all STORIES food waste and ag tech  news round up

Friday Food Waste and Ag-Tech News Round Up

Patrick Flynn, Co-Founder Hazel Technologies: Fresher, Longer, Healthier Fruits and Vegetables
Pat Flynn, Co-Founder, Hazel Technologies

We scoured the web to bring you the top stories this week in Food Waste and Ag-Tech, from how worms may impact food waste prevention to the creation of $100 Million dollar + AgTech startup fund. 

1. New Stanford Research Suggests Worms may be viable solution to minimize both organic waste and plastic foam waste 

  • The research indicates that around 100 worms can munch through 37-39 milligrams of styrofoam waste 

  • The viability of worms to reduce waste has created an expanding market for worm composting. Zurich based startup WormUp is developing miniature worm composting boxes for urban dwellers. 

  • Northern European cities like Gothenburg are at the cutting edge of urban composting policy. As a rule of thumb, 1,000 worms can consume up to 2kgs of organic waste per week.

    Full Story Here

WormUp, the fine art of composting
"because you can use the soil the worms produce, anybody who has a plant benefits from composting.” - WormUp Co-Founder Erich Fässler

2. The Smithsonian Food History Weekend

  • A symposium held on October 23 in Washington DC. Topics include:

    What does “innovation” mean in American food history and in today’s food culture?

    What are the driving forces behind innovations in American agriculture and food production?

    What role does innovation play in creating and sustaining food-related business?

  • A Star-studded list of key note speakers including:

    Seth Goldman, Co-Founder, Honest Tea
    Andrew F. Smith, food historian and author
    Krysta Harden, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, USDA

  • Live Webcast Available, details below. Participation via twitter #SmithsonianFood is encouraged 

    Full Schedule and More Info 

Smithsonian Food History Weekend
"because you can use the soil the worms produce, anybody who has a plant benefits from composting.” - WormUp Co-Founder Erich Fässler

3. Agricycle Energy provides an inside look at how a de-packaging compost machine works

  • The machine harvests 20 tons of organic waste per hour

  • Owned by Agricycle Energy

  • After separation, the waste then goes through a system of pipes to feed anaerobic digesters. Finally, the food waste will be separated & used at waste-to-energy facilities. 

    Full Story Here

The de-packager separates food waste from its packaging via Vine

4. S2G Ventures Launch Chicago

  • Chicago-based S2G Ventures closed a $125 million fund and has already invested $23 million in eight companies.

  • S2G, which stands for Seed to Growth, was co-founded by OpenTable founder Chuck Templeton, Launch accelerator co-founder Victor Friedberg, and former CLSA Capital investor Sanjeev Krishnan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • The fund is the largest ag-tech and sustainable food startup fund in the US

    Full Story Here

S2G Ventures Founders, Chuck Templeton, Sanjeev Krishnan, Victor Friedberg
Founders of S2G Ventures, Left to Right: Chuck Templeton, Sanjeev Krishnan, Victor Friedberg

5. Local Food Means Less Food Waste at Schools, according to USDA 

  • In a longitudinal study, schools with locally sourced portions of meal plans consistently wasted less food. 

  • The number of schools buying local has increased nearly 50 percent since the last USDA survey

  • Nearly $600 million was spent on local food in the 2013-2014 school year.

    Full Story via NPR

Locally sourced food is wasted less in school meal programs, according to the USDA
Locally sourced food is wasted less in school meal programs, according to the USDA, but still on average represents only about 20% of school meal expenditures. 

6. Tesco supply changes mean food will stay fresh 'for two extra days'

  • Supermarket chains are under intense pressure to curtail food waste. Tesco Foods has admitted that it wasted 55,400 tons of food from its stores last year – about 30,000 tons of which was edible.

  • To combat this issue, Tesco revamped its supply chain strategies across Europe, incorporating new technologies and methods for preserving the freshness of food in transit, now a booming field. 

  • Tesco analysts estimate some 250,000 tons of food waste could be prevented by a one day increase in product life. The recently enacted supply chain optimizations will have an estimated impact of adding as many as 2 days of shelf life. 

    Full Story Here

Tesco wasted over 50,000 tons of food last year, over half of which was edible
Tesco wasted over 50,000 tons of food last year, over half of which was edible. 

7. How Restaurants and Fisheries Are Saving Edible Seafood From the Trash

  • According to study by Johns Hopkins University 573 million pounds of "bycatch"  (unintentional catches by trawlers and large hooked bait lines that can extend 50+ miles) are wasted every year. 

  • This wasted fish is not only edible, but surprisingly tasty. These species however do not have common household names such as tuna and trout and are therefore less marketable. 

  • Several new policies such as catch share are becoming popular to help eliminate this waste. New netting technologies have hit the market in the past several years in an effort to eliminate waste, and there are even chef movements to popularize "bycatch" dishes.

    Full Story Here

millions of pounds of fish are wasted each year because they are not premium fish types
Millions of pounds of fish are wasted each year because they are not premium fish types like Salmon and Trout.
Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

8. Paul Krugman discusses Externalities And The Politics of Food for  New York Times Conferences

  • Krugman discusses the American food politics phenomenon in context of behavioral economics 

  •  Discusses the flaws of the  American food system in relation to government and choice

  • Discusses the price vs quality dynamic of food

    Full Story Here

Krugman shares his expertise on economics with respect to food culture in the United States
Krugman shares his expertise on economics with respect to food culture in the United States.

9. British Couple Serves Food Designated for Waste at Wedding to spread awareness

  • A couple from London made the decision to serve dishes only made from food meant to be wasted that was still edible. 

  • The idea was meant to spread awareness about the over 15 million tons of food wasted in the U.K. alone each year. 

  • The concept went viral on social media outlets such as Twitter, and culminated in live coverage buy media groups in Britain as large as The Telegraph

    Full Story Here

food served at wedding in south london made exclusively from food designated for waste
Food served at a wedding in  South London was made exclusively from edible food that otherwise would have been wasted. Wedding guests reported that the food tasted no different. 

10. FoodTank CEO Nierenberg releases new Infographic via Twitter

  • FoodTank CEO Danielle Nierenberg posted this infographic  in response to a EuroNews forum on Food Waste on Twitter earlier today. The post received widespread attention on Twitter and the food-waste online community. 

  • 449 Million Tons of food are wasted annually in Asia

  • 1,457 Million tons of food by this estimate are wasted annually worldwide

    Nierenberg Twitter Here

Nearly 1500 tons of food wasted worldwide each year, over 700 tons of which are edible
Nearly 1500 tons of food are wasted worldwide, over 700 tons of which is estimated to be edible. 

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