Volunteering experience amidst COVID-19 by UC Berkeley students!

Foods, Equity, Entrepreneurship, & Development (FEED) Consulting is a food justice consulting student organization at UC Berkeley. We analyze and make recommendations to business-oriented questions for organizations that are working to improve and make a difference in the food system. This semester, we continued our partnership with Outside2Inside and focused on conducting research and continuing outreach to local businesses in two projects: Corporate Consciousness and Sustainable Urban Village Program.

Last semester, we worked with Outside2Inside on the Corporate Consciousness Program where we worked on conducting research with local businesses regarding their food waste methods and awareness on the topic. We developed a Corporate Consciousness Program which will allow any interested business to institute a food awareness program within their business through awareness and mindfulness practices, which will align the business’s goals with their brand. Specifically this semester, we worked on using outreach methods researched last semester to reach out to numerous small and large businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area. Our goal was to gather and collect interest in our cause and build a lasting connection with any companies that aligned with our goal and overall message. We developed three particular lasting contacts and communicated on our common goals and interest in food waste awareness. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, we were unable to meet with these companies in-person. Therefore, we have provided the contact information to Outside2Inside to continue this outreach process in future semesters when the COVID-19 outbreak dies down.

On top of our work on the Corporate Consciousness project this semester, we began the Sustainable Urban Village Project, or SUV for short. A SUV consists of a produce farm, animal farm and compost center all in one central location such as schools, apartments, corporations,etc. Each SUV is self-sustainable with a low setup cost and minimum required maintenance. SUVs also act as an awareness center, sustainable farm, farmers market, compost center and an animal farm all in one convenient place.

To bring this vision to reality, our FEED team identified the most compatible types of both produce and animals. After identifying types of potential animals and produce, we researched the more logistical aspects of the SUVs such as the land/space and legal requirements. Another portion of the SUV project revolved around compost, so our team assessed the pros and cons of each type of composting, providing Outside2Inside with a recommendation based on our findings. Finally, we created a 1 year, 2 year, and 5 year plan of implementation, a plan that will hopefully be implemented in the years to come, whether that be during or after the COVID pandemic.

Working as a team through a pandemic has been a challenge but the FEED team has grown and adapted to change. As the pandemic unfolded, our team was forced to work remotely but continued despite the abrupt change. As project managers, we (Annie and Collin) were
continually amazed by the adaptability and hard work of our consultants throughout the semester. FEED couldn’t have been more happy to work with Outside2Inside to make a difference in the Bay Area community and can’t wait to work together again in the coming years!

– Annie Li & Collin Miller

Project Managers for O2I – FEED Research Project

O2I Earth Day celebrations at Lam Research

Lam Research Corporation is a company that engages in the design, manufacture, marketing, and service of semiconductor processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits. Outside2Inside was invited to participate in the Earth Day event conducted by Lam Research on May 15, 2019.

The Theme given by Lam Research was “Sustainability” and we at Outside2Inside decided to bring awareness about home-based (domestic) food waste recycling for this event. We had set up a stall and displayed Food Waste Composting in a glass jar, Wonky produce, Food Waste quiz, and tips to reduce food waste. When it comes to composting, people think that it is a complex process that involves worms and needs a huge backyard in order to do one. But Outside2Inside helped break this thought & demonstrated during this event as to how composting can be done even in a small glass jar and help in recycling food waste in a small but sustainable way. Employees who visited our stall were curious and interested to learn more about domestic composting. Many were amazed by the fact that composting can be done domestically in a small glass jar and were excited to try it at home.

We also displayed wonky produce and explained how it contributes to massive food waste in the US. The employees were shocked to know that one in three produce was thrown away just because of its looks. This made them aware of how buying wonky produce will contribute to food waste reduction. We designed a food waste quiz to engage the people and when the employees took the quiz they were shocked to know the alarming statistics of food waste in the US. We also gave away Outside2Inside flyers that contained tips on efficient usage of the fridge for food storage in order to prevent food waste, which in turn will guide them to reduce domestic food waste.  Since households contribute the most to the annual food waste in the US, by doing domestic composting and the efficient usage of the fridge, one can contribute to the household food waste reduction. More than 100 employees visited our stall and were made aware of the food waste, domestic composting method, food storage tips and efficiency of fridge usage to prevent food waste.

Through this event, O2I accomplished:

  • ~4 hours of volunteer involvement
  • ~100+ people made self-aware about food waste
  • ~10+ lbs. of wonky produce recovered from getting wasted

By participating in these events, we contributed to the community by bringing awareness about food waste and how it affects our environment. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our volunteers and we thank Lam Research Corporation for giving us this opportunity to be a part of this good cause. We wish to have many more partnerships with them in the future.



