Home > Food, Kitchen, Produce, Uncategorized > Produce: Waste or Waste Not?

Produce: Waste or Waste Not?

Efficient distribution has long been the arch nemesis of fresh produce, especially since producing more food from community gardens and market gardens. We waste produce each growing season because there is nowhere to take it for consumption before it becomes ‘unfresh’.  Then what happens?  The distribution problem has now become a waste problem. How can this be when there are reports that more and more people are hungry every day? Puzzling but it happens every growing season. Better question, what do we do to change it?

 There is an answer. Organizations like DC Central Kitchens and FareStart glean food from gardens, food banks, kitchens, and restaurants then turn it into something useful for someone else, conducting food service training in the process.

If the produce is over ripened, preparing a dish with it usually makes it edible and extends the usefulness. Turning the waste stream into a production stream is a zero waste principle to embrace. Then prepared dish distribution becomes an issue. The folks at DC Central Kitchens and FareStart have figured that one out too. Start a revenue generating business that:

  1. turns your waste into an input
  2. provides training and income for unemployed citizens
  3. provides a service to those who need it most

Catering and prepared food delivery services are perfect venues. Add direct relationships with local growers and you establish the groundwork  for a sustainable, productive, local food system.

It begins with distribution of what is readily available  and can lead to much more. Opportunities for innovation are ripe. We can improve what we have but it takes all of us working together to do it. Let’s turn our waste stream into a positive community outcome.

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