Meet 5 entrepreneurs fighting food waste
In our modern world, waste food is unacceptable and some entrepreneurs are doing their part to bring about sustainable hunger, sustainable agriculture practices, and sustainable consumption and production to fruition.
These five individuals have a serious impact on food waste chain from farming and agriculture to supermarkets retail, all the way down to the individual consumer.
Tristram Stuart has founded Feedback to fight the policies, and cosmetics standard which supermarkets are confronted and obscure government regulations. He devotes his career to the question and explains this in his book “Waste.“ Feedback‘s first awareness event took place in London’s Trafalgar Square in December 2009 and fed 5,000 people — and the resulting media coverage was a catalyst for the UK government to change some of its policies about food waste.
In Niger, post-harvest losses of fresh fruits and vegetables affect 470 million farmers and retailers in other developing nations. The bottom line: Small farmers may lose as much as 25% of their annual income due to spoilage. Nnaemeka Ikegwuonuu, a Nigerian agriculturist created a startup which is a social venture that produces modular, walk-in cold rooms that extend the shelf life of perishable foods — and not just by hours or days, but by weeks. The rooms are fueled by solar panels and high-capacity batteries, making them an eco-conscious solution for portable refrigeration.
Tessa Cook wanted to do something to cut down the £13 billion worth of food that the UK collectively throws out each year. For that, she created a free app to connect neighbors with local shops and cafés so that surplus food can be repurposed. The App is simple to use: Just snap a photo of items you wish to discard, and neighbors receive alerts and can request whatever piques their interest. Pickup is arranged via the private messages.
This Startup tackling food recycling in urban areas finds ways to put the water, energy, and nutrients of food waste to work. Amanda Weeks is an entrepreneur tackling the problem from another angle: Using waste as a resource. Through a multi-step recovery process (technically termed “anaerobic fermentation”), the company plans to up-cycle waste into bio-based products including household cleaners, fragrances, and organic fertilizer. It goes beyond composting; the process generates no methane and produces fewer emissions and odors than other solutions. “We reclaim the resources spent on food that is wasted and reuse them to create a more sustainable system for future generations.”
Keiran Olivares Whitaker‘s company, Entocycle, takes another creative approach to food waste recycling — harnessing the power of nature. Entocycle transforms food waste into sustainable, protein-based feed for the agriculture industry — all using the power of insects. The company is developing the first fully automated “smart factory” that produces insect protein meal. The system employs vertical farming, so it’s able to produce large volumes of product in very small spaces. The whole up-cycling process takes less than a week.
Photograph: © Unsplash