These food entrepreneurs are turning waste into opportunity.
As Dawson explained to CNN, “Preserves seemed almost a natural thing to be doing with a glut of fruit and veg, because it then lasts up to 10 months.”
With staggering reports out from the U.N. and NRDC showing that up to 40 percent of food is wasted worldwide, the food waste crisis has begun to receive overdue attention. Innovative entrepreneurs like Dawson see this as an opportunity to capitalize on great produce.
Last October, the British grocery chain Waitrose achieved its goal of zero food waste. That means no food was sent to the landfill. Instead, any unwanted food was donated or sent to anaerobic digestion plants to create biogas. Following suit, another U.K. giant, Marks & Spencer, has announced a similar goal.
In Berkeley, California, two business school students, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, saw an opportunity in discarded coffee grounds. When they learned that mushrooms grow well in the grounds, they saw business potential and Back to the Roots was born. Initially a business of farming and selling mushrooms, they now sell a home mushroom growers' kit. Since founding their business in 2009, these young entrepreneurs have spoken at TedX and have been featured on ABC, NBC and PBS.
While these businesses won't solve the massive problem of food waste, they address the issue in a creative and profitable way, and they help to raise public consciousness. Sustainable America has a goal of increasing food availability 50 percent in America by 2030. We plan to do this is by increasing food production while simultaneously reducing food waste. If we want to be able to feed 7 billion people and counting, then the food waste problem must be addressed.
Click here to add cutting down on your food waste to help feed 7 billion people to your to do list.
Photo via (cc) Flickr user Stephen Butler