One of my favorite things about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that there are so many organizations around here who are also doing fantastic work on environmental projects, and who are happy to join forces to achieve great things. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to team up with EndFoodWaste.org, which hosted an event in downtown Oakland called Feeding the 5000. For this event, perfectly good produce that had been destined for disposal was instead cooked into a delicious sweet-potato-carrot-onion-celery soup, and given away to the first 5,000 hungry folks who came by. Each year, approximately 40% of the food that is grown or produced in the US is wasted, much of it due to cosmetic imperfections or the misconception that “sell by” dates mean that the food has spoiled after the “sell-by” date listed (Pro Tip - it doesn’t! According to the USDA, that is the date when it is at “peak quality” – it’s not about food safety). At the same time, 46 million Americans are food insecure. Feeding the 5000 was founded to raise awareness around opportunities to divert some of this food to those who need it the most.
So what did Global Green’s Coalition for Resource Recovery do to help? In addition to spreading the word about the event through our blog and social media, as well as friend and volunteer networks, yours truly also served as the event’s Bin Crew Leader. With a dedicated team of volunteers, we made sure that all recyclables and compostables were put in the right bins so they can be recovered as new products, including nutritious soil for California’s farms.
But the resource recovery doesn’t stop there. Over the next few months we will be rolling out multi-family food scrap recovery pilots in the East Bay, and while we’re at it, exploring ways to help prevent that food waste in the first place. Stay tuned for more resource recovery adventures!