The episode discusses the alarming amount of food waste in the US and the resulting environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions and methane emissions from landfills. It emphasizes the need to take action to reduce food waste and highlights the role of a company called Eat Cleaner in removing harmful residue and keeping produce out of landfills. The episode also mentions the movement towards rescuing imperfect or "ugly" produce and companies like Misfits Market that deliver discounted grocery items to reduce waste. Use code EATCLEANER15 for $15 off your first order when you spend $35 or more Code: EATCLEANER15
“Our waste is eating us Alive is the number one contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is the food that should be nourishing our bodies. It begs the obvious shouldn't we do something about it? Really do something about it.”
“Now with Eat Cleaner, you have a way of enjoying that food and helping it last up to five times longer just by taking a few minutes to wash it – the impact on your wallet will be substantial.”
00:01- Introduction to the topic of food waste in the US and its impact on the environment.
00:30- The environmental impact of food waste in the US and the carbon dioxide emissions associated with it.
01:05- Food waste being the primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and the need to take action.
01:42- The speaker's personal experience with wanting to create a product that could help her father eat salads safely after being diagnosed with cancer and the issue of raw food.
02:07- The creation of a line of natural products that can remove up to 99.99% of residues that cause foodborne illness and the desire to keep produce out of landfills.
02:29- The patented antioxidant and anti-microbial formula used in the speaker's product and its ability to help food last longer.
02:51- The cost savings of using the product and its effectiveness in helping to reduce food waste.
03:12- The speaker's desire to help restaurants and food service companies in reducing food waste.
03:40- The movement towards using imperfect produce and the speaker's positive experience with purchasing ugly produce at a lower cost.
04:03- Introduction of Misfits Market, a company that sources grocery ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and delivers them at discounted prices.
04:30- The benefits of purchasing from Misfits Market and the reason behind the discounted prices.
05:00- The importance of changing our mindset towards food waste and the impact of individual actions.
05:27- The need for education and awareness to reduce food waste.
05:45- The issue of overproduction and the need for companies to be mindful of their production levels.
06:11- The importance of composting and reducing the amount of food waste sent to landfills.
06:39- The role of technology in reducing food waste and the development of apps to help consumers reduce waste.
07:09- The issue of food waste in developing countries and the importance of addressing the issue globally.
07:46- The role of governments in addressing food waste and the need for policies to encourage reduction.
08:20- The issue of food waste in the supply chain and the need for transparency.
08:52- The importance of partnerships and collaboration in reducing food waste.
09:17- The role of consumers in reducing food waste and the need for individual action.
09:49- The benefits of reducing food waste, including environmental and economic benefits.
10:16- The importance of supporting companies that are taking action to reduce food waste.
10:43- Conclusion and call to action to take steps to reduce food waste.
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00:00:01:27 - 00:00:30:04
Sometimes I just have to wonder. What? What the fork are we thinking? I mean, according to the U.S.A., between 30 to 40% of all food produced in the US is thrown out in the garbage that translates to over £133 billion with a B of food and over $161 billion worth of loss. And if that wasn't bad enough, all that food ends up in the landfills and creates an environmental impact disaster.
00:00:30:21 - 00:01:05:21
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA published a report in 2021 on the environmental impacts of food waste which estimates the U.S. food loss and waste embodies 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide that is equivalent to 42 coal fired power plants. And this estimate doesn't even include the significant methane emissions from food waste rotting in landfills The EPA data also shows that food waste is the most common material landfilled and incinerated in the U.S..
00:01:05:29 - 00:01:42:12
And it's just got to stop Our waste is eating us Alive is the number one contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is the food that should be nourishing our bodies. It begs the obvious shouldn't we do something about it? Really do something about it. And this really hits home for me because when I started Eat Cleaner, I wanted to create a product that would help my father eat a salad safely after being diagnosed with cancer, he was told to avoid raw food, including fruits and vegetables.
00:01:42:29 - 00:02:06:18
And there's honestly, there's no kill step when it comes to raw food. So if an E coli bacteria decides to run amok, it can put my father in the hospital or worse because his immune system is compromised And it turns out that leafy greens are the number one cause of foodborne illness. And you can't cook lettuce. Well, you can, but it's not going to be great.
00:02:07:19 - 00:02:29:09
And that's where we set out to not only invent and content a line of all natural products that could remove up to 99.99% of the residue that can make you sick and cause foodborne illness like salmonella, E coli and listeria and pesticides, by the way. But as environmentalists, we really wanted to also keep produce out of the landfills.
00:02:29:22 - 00:02:51:22
So we created the only patented antioxidant and anti-microbial formula. Using ingredients you'd find in your kitchen. And now with it cleaner, you have a way of enjoying that food and helping it last up to five times longer. Just by taking a few minutes to wash it it's so easy, you guys. And it helps you save a family an average of $50 a month.
00:02:51:22 - 00:03:12:09
So the ROI on a $5 bottle is better than what you're making in the bank. And aside from those home measures, you know, we we want to help restaurants. We want to help food service companies. We want to help those products before they spoil. And there are a lot of companies out there that are doing the right thing.
00:03:12:09 - 00:03:40:21
You know, you may have heard of the term ugly or imperfect produce. And this movement is really being embraced in that term of ugly is turning into something beautiful. During my last visit to Sprouts, Market, which is around my area in Southern California, I found the ugly duckling brand and they have a large variety of rescued organic produce, including russet potatoes and avocado and sweet potatoes and onions and citrus lemons, limes, oranges.
00:03:40:21 - 00:04:02:28
And it was in a huge 14 foot produce spin and it was about half the cost of the other organic produce in the store. And with my I could not tell the difference. I mean, maybe some of those fruits and vegetables are a little misshapen, but so what? They're not perfect, and neither are we. But the impact on your wallet is substantial.
00:04:03:21 - 00:04:30:14
There's a company called Misfits Market two, and they work directly with makers and producers and farmers to source those ingredients grocery ingredients, meat, seafood, dairy that would otherwise go to waste. And they deliver them to your door at prices that are around 40% off retail. And they've taken that spoke out of the distribution process. So you're able to benefit from that savings while supporting farmers and growers with your purchase directly.
00:04:30:29 - 00:04:50:07
And you know, sometimes the packaging is outdated or it's short dated or the the best buy date is fast approaching, but there's still plenty of time and it's fine to eat. There's nothing that will make you sick or anything bad or wrong with the product. Sometimes the company just produces too much or the packaging isn't right for retail.
00:04:50:07 - 00:05:17:08
And this fits repackages the bulk items for you And ultimately, there's nothing wrong with it that food needed to be rescued. Like so many of us. So that company misfits has done amazing things. They've saved over almost £230 million of food since they started in 2018. And they did acquire imperfect food. So you can get that delivery box right to your door.
00:05:18:08 - 00:05:42:27
I've tried it now a couple of times and I've been really pleased with the breadth and quality of the product. I've gotten everything from tofu to grass fed steaks, yellowtail that's wild-caught, Greek yogurt, that's organic, all kinds of fresh produce. I got the best mango and varieties that I wouldn't find in the store or at my farmer's market, and it all shows up to my door and that's a substantial time saver.
00:05:42:27 - 00:06:10:14
And time is money. There's also another organization called Upcycled Food Association, and they're a nonprofit working to prevent food waste with companies working with companies that would, you know, normally not use certain ingredients, but they're doing it now to create an entirely new product or a better product using upcycled ingredients, ingredients that would have gone to waste. You know, interesting story.
00:06:10:15 - 00:06:37:19
Coconut water, you know, how popular coconut water got. And it just kind of came out of nowhere. That came from two guys meeting two Brazilian girls in a bar in New York. And the girls were talking about how they miss their Agua Coco from Brazil. And the guys were smitten and they were motivated and they ended up creating a whole new industry, a multibillion dollar industry from what would have ended up as waste on a coconut processing floor.
00:06:38:24 - 00:07:05:13
Think about beer. A company called Green started rescuing Green used in beer after their founders discovered that in college that a pound of green was leftover after every six pack that they brewed and now they take those greens from breweries. And with their technology, they turn them into something called super grain plus. And that is the hero of their bakery mixes and pastas in pubs and bars.
00:07:05:29 - 00:07:39:17
And it's cool because companies like Misfits are supporting upcycled products and helping to encourage manufacturers to incorporate upcycling into their existing lineup of products, because everybody can rescue something. At the Anaheim Natural Products Expo in March, the country's largest natural food, beverage, household and personal care tradeshow misfits and the USAA, the Upcycled Food Association, joined forces to launch the first Misfits and Upcycled Food Association Upcycling Challenge Pitch Competition.
00:07:39:25 - 00:08:05:23
And they encourage brands to save that food from waste and tackle climate change by showcasing their upcycled innovations. The winners were products that exist already, but now are using upcycled material like a Torres family bakery, and they make bread with simple non-GMO ingredients, and they use upcycled material in their mini non, and they use that green super grain charm.
00:08:06:26 - 00:08:38:19
They make sustainably sourced protein snacks and they were able to use 10% meat left over from other production people. They make these little cute little dessert in a recycled glass container, and they were able to use eight and a half percent of upcycled broken rice material in theirs and in the rice pudding. And all three of them are now doing this because of these undervalued supply chains.
00:08:38:24 - 00:09:14:02
They're able to still deliver nutrition and sometimes even better nutrition and functionality. The CEO of USA, Angie Krohn, told me that about $840 million worth of product was rescued last year from these 250 businesses around the world that have now embedded this waste saving ethos into their brand fabric and their manufacturing process. And you can find these companies because they featured the upcycled logo on their packaging, and that's a big trend.
00:09:14:02 - 00:09:36:05
In fact, the promoters of Expo West called Upcycling, the next new hot trend in sustainability, it's like organic plus. So as consumers, we get to vote with our dollars and support companies that rescue food, upcycling or help to prevent waste in the first place. Here are a few additional things that you can do at home too. Since it is Earth Month.
00:09:36:28 - 00:10:06:12
If you keep your fridge tidy you'll avoid overfilling it and that can help prevent cool air from circulating. So avoid stacking and piling up containers and bags. It's always a good idea to remove that outer packaging to to prevent bacteria contamination. And the same thing you want to just monitor that and make sure that it's not going bad in your fridge, which can create bacteria and mold spores in your refrigerator.
00:10:06:21 - 00:10:27:02
So keep it fresh and eat it. Don't let it go to waste and don't let it go past its prime. Maybe you even want to put the cook date on the bag or the container with a Sharpie. If you're making foods and doing meal prep, for example. I always encourage people to to wash their produce with it. Cleaner.
00:10:27:06 - 00:10:46:02
You can put them in clear containers in your refrigerator. So it's like a salad bar and you see what you've got and you don't let that go to waste and it's going to last up to five times longer. Another thing is know your time in temperature, you know, perish ability with food if it's left out, especially when it's warm.
00:10:46:18 - 00:11:09:16
As we head into summer, if it's left out for over an hour and it's 90 degrees outside, that's too hot and that's going to proliferate bacteria. So make sure to avoid that. Keep everything on ice, keep it nice and cool and even in your refrigerator the ideal fridge temp is 36 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the coldest parts are in the back and the bottom.
00:11:09:24 - 00:11:32:09
So that's best for dairy items eggs uncooked needs and cup produce. So keep it cool in your fridge and outside and other other things like maximizing ingredient use. You know, there's nothing worse than buying one ingredient for a recipe that you use a quarter of a teaspoon and then throw the rest out. Try and use that ingredient in lots of different things.
00:11:32:09 - 00:11:57:27
Or if it's an herb, you can chop it up and put it in an ice cube tray, add some olive oil, a little fresh garlic, salt and pepper. And that's what I call a flavor bomb. You know, I just drop that in and cook it with proteins or veggies and it adds instant flavor. So just one little a little bit in each compartment of your of your ice cube tray.
00:11:57:27 - 00:12:17:27
And that really does work. I've been doing that for years. I also love to meal prep. So if you meal prep for success meaning you have a plan and you execute that plan, you're going to be able to save money and save food from waste and get the proper nutrition into your body to fuel you to thrive. That's what food's supposed to do.
00:12:18:19 - 00:12:36:06
And then you're also more in control of your food and the food safety and the quality of the ingredients you're picking. You know, you wash it. You control how it's prepped and stored. You do that and watch what happens to your health. I even have a 12 week meal prep program that you can find at Chef Maria dot com.
00:12:36:06 - 00:13:00:17
And these are nutritionally balanced recipes with shopping lists, calendars, nutrition information all broken down for you. All you have to do is follow it. And I invite you to take a seat at this chef's table because environmentalism and really conserving what we get to enjoy in this country of abundance is my passion. And all around the world, we have a global problem.
00:13:00:22 - 00:13:25:10
We can prevent food waste if we just make it a priority. We have to make it a priority. It is going to become unmanageable. If we don't, the environment needs us and quite frankly, it's such a waste to our wallets. It's a waste of resources. It's a waste of time and energy. We can do better. So will you join me?
00:13:25:22 - 00:13:51:29
It's Earth Month. I'm going to be sharing all kinds of tips all month. Make sure you follow me at Chef Maria on Instagram. And Facebook. Monzo might even get in on the action. And I just appreciate you listening to this because it takes a village. It really does. But we can start with one. The exponential power of us all doing our share, our part will make a difference.
00:13:53:02 - 00:14:17:01
So what can we do? Let me know. Email me. Maria at CCleaner dot com. That's my r e y a at eat cleaner dot com. Yes. I'm giving you my email address because I want to know what you plan on doing to help prevent food waste. Let us not waste. Let us do better because we know better. We can do better.
00:14:17:11 - 00:14:39:14
Thank you for being here. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for Earth Month and making Earth Month every month. Make sure to go back and check out the previous episodes. We have so many episodes about food waste and about how you can prevent that in your own home, as well as ways to empower your health and well-being from the inside out.
00:14:39:28 - 00:14:47:25
I got you I hear you. I see you. Let's do this together. Thanks for being here.