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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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food waste

Food Waste to Energy: Louisville, Kentucky Food Hub Plans Onsite Power Plant

February 4, 2015 |
Image courtesy of

Seed Capital Kentucky

A food hub is in the works for the west side of Louisville, Kentucky, but it’s no ordinary food hub. Organizers also envision an onsite power plant, consisting of an anaerobic digester that would turn waste into methane gas.

The West Louisville Food Hub is a project of Seed Capital Kentucky,  a nonprofit focused on bolstering the regional food and agricultural economy in the state. The project is still in the fundraising phase. Targeted completion date is early 2016, says project director Caroline Heine. The planned anaerobic digester will be built by Nature’s Methane, a Star Distributed Energy company. Read More

From Farm to Fork and Back Again: New California Law Seeks to Close Food Waste Loop

January 19, 2015 |
California State Capitol. Source: Wikimedia Commons

California State Capitol. Source: Wikimedia Commons

California’s regulations governing organic food waste became more stringent on September 28, 2014, as Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1826 into law.  The law requires commercial generators of food waste to have it composted or transformed to energy via anaerobic digestion.

One of the main impetuses for AB 1826, according to San Francisco Department of the Environment commercial zero waste senior coordinator Jack Macy, is keeping organic waste out of landfills. Read More

Waste Not, Want Not: 7 Innovative Organizations Turning Excess into Aid

December 7, 2014 |
Student volunteers with Campus Kitchens Project deliver food to the needy. (photo courtesy of Linda Kurtz/Campus Kitchens Project)

Student volunteers with Campus Kitchens Project deliver food to the needy. (photo courtesy of Linda Kurtz/Campus Kitchens Project)

Virtually every major city has a food pantry to help the needy, but some food aid organizations are raising the sustainability bar by putting excess food and food waste to good use.

Many offer culinary training programs and others use algorithms to match excess food with those who need it, but the common denominator of the following organizations is that they turn food waste into food aid for those who desperately need it. Read More

Why You Should Worry: Five Unhappy Truths about the U.S. Food System

September 24, 2014 |
Photo by David Sands

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative Photo by David Sands

While Seedstock regularly profiles those who are taking a sustainable and local approach to creating a new food economy, the fact remains that industrial farming and distribution methods still reign supreme in America. So we are taking a step back to remind ourselves why their work is so important.

The convergence of processed foods, chemically intensive farming and a gas-guzzling supply chain have created a food system in the United States that would have seemed fantastical—and quite possibly nightmarish—to folks who lived in this country just a century ago.

Here are five worrisome facts about the U.S. food system to keep in mind the next time you go grocery shopping.

Read More

Waste Not, Want Not: Author Explores America’s Food Waste Problem

August 25, 2014 |
American Wasteland, a book by food writer Jonathan Bloom, addresses how to tackle the problem of wasted food. (photo courtesy of Jonathan Bloom)

American Wasteland, a book by food writer Jonathan Bloom, addresses how to tackle the problem of wasted food. (photo courtesy of Jonathan Bloom)

Local and sustainable food is great, as long as it is put to use. But according to food writer Jonathan Bloom, many people are chronic wasters of what they eat, which results in the loss of nutrition (not to mention the effort required to produce it) to a vacuum. 

Bloom battles the issue of food waste through his blog, Wasted Food (and a book he wrote, American Wasteland. Seedstock asked Bloom his opinions about numerous aspects of wasted food. 

Seedstock: What caused you to become so interested in the issue of food gone to waste?  

Bloom: It started from a simple idea: wasting food made no sense. It was and is foolish to squander almost half of our food in a nation (and world) with so much hunger. My interest grew even more when I realized the environmental consequences of our food waste—both the squandered natural resources and the methane emissions from food rotting in landfills. Read More

Detroit Program Turns Underutilized Spaces Into Incubation Kitchens

July 11, 2014 |
postDKC2

Photo provided by Detroit Kitchen Connect

Finding a place to prepare one’s product is a challenge faced by many food startups.  In the Motor City, A nonprofit program called Detroit Kitchen Connect is solving that problem by linking up local food businesses with underutilized neighborhood kitchen spaces.

“Folks who are interested in food entrepreneurship, novices opening their small food businesses, they need placement spaces where they can create product in a commercially-licensed facility,” Director Devita Davison tells Seedstock.

“So Detroit Kitchen Connect answers that demand for these small micro-processing facilities for entrepreneurs to grow, to scale and start to make it as a food business.” Read More

North Carolina Firm Expands Efforts to Replace the Can With Healthier, Greener Carton Packaging

April 15, 2014 |
Image courtesy of Wright Foods/Aseptia

Image courtesy