Waste is waste
Everyday, nearly 40% of our food is wasted. Children go hungry and our economy throws value straight into the trash can. The problem exists up and down the chain, from farm to table.
There's nobody to blame except ourselves. The farmer only threw away the good produce because it didn't meet the consumer's visual standards. The mom didn't have a reasonable compost option - it's either expensive or it's difficult. How is this possible in a society filled with so many innovations and philanthropic endeavors?
Thankfully, we're not alone in noticing this systemic problem. In fact, much larger, more resourceful companies have made great inroads on this issue. The truth is, waste is only waste until it isn't. Using waste makes it valuable again.
Who is helping
Garnering its fair share of press recently is Meijer's MisFits program. Farmers are continuously striving to nurture the highest-quality produce - which comes down to size, color, shape and other hard-to-control factors. This happens over time because retailers will target higher markets by offering higher-quality items, and in turn, consumer demand for those items will increase.
With Meijer's new program, more of us can transform food waste into dinner. We can make it easier to be healthy, we can provide a wider variety of options.
It doesn't stop there, not even close. Take a look at the Fremont Regional Digester. This beautiful machine pushes through over 165,000 tons of organic waste every single year. It was waste, now it's the energy charging your phone.
Renewal in life
As a society, we've become incredibly distracted. We're not aware of our own waste - and it doesn't stop with food.
How much time is spent on entertainment? How much time is spent over-organizing or micro-managing? How much money are we spending on quality paper when we ought to be paying for a better designer? How many of these oft-wasteful activities are up to us?
Personally, I'm letting go of a lot of waste I see in my own life. The more TV I watch, the more I'd rather be reading a local article. The more I re-label my Evernote categories, the more I'd rather open up a new book.
Hopefully, in the coming years, we can all contribute to this important issue. Let's make the world better from the inside out.