Denver-based Future Pointe Consultant, Reuben Gregory, is working with Caleb Phillips, Data Scientist at Boulder's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to support NRDC research objectives relating to community food waste recovery baselines and opportunities in Denver and beyond.
– IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN –
- Are we at a tipping point with respect to action on food waste?
- How food waste impacts global climate change
- How much food we’re wasting, exactly
- What coalitions and actions are taking shape at the national, Colorado and Denver levels
- What major steps have already taken place, creating momentum
- What the focus on Denver could mean for us over the next few years, though it’s still too early to know for sure
- What citizens can do to stay informed and get involved in food waste solutions
Future Pointe's Brendan McCrann was invited to speak at Alliance Center Denver by Impact Charitable. McCrann outlined the food waste issue according to global, national and regional attention before presenting 7 creative, private-placement strategies for investment and philanthropy in the emergent food waste industry sector. Presentation slides can be found HERE.
Future Pointe's Hallie Jaeger, Reuben Gregory, and Brendan McCrann attended and staffed a Future Pointe table at the Feeding the 5,000 Denver event 10/14/16. Many thanks to Dave Laskarzewski and Virginia Till of EPA, as well as Monica Munn of Rockefeller Foundation and Dominika Jarosz of Feedback Global.
Future Pointe's Brendan McCrann engaged Food Waste activists, program administrators and entrepreneurs in Nashville, and then major government officials, agricultural sector leaders, members of Congress and Congressional staff in Washington, DC. Progress in this industry sector is building momentum as leaders convene around data, best practices, and strategy for smart and sustainable development.
Future Pointe was asked to participate in a community-wide event promoting Food Security by representing a Food Waste perspective. According to Kevin Hall, a researcher at the National Institute of Health, "a quarter of the food we squander would provide three meals per day for 43 million people."
Future Pointe's significant work with a major client in Battle Creek, MI was highlighted in an NPR segment this week. The Stateside interview with Bill Schroer detailed Future Pointe's recommendations and a referenced a request for significant USDA support, prepared by Future Pointe. As envisioned, Battle Creek's Food Waste Solutions Institute would support national progress by testing and demonstrating best practices relating to reduction, recovery, and recycing of food waste. The proposal remains under review by the USDA as of this date.
Bill Schroer, Principal at WJ Schroer Company and primary contact for the Battle Creek Food Waste Solutions Plan, discusses the national food waste challenge and Battle Creek's hopeful contribution to solutions on the Lori Moore Show. Brendan McCrann, President at Future Pointe, worked closely with Battle Creek stakeholders as they developed their concept and requested funding from USDA, directly. Watch the T.V. video segment HERE.
Future Pointe was recently engaged by a Colorado Recycling Trade Association to present on a panel regarding the "Circular Economy" potential of food waste.
written by: Brendan McCrann (published in LinkedIn)
Wasted food is suddenly in the U.S. media spotlight.
The USDA and EPA have teamed up to promote major food waste reduction goals for the country and many communities are already considering compost facilities and new waste-to-energy technologies. Some municipalities have even passed organics disposal bans, fast-tracking the burden of local innovation.
With this spotlight comes an opportunity - for communities to approach "wasted food" not as a thing but rather a function of their system. This distinction is critical because the act of wasting food is variable while the list of wasted items is not. Food in the system, in other words, does not waste itself.
A comprehensive and dynamic food systems analysis, then, will reveal relationships which ultimately cause or generate waste. The reduction and management of wasted food in the system, in other words, is an opportunity for people and communities to actively recover value.
With this spotlight also comes a temptation - for communities to invest only in sexy, large scale innovations and infrastructure, and thus risk repeating pitfalls of a now mortgaged, linear national recycling industry, similarly spotlighted in the early 1990s.
As Colorado gears up to introduce the largest food waste digester in the country, scheduled to generate "4,560,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day" and "approximately 450 cubic yards per day of a compost like product," the state will confront this temptation and perhaps model a diversity of solutions based on an understanding of the Colorado food system.
The emergence of industrial solutions like Heartland Biogas in Colorado will do one of two things. They will either: a) quickly convert the spotlight on "wasted food" into a traditional toss-and-forget option with better consequences and huge opportunity costs, or b) inspire source reduction and stimulate point-of-waste technology and enterprise for localized value recovery, while still structuring broad landfill diversion and waste-to-energy capacity around existing behavior and mechanisms.
Localized responses to wasted food such as food systems analysis and education, source reduction, compost deregulation, and livestock feeding ARE NOT mutually exclusive with the large scale, industrial options. In fact, their co-existence in a marketplace is likely to promote optimal environmental and economic resiliency - defined by RAND Corporation as the "ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations."
Solutions to wasted food, if they are to recover and enhance resiliency, must consider their mother system and must demonstrate a diverse portfolio of scale.
A Clean Air Task Force report released today says the Obama administration needs to prevent an additional 75 million metric tons of methane emissions beyond what is currently planned in order to meet its goal of reducing industry methane emissions by as much as 45 percent of 2012 levels by 2025.
World Resources Institute: PRESS RELEASE
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (January 21, 2016)— At the World Economic Forum in Davos, a coalition of 30 leaders – Champions 12.3 – launched a new effort to inspire ambition and mobilize action to reduce food loss and waste globally. This leadership group aims to accelerate progress toward meeting Target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seeks to halve per capita food waste and reduce food losses by 2030.
The foundation estimates that waste — from families throwing out meal scraps to multinational companies destroying imperfect-looking but edible crops — drains $1 trillion from the global economy and takes off the table food that could feed more than 1.5 billion people.