The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Table-to-Farm-to-Table: Startup Grows Food for Restaurants With Kitchen Leftovers
Food, as we know, is a terrible thing to waste. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year. But what if we could use food waste to create more food?
That's the elegantly full-circle idea behind Indie Ecology, a West Sussex food waste farm that collects leftovers from some of London's best restaurants and turns it into compost. The nutrient-rich matter is then used to grow high quality produce for the chefs to cook with. Call it table-to-farm-to-table—and again and again.
"I wanted to help chefs understand the true impact they can have on nature and the environment," Igor Vaintraub, who founded Indie Ecology in 2011, touts his website.
According to the Evening Standard, the farm's gourmet compost is made from 80 top restaurants, including Michelin-starred establishments like The Ledbury and La Gavroche.
Vaintraub told the publication, "Other than the bins and some delivery plastic the whole process is plastic free … We recycle seven tonnes per day, seven days each week, and we are a tiny operation. We are trying to do something different. Waste was looked at as something that people take away and forget about, but we wanted to educate chefs especially as they generate a lot of this commodity [waste]."
The farm uses a Japanese anaerobic method called "bokashi," which uses a cocktail of fermented molasses and naturally occurring microorganisms to turn food scraps into compost. The advantage of this process is that there is little smell and it does not attract pests. Unlike traditional composting, this method can handle meat, fish and dairy.
Vaintraub told EcoWatch got the idea for his business four years ago from Vandra Thorburn of Brooklyn-based Vokashi, which counts a number of sustainable businesses, caterers and even actress Lucy Liu as clients.
"At first I think chefs were a bit dubious about coming on board with us, as there was a cost involved and it was not something they had ever done before," Tom Morphew, an Indie Ecology business partner, told the Evening Standard. "But once they started the produce, it is 100 times better than what they buy from wholesalers that is force-grown in greenhouses."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
You've probably heard the buzz around collagen supplements and your skin by now. But is the hype really that promising? After all, research has pointed to both the benefits and downsides of collagen supplements — and for many beauty-conscious folk, collagen isn't vegan.
By Marlene Cimons
Neil Pederson's introduction to tree rings came from a "sweet and kindly" college instructor, who nevertheless was "one of the most boring professors I'd ever experienced," Pederson said. "I swore tree rings off then and there." But they kept coming back to haunt him.
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.