Do Good Foods’ Recipe For Eliminating Food Waste
Food waste is a gigantic, gross problem in the United States. Today, 40% of the food we grow goes to waste — meaning almost half of our food supply ends up in the garbage! That’s a pretty staggering statistic, especially considering that in 2019, almost 11% of U.S. households experienced food insecurity. Our food system is fundamentally flawed; but thankfully, one company is working hard to change the way we treat the things we eat.
Doing Good Through Food
Officially launched earlier this month, Do Good Foods aims to mitigate food waste by upcycling (or reusing) food products that would otherwise be thrown away. Their circular business model is not unique, but they are the first to adopt a “recycling” approach to the realm of edible goods — they’re considered the “first scalable solution to eliminating the 48 billion pounds of food waste generated by grocery stores each year”. So what makes Do Good Foods so revolutionary? Well, their closed-loop system not only avoids huge amounts of food waste, but it also simultaneously solves other problems; like providing livestock with natural yet inexpensive feed. Here’s how it works:
“It starts with our partnership with grocers to use what would have been wasted. It continues as we upcycle healthy leftover grocery store food —taking it to our facility to be repurposed into healthy feed for animals. The circle is complete when those animals are processed and sold as a healthy, sustainable alternative to the same products consumers love today.” – Do Good Foods
It’s a pretty simple process, but it saves a ton of time, money, and resources; and it also yields impressive results! According to Yahoo Finance, Do Good Foods’ production facility in Pennsylvania is able to accept and repurpose 160 tons of surplus food from approximately 450 grocery stores every day — that’s about 60,000 tons per year!
Founded by the Kamine family (who have a 40-year history in advancing environmental & agricultural solutions), Do Good Foods does good throughout their entire supply chain. They certainly save food from being wasted, but using repurposed produce and other natural ingredients to feed livestock also ensures that these animals are healthier; which means that we can feel better about consuming meat from these sources. In fact, all-natural meat products are another thing that Do Good Foods has to offer. They plan to stock shelves with their Do Good Chicken early next year, which is free from antibiotics and steroids; and they’re calling it the first “carbon reduced” chicken, since their production process eliminates a massive amount of emissions caused by food left to rot in landfills. Additionally, they plan on adding other types of meat to the menu in the future.
Feeding a Craving for Change
Do Good Foods has created a system that simply makes sense, and investors are already making moves to help expand their mission across the country. They’ve also caught the attention of some highly influential foodies, including Sam Kass, United Nations food waste champion and President Obama’s former chef. Kass was so impressed that he got involved with Do Good Foods and is now their Chief Strategy Officer! He says:
“As a chef who has also had a seat at the policy table, I’ve worked with governments, NGOs, corporations and academics to solve food waste. Do Good Foods will make an impact on this issue at a scale that we have not yet seen…When we launch our mission driven consumer food brand, people can simply eat some delicious chicken and have significant impact on food waste and climate change.”
The company’s impact goes far beyond your dinner plate. On a larger scale, investing into circular systems like this can help us collectively avoid an unimaginable amount of waste, which can also help us protect the planet. Food is the number one material in landfills today; and there it creates methane gas, which is about 26 times more potent than CO2. So, cutting back on food waste can help us combat climate change!
Even beyond environmental issues, systems like Do Good Foods can help us do good for eachother. Like I mentioned previously, food insecurity is a real problem in the U.S.; and it’s not a matter of us not having enough food, but rather a mismanagement of excess food. Since 40% of our food supply is ending up in the garbage, we obviously have more than enough food to go around…so why don’t we keep the cycle going and redistribute the goods, instead of throwing them away? There are individuals out there doing the work to help others and fight food waste in this way — like the Tiktokers who dumpster dive to rescue and donate perfectly edible food products — but if we started to dedicate entire companies to this cause, the impact would be incredible.
Like many other industries today, the food industry desperately needs widescale change in order to adapt to a more forward-thinking world of consumers. There are other companies catching on: like Misfits Market, a subscriptions service that sends out “ugly” produce & other goods to ensure they aren’t wasted, and Forgotten Harvest, which collects leftovers & perishables from over 800 locations and donates them to emergency food centers. The potential for growth, and change, is right on the tip of our forks. Hopefully soon we see more companies follow in Do Good Foods’ footsteps, to help fuel what could be a total food revolution.