More than $125 million may have flooded into food waste startups this year, but for the chunk that’s funding new consumer products, Food Tank president Dani Nierenberg is “kinda over it.” “I really don’t think [a new cracker or juice] is going to solve the food waste problem,” she says. To meaningfully address the 1.3 billion tons of food that are either lost or wasted worldwide every year—that’s roughly one-third of all the food produced in the world for human consumption—she believes “it’s going to take a mass effort from all of us to think about how we really value food.”
For the second episode of In the Field with Edible Brooklyn, we sit down with both Dani and Bon Appétit‘s Brad Leone to wrap our heads around this gargantuan global food waste problem while also learning some tips for how we can think about “waste” at home. We talk about the theater of grocery store abundance, freezers and why it’s naive to think we can just hack our way out of this problem. According to Brad, even just knife skills are a good start.
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Here are the additional resources we promise in the episode:
Dani just moderated our food waste panel earlier this month at Food Loves Tech (FLT). You can watch it above and listen to a one-on-one conversation with fellow FLT panelist Thomas McQuillan of Baldor Specialty Foods on her podcast Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg. Food Tank’s constantly on the global food waste beat and you can browse their site for more informative research and tips, including a breakdown of how better packaging saves food.
Brad’s a gold mine of cooking advice and, in addition to streaming his tips in our interview, you should follow his show It’s Alive on Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel. His half-sour pickles and sauerkraut are great fermentation starter projects if you’re curious.
I started fishing through our own archives and found plenty of practical guidance especially geared to New Yorkers—I’ll let the headlines speak for themselves:
- 6 Ways to Waste Less
- How to Live Without a Trash Can
- You Could Be Waiting Awhile for Your Building to Have a Brown Organics Pickup Container
- What to Do if Your Building Doesn’t Have a Brown Composting Container
- Run a Restaurant and Want to Waste Less? Start with This Expert Guide
We also have a few recipe tips:
- What to Make with Leftover Salad
- How to Keep Berries Fresh for Longer
- Turn Your Peels, Cores and More into Delicious Meals
And New York’s home to tons of food waste innovators. Here are some of my favorite stories from our archives:
- This Bike-Powered Compost Service Goes Where the City Hasn’t
- One Market’s Food Waste Is this Woman’s Ice Cream
- Could Cooking with Restaurant Leftovers Help Alleviate Hunger in New York?
- Common Ground Compost Takes Out the Trash So You Don’t Have To
- Yes, Whey: This Probiotic Drink Is Liquid Gold
- One Massive Produce Distributor Is Reinventing Its Approach to Food Waste
The first season of In the Field with Edible Brooklyn is produced by the insanely talented Kat Aaron and brought to you by Oatly.