Volunteer Event Manager @ Outside2Inside

Arbor Day event at Santa Clara Central Park

The City of Santa Clara conducts the Arbor day event every year in Santa Clara Central Park. The Earth Day Celebration Event this year (2019), marked the 32nd year of the National Arbor Day Foundation. The purpose of this event was to invite the local community to engage in environmental education for a healthy lifestyle and a healthy planet. Elementary students from in and around Santa Clara County were brought to this event to learn more about environmental awareness.

Outside2Inside was invited to be part of this good cause in bringing awareness to the community on environmental issues and how to contribute to a healthy sustainable planet. We were one among 20 vendors to participate in the event. Since this event is for the community and kids, we had prepared games like “Match the following” and identifying the “Wonky fruit/vegetable” to engage the school students. The activities were designed to bring awareness to the students that not all produce are grown in the same shape /size /color, it comes in different forms but is equally nutritious as the regular looking ones. We gave a lot of produce-related gifts like pineapple ice cube tray, fruit-shaped paper plates, beautiful flower seeds and “wonky carrots” to the students, teachers, and parents as an appreciation for their participation. By giving away the wonky carrots to the kids, we encouraged them to buy wonky produce from the grocery store. The kids were happy to take wonky carrot as its interesting shape looked cute for them. In their own words an enthusiastic kid asked us, “These carrots look cute and taste sweet, so why is it thrown away?” and ate the wonky carrot right away.  Almost all the kids who visited our stall showed great curiosity and interest towards “Wonky Produce”. We at Outside2Inside felt extremely happy to have brought awareness about “Wonky Produce” to these kids who are the future citizens of our country. The event was a great success and everybody who visited our stall walked out with awareness about food waste and how each one can contribute to reducing it.

Through this event, O2I accomplished the following:

  • ~4 hours of volunteer involvement
  • ~500+ people made self-aware about food waste
  • ~30+ lbs. of wonky produce recovered from getting wasted

This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our volunteers and we thank the City of Santa Clara for giving us this opportunity to be a part of this good cause. We wish to have many more such partnerships with them in the future.

O2I Earth Day Celebrations at Advantest

Earth Day is observed every year around the world on April 22nd to demonstrate support for environmental protection. As a part of the community and corporate awareness, Outside2Inside was invited to participate in the Earth Day celebrations of Advantest Corporation that were held on April 22nd, 2019. Advantest Corporation is a leading manufacturer of automatic test equipment for the semiconductor industry, and a manufacturer of measuring instruments used in the design, production, and maintenance of electronic systems.

Outside2Inside was one among the 15 vendors participated in the event. We had set up a stall and displayed Food waste statistics in the US, Wonky produce, and Wonky fruit salads. Our goal for this Earth Day Event was to bring awareness to the employees of the Advantest about “Wonky produce” and how it contributes to the massive food waste in the US. “Wonky produce” are fruits or vegetables that are odd-shaped, discolored, asymmetrical but equally nutritious. One may think what Earth Day has to do with food waste reduction. Food waste ends up in landfills which emits methane, a greenhouse gas that affects our environment. And moreover, when food gets wasted, precious resources like water, soil, and human effort are also going to waste. Many don’t know about these facts and we at Outside2Inside wanted to bring awareness to the corporate citizens through this event.

Outside2Inside had recovered some wonky fruits and vegetables like apple, orange, squash, and carrot which would have been otherwise thrown away from the farms. This recovered produce was displayed in our stall. We also made a free giveaway fruit salad of apple and orange. When the employees visited our stall, we made them taste the “Wonky Fruit” salad and when asked about the taste, they said it was delicious. When the employees were informed that the salad was made from wonky apples and orange which would otherwise be thrown away, it shocked them. This brought awareness that even though some produce looks odd-shaped, it is as nutritious as the normal ones and made them realize that its the looks that make one not pick these “Wonky Produce” from the grocery stores.  Many employees were interested in our stall and brought their friends as well to know more about wonky produce. We made ~150+ people aware of the wonky produce and made them as change agents to spread this awareness to their family by giving away the recovered wonky produce.

The event was a huge success and O2I accomplished the following:

  • ~4 hours of volunteer involvement
  • ~150+ people made self-aware about food waste
  • ~70+ lbs. of wonky produce recovered from getting wasted
  • ~100+ people fed with “Wonky Fruit” salad

This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our volunteers and we thank Advantest for giving us this opportunity to be a part of this good cause. Outside2Inside wishes to have many more partnerships with Advantest in the future.



Food Waste in the Corporate sector – A perspective from UC Berkeley Students!

Food, Equity, Entrepreneurship, & Development (FEED) is a food justice consulting student organization in UC Berkeley. In spring 2019, we continued our partnership with Outside2Inside to determine how we can best expand the impact and outreach of current and new programs to corporations in a variety of different industries in the Bay Area. When we first began our project, we examined food waste trends in the bay area. Through our research we found that one of the primary sources of food waste stems from widespread expectations of perfection among retailers and consumers that prompts corporations to reject produce that may be misshapen. From there, we applied these findings to inform further research on the industries in which these trends are most prevalent within. Our results included information on the aerospace, entertainment, catering, hospitality, agriculture, grocery, manufacturing, education, and large companies. Based on the average amount of food wasted in pounds and cost of food waste, we determined that the hospitality, catering, and grocery industries had the most potential for food waste management improvements.

Champions 12.3, a coalition of business and government leaders interested in reducing food waste, compiled a report that examined financial cost and benefit data for 86 sites in six countries where waste-reduction practices had been employed. They found that for every $1 that a catering company isn’t spending on food waste reduction, $6 of food will be wasted. This indicates just how much waste occurs within the catering industry, signaling to us an opportunity to make changes that could help reduce their impact. When we were coming up with programs we could potentially implement, we used this as a core goal to inform that ripe or misshapen produce, is still nutritional and just as delicious. When we came up with Farm2Work, it stemmed from the existing Farm2School program in O2I that brought produce to school children in hopes of educating them that wonky produce was just as good. Farm2Work aims to bring wonky produce to the workforce for the convenience of the corporate employees and to help farmers sell off any leftover produce they might not otherwise have been able to sell. In general, poor collaboration among all players in the field where farmers may be harvesting earlier or more than usual leading to a supply in stores that cannot sell as much. Through this experience and learning about food waste, we have learned a lot about how consumer’s standards shape how much food waste occurs. Throughout the bay area, we found food waste in grocery chains that were local and even places we shop at.

This made us feel like we should make a more conscious effort to buy wonky produce because we know that it is just as good for us and the environment. In addition to informing consumers about the viability and nutrition of misshapen produce, another aspect of food waste prevention we took on was raising awareness of methods for disposing food scraps. In particular, we dealt with spreading composting as a means to discard food scraps rather than landfilling. With the great program that Outside2Inside currently has in educating individuals on the process of compost, we looked to expand this into the corporate world. Similar to Farm2Work, another program was created with the goal of bringing composting to corporates in the Bay Area. Named Compost4You, this program seeks to increase company awareness and engagement in food waste reduction by implementing composting programs for companies that need them. This program was created out of alignment with the previous core values discussed, aiming to fundamentally reduce food waste and decrease the harmful effects of landfilling.

UC Berkeley – FEED partnership with Outside2Inside!

FEED is an undergraduate consulting club at UC Berkeley that promotes sustainable impact by working with organizations and enterprises that are redefining the food system. Throughout each semester, we have projects that require market research, product development and other methodologies… We also host campus events and write on our blog to promote food justice awareness. Last year, we were recognized as the “Outstanding Community Partner” by the Basic Needs Committee. We also helped spearhead a national award-winning campaign on hunger and homelessness, and hosted the Impossible Foods Burger Tour.

In the spring of 2018, FEED partnered with Outside2Inside (O2I) because we admire its commitment towards prevention of food waste and making food accessible to all. A team of six consultants and two project managers worked with O2I on multiple projects with primary focus on the pilot launch of Farm2School (F2S) Program. The FEED team was divided into three smaller committees, namely Outreach, Marketing and F2S Pilot. While the Outreach Committee helped research potential local farms, schools and colleges for O2I to expand, the Marketing Committee worked on analyzing and enhancing O2I’s online/social media presence and the Pilot Committee organized the logistics of the pilot F2S program. We kept close contact with O2I and met regularly. This helped to better understand the project requirements and exchange ideas and suggestions. Some of our work included developing a pitch for middle school students, designing flyers and promotional materials, constructing a social media strategy, and helping out in any way possible to make the Farm2School Pilot program a success.

The FEED team thoroughly enjoyed working with Outside2Inside and also learnt a lot from the experience. At O2I, they are incredibly passionate about reducing food waste through their mission of prevention, recovery, and recycling. They were always available, willing to connect and have meetings with us in case of any queries. Our team members were able to expand their skills in design, marketing, outreach, communications and research. The F2S project was a successful one which in turn resulted in a win-win situation for both the parties.

This fall semester, we have a team of both returning consultants and new consultants working with Outside2Inside on a project to convert produce waste from agricultural farms to animal feed that can be consumed by farm animals. This will involve research on food waste trends, the technical process of recycling produce waste, outreach to nearby farms, and the legalities of creating and distributing animal feed. We are happy and excited to be continuing our partnership with Outside2Inside!

–              By Susie Warner & Rachel Bosnyak

(Susie Warner: Vice President of Publicity & Recruiting – FEED, Rachel Bosnyak: Vice President of Food Justice – FEED)

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.