative to the demand in real-time. The app lowers food prices during off-peak periods, increasing the number of people that will buy the groceries instead of the store throwing the produce away. It also ensures that more low-income buyers have access to groceries supplies.


Reduce Food Waste Through Meditation

All over the world, there are serious debates about world hunger and how humanity has failed itself. While one side of the world is ravaging in extreme hunger, the other side is wasting food at an alarming rate. Over 40% of the food produced in the world goes to waste or is lost. People have come up with ways to help reduce food waste, but what about meditation? What can meditation teach us about the way we waste food and how can we tap into the realm of concentration and use it to save the world from hunger?

Concentration

One of the main benefits of meditation is to increase concentration. People who meditate regularly develop a sense of direction and remembers things often. When they set their mind to something, they tend to achieve it without losing their attention. Better concentration means you will pay more attention to how food is bought and consumed in the household. It will also help you monitor food that is about to expire so you can quickly find ways to send it away to people who will consume it.

Meditation Increases Positive Feelings

Putting yourself in constant state of meditation can help increase your positive feeling. The meditation known as Metta is a type of meditation that is known as loving-kindness. Through regular practice, you’ll be able to extend this kindness to forgiveness and care for other people. Those who care about other people would be less greedy and find ways to provide for other people. Meditation of kindness and love can help you attain a high level of personal responsibility that will push you to give away food before they get damaged, thereby reducing food wastage.

Self-Awareness

Regular meditation also improves your self-awareness. You’re more comfortable in your body and have positive vibes about life. You also live a responsible lifestyle that helps you achieve your goals and stay focus on your plans. Self-awareness also enables you to reduce food wastage by encouraging you to embrace anything that will help you manage your resources including buying only the food you need. This way you will reduce wastage and feel less need to eat more. You’ll also not gain unnecessary weight.

Fight Addiction

Most of the people who have issues with food addiction and cravings also waste food a lot. They have no specific food measurement they need to stick to, or any meal plans, and would always want to eat more than they should. Meditation helps to control cravings, increase self-awareness and helps you quickly identify triggers for any form of addictive behavior. Once you can fight addiction, your body will learn how to redirect your mind to something else other than food, so you can successfully reduce your desire to consume and waste food.

Practicing meditation is known to help improve your wellbeing, emotional state and physical state. It can improve your self-awareness, reduce stress and concentration, fight addiction, and get rid of unnecessary food wastage. You will become more responsible for your actions and the world will be a better place to live.

 


Why food recovery awareness is important for kids?

Food recovery awareness

Food recovery is the practice of preventing surplus foodstuffs from being dumped in the trash. It provides a variety of social, economic, and environmental benefits.  The highest and best type of food recovery involves collecting wholesome but unused or unsalable food for distribution to those in need.  Additional food recovery efforts aim to reduce waste further and decrease resource burden by converting excess food for use in animal feed, composting, and biofuel production.  Engaging in food recovery is a straightforward and uplifting way to respond to a variety of challenging problems.

Food recovery is the opposite of food wastage. Food waste has many economic and environmental impacts. With many people experiencing food insecurity, this waste can be reduced when surplus food is donated to those in need rather than thrown to rot in landfills. There are many ways to help this problem, and it’s a matter of effort and learning to fix it.

‘Wonky’ Produce:

More than 20% of the fruits and vegetables grown in America never make it off the farm because they aren’t perfect enough or ‘wonky’ for grocery store standards. This results in billions of pounds of wasted produce every year. However, these produce are just as nutritious and delicious but looks a little different. With so many delicious fruits and vegetables going to waste, something had to be done. By eating the so-called ‘wonky’ foods, you’re helping build a more sustainable and effective food system. You’re helping fight food waste. You’re ensuring farmers are rewarded for their full harvest with a less wasted land, fossil fuels, and water. You’re improving access to healthy food. You’re creating fulfilling careers for employees. With every bite into a misshapen apple or crooked carrot, you’re helping shape our world for the better.

Conventional ways of food recovery:

There are many ways of recovering food. The four conventional methods of recovering food include the following:

  • Field Gleaning: The collection of crops from farmers’ fields that have already been mechanically harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.
  • Perishable Food Rescue or Salvage: The collection of perishable produce from wholesale and retail sources.
  • Food Rescue: The selection of prepared foods from the food service industry.
  • Nonperishable Food Collection: The collection of processed foods with long shelf lives.

Why we should educate our kids on food recovery?

Apart from disposing foods which are regarded as ‘wonky’ from farms, it is, however, important to let your kids be aware of the consequences of wasting food and the advantages of preventing food wastage. Our kids tend to waste food when they notice food surplus in the house or perhaps when they are being overfed. Strict decisions should make to restrict our kids from wasting foods. Now, we’re not saying to let your kids go hungry. But let’s face it, sometimes they want things from the supermarket or at a food establishment that they don’t need but just want to eat. Kids may have a hard time understanding what it takes to earn and pay for food, which can result in taking it for granted. Setting up rules where kids need to use their allowance or job earnings to pay for meals can help them realize the cost of wasting something so essential. There are several people on the streets of big towns and cities who don’t have the opportunity to obtain three square meals. Donating the food remnants or leftovers to these poor people will be highly appreciable. Particularly in the situation where kids come from a less privileged home where the parents earn little, it is, however, essential to caution the way in which they waste food.

If they are too young to serve themselves, serve young children small portions of food at meal and snack time. They have little tummies, and if you heap too much onto their plates, some of it is likely to go to waste.

Allow older children to serve themselves. Encourage them to take small portions then go back for more if they’re still hungry. Kids will learn how to gauge their appetites and are less likely to have plate waste because they decided themselves how much to serve up.

If your child declares they are full before finishing a reasonable amount of their meal, save the leftovers. “Instead of having them snack on something less than wholesome an hour or two later, they can finish their meal, reducing waste and increasing the likelihood of a well-rounded diet.

Rather than encouraging disposing foods in trash cans, you could pick up a responsibility of distributing the excess foods to the less privileged and help the needy.