Monday, March 23, 2015

A free market solution to food waste

A Libertarian Perspective on Food Waste - Jeff Siegel, Green Chip Stocks:

March 20, 2015 - "We've been going out to the orchards to pick our own apples for years. And I suppose I'm pretty spoiled, because I can barely stomach apples from the grocery store these days....

"The apples we pick don't look like the apples you find at the grocery store. Most are oddly-shaped, speckled with insect nibbles and visible scars and blemishes. None of these would ever get passed a grocery store buyer, yet the flavor and nutritional value of these apples is superior to anything offered at the food store....

"Of course, even the orchards that source most grocery stores don't exclusively produce 'perfect visual specimens.' And in many cases, the apples that don't meet the prerequisite for observable perfection are often wasted or used in a capacity that devalues the product, leaving the farmer with produce that can't command a decent price....

"However, ... [a]s reported in SFGate …
"We waste 40 percent of our food, and the National Resources Defense Council reports that 20 percent of produce is wasted at the farm. Fruit and vegetables that don’t meet strict supermarket standards for size and appearance usually go to waste....

Palo Alto’s Bon Appetit Management Co. has now started a program that could make a dent on some of this waste on the farm, since it feeds vast numbers of people at the corporate, university and museum cafeterias it runs across the country, including at Google locations.

Called Imperfectly Delicious Produce, the program connects with produce aggregators and farmers to bring items like just-barely scarred apples and broccoli fines (loose broccoli florets) into Bon Appetit kitchens.

Since launching in May, Bon Appetit’s Northern and Southern California sites have purchased 35,000 pounds of produce that might have otherwise been thrown out....
"Eliminating food waste while honoring free market principles – without the assistance, demands or objections from government.

"It'll be interesting to see if this idea catches on. But if the economics work (which I'm sure they do), I can easily see a lot of higher-end restaurants utilizing this model to provide quality ingredients while improving margins."

Read more: http://www.greenchipstocks.com/articles/a-libertarian-perspective-on-food-waste/2339
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