“Hey, I’m back! I saw a sale and bulk-shopped. Can you help me free up space for the groceries?”
Whenever I get greeted by this sentence in the season of Sicilian avocados I switch to a quick-praying mode, hoping that hubby didn’t romanticize the idea of a huge bowl of self-made guacamole – like the one we had once at our friends in San Francisco on Thanksgiving. I know we’d never get around to making it: before we arrange a call across the time zones to get the recipe, we can say goodbye to the 1 kg of Hass avocados at 2.99 €.
Avocados…it’s like they go from kindergarten to retirement in one evening, anyway.
I won’t lie, a sale on items that I and my family love and use makes a lot of sense…except for the times when it doesn’t.
We’ve all bought (or overbought) fresh groceries, and then we got so busy with life that we forgot about them. They arrive as a colorful celebration, bold and bright, straight from the market. Then there they go, days or weeks later, making their slow walk of shame to the trash can.
That burns. It’s wasted food.
I bet most of you know the real downside: All of the resources – land, water, feed, seeds, energy, money, and labor – that go into producing, harvesting, processing, transporting, and preparing that very same food also go to waste. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. In industrialized countries, a significant amount – around 17% – of this waste occurs at the consumer level.
And then there are the pollution and greenhouse gases generated throughout the food supply chain. The United Nations Environment Programme estimated that roughly 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked with food that ends up in landfills, uneaten.
Pretty humbling facts when you pursue the dream of a food company that creates freeze-dried delicacies for the outdoor adventurer.
As an engineer, I don’t believe in solutions that revert the progress we made as humanity across the past decades, or even centuries. But I do believe that every single one of us can make a difference – daily, as individuals, and as a business.
This is why even past our crowdfunding launch we plan to produce our meals only a couple of times a year, ideally accepting pre-orders aligned with the production slots for our business customers. Planning ahead, from our weekly grocery shopping to the farthest adventure, is key to reducing waste and allows us to give our customers the full span of our 2-year shelf life to use the products, instead of buying them after they sat on a shelf for a few months already.
It still feels like a bold business decision in the era of “I-want-it-now-I-get-it-delivered-tonight”, and we are still pondering how to translate it into a viable path. Yet, we are convinced that this is the only way we can and we want to exist as a company in 2023, and beyond.
While global food justice is a far-reaching, complex topic, we can, starting in our homes and with our own personal habits, treat the food we do have with the mindfulness and gratitude it deserves.
Do you like the approach?
Then encourage your friends to sign up for our newsletter! We’ll need you and just about everyone you know on board with us for our upcoming crowdfunding launch.