Prioritizing Efficiency Leaves Less Waste at Irv & Shelly’s

IFSC Guest Blog Series by Rose Brickley, Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks

The compost bin at Growing Power Farm where much of our food scraps are sent. The worms are very active!

Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks is a local and organic grocery delivery company that works with regional farmers and producers to source the best quality organic produce, grass-fed meats, farm fresh eggs & dairy, baked goods, seasonal boxes and other tasty grocery items. Making healthy foods available to everyone and supporting local farmers in the most sustainable way possible is the mission of Irv & Shelly’s.

As a mission-oriented business with a focus on sustainability, we try to reduce our footprint with every step of our process. Just as we prioritize efficiency on our delivery routes and have developed reusable packing materials, composting to reduce waste comes naturally. As we are also committed to supporting our local farmers in whatever way possible, composting happens to be a great way for us to quite literally, give back.

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St. Louis Delivers Successful Commercial Food Waste Program

IFSC Guest Blog Series by Sara  Ryan, St. Louis Compost

Food waste is a BIG problem in the United States, with more than 36 million tons of food waste being generated in 2012 alone. Only 5% of this was diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

St. Louis Composting (SLC) strives to make composting food waste as easy as possible for restaurants and businesses. Diverting food waste slows the stream of ozone-depleting organic waste buried in landfills while creating bountiful soil amendments naturally known as compost. SLC with the help of Total Organics Recycling (TOR) collect organic material from participating food outlets and manage moisture, nitrogen, oxygen and temperature levels to create ideal conditions for the magical microbial activity that transforms it into nutrient-rich compost in about six months.

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“Just Eat It” Film Brings Awareness to Massive Amounts of Food Waste

By Cameron Ruen, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County

Food is wasted all along the supply chain, from the moment seeds are planted in soil through the final tip of a dump truck at the landfill. “Just Eat It” brings this invisible fact to the forefront by documenting many ways food and its nutrients are discarded.

Surprise and astonishment were evident by gasps in the audience at the unsightly amounts of food being discarded at many points in the food chain. Examples included celery plants being stripped of outer stalks to conform to packaging constraints, peaches that do not pass inspection due to grocery store appearance requirements, packaged food removed from grocery store shelves days before misunderstood labels dictate freshness or expiration, dumpsters full of food perfectly good for donation, the amount of food thrown away from consumers’ refrigerators, and the list could go on. The food industry is complex, massive, and lucrative to say the least.

The One Earth Film Festival organized the event and a post-film discussion that invited audience members to share the most impactful moments of the film. These included images of throwing away a quarter of a person’s shopping bags directly after purchase, producing one hamburger uses the amount of water used in an hour and a half shower, the fact that best by dates are not indicative of food safety, the point that composting may make people feel better about wasting, and the perception that eating what you take at school may be positive or negative depending on how you look at waste or intake quantity.

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