Every year, nearly one third of all the food in the United States is wasted. All food starts from a seed - it is grown, harvested, transported, stored, bought, cooked, and eaten. But so much of it is also thrown away.
This waste happens at the farm if fruits and vegetables don’t meet grocery store standards. It also happens during transportation if the food spoils before reaching its destination. It happens at the grocery store if it doesn’t sell and during processing where not all parts of the food are used. It happens at restaurants and in our home kitchens when we don’t eat everything on our plates or in our fridge.
When 88 Acres started making Seed Bars in 2014, they were baked in an oven on sheet pans, just like you would at home. But to get uniform bars, the crispy corners and edges were removed. Confronted with what to do with these edge pieces, Co-founders Nicole and Rob decided not to throw them in the trash, but instead to throw them back in the oven for a second bake. This is the story behind Seed’nola. Since day one, 88 Acres has been a zero-waste Bakery, saving roughly 15,000 pounds of food from the landfill.
If we had not upcycled those 15,000 pounds of Seed’nola, the negative impact on the environment would have been equal to:
Since day one, 88 Acres has been a zero-waste Bakery, saving roughly 15,000 pounds of food from the landfill.
Food waste is a loss of so many things - money, time, labor, energy, land, and other inputs used along the way. In fact, the amount of food wasted globally every year is enough to feed three billion people. When food is wasted, all of the energy, pesticides, water, fertilizer, and soil that goes into making it is wasted, too. If all the land devoted to growing food that ends up wasted was lumped together to form one area, it would be the second largest country in the world, making up 5.4 million square miles.
More significant perhaps than any of those factors, however, are the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that come from food waste and contribute to climate change. Wasted food releases methane when it decomposes. Methane is the most potent greenhouse gas, with more than 30 times the global warming capacity as carbon dioxide.
Around the world, food waste is estimated to create 8% of all GHG emissions. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, think of it another way. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest GHG emitter in the world after China and the United States. A majority of that wasted food ends up in landfills.
There are many ways that you can start to have a similar impact by reducing your own food waste at home. For us, eliminating food waste is about respecting the value of food and the resources used to grow it and transport it to our Bakery and your home.
The positive impact of upcycling 15,000 pounds of Seed’nola is roughly equal to the environmental impact of: