Welcome to Week 8 of the Open Classroom on Food Systems: Sustainability, Health, and Equity. This week we focus on one of the most vexing yet often hidden problems in our contemporary food system: waste. By some assessments, somewhere between 30-40% of all food produced in the U.S. eventually goes to waste, with consequent economic, environmental, health, and food access impacts. Our guesttonight will speak to efforts at various points in the food chain design to reduce waste and, often, attack its twin problem: access to fresh and healthy food.
1. A surprising amount of locally grown produce ends up going to waste.Jennifer Faigel, CEO of Commonwealth Kitchen, will explain how her Dorchester facility converts farm “surplus” into value added food products for institutional purchasers.
2. Fresh foods have limited shelf lives. Much of it languishes at the wholesale level. Ashley Stanley, founder of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, will talk about how “food rescue” get unwanted but otherwise edible foods to those who need it most, and quickly.
3. One person’s “surplus” is another’s essential food, if it can get to the consumer. Doug Rauch, founder of Daily Table, will talk about how a retail store can be used to address the twin problems of waste and access at the neighborhood level.
4. Technology can help. Ricky Ashenfelter, co-founder of Spoiler Alert, will talk about how his company’s software helps businesses reduce food waste at several points in the production and sales process.
Attacking food waste is essential, and a moral imperative. There aremany working to solve it. See you on March 1.
Free and open to the public. Follow our live tweets on Twitter using#OCNEU.