What a fascinating and timely topic at the December ShopTalk! Linda Hess, founder and President of Urban Harvester, shared information on reducing waste and being more sustainable. Joining Linda was Amber Duran with SCS Engineers and Bernadet Garcia-Silva with L.A. County Food Redistribution Network Environmental Health Division.
Linda shared some very interesting statistics:
- Urban Harvester has raised $56,000, donated 15,000 meals, and saved 9.5 tons of food that instead made a difference. Linda has been advocating for waste prevention and fresh food donation for many years.
- Due to the drive for perfection, much produce is left on the farm making it more expensive for the farmer and creating more waste – Consumers must be willing to buy less than perfect produce.
- Some grocery stores overstock to the point that produce goes directly from the loading dock to compost.
- In 2014, South Pasadena passed the Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Resolution, putting the City in the forefront of fighting hunger and savings the environment in the state, and has set the example that other cities now follow.
- Several local grocery stores, restaurants, and the Farmers Market currently donate unused food to Urban Harvester and other food banks.
- SB 1383(Signed by Governor Brown in September 2016) was created with the goal to reduce organic waste by 50% by 2020 from the 2014 level and reduce emissions of short-lived climate change pollutants like Methane. SB 1383 will require the separate collection of organic waste by January 2022. Click here for a quick reference guide.
What can individuals, groups, and businesses do?
- If you’re in the food industry, consider donating unused food. Click here for Guidelines for Safe Food Donation.
- Use reusable containers to reheat and store food.
- Immediately freeze food that you do not plan to eat within the next couple of days.
- Ask your local grocer, restaurants and caterers what they do with used food – you can make a difference! Contact Linda if you have any questions!
Please note: Due to the holiday, there is NO ShopTalk in January.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Mike & Anne’s
1040 Mission Street
South Pasadena, CA
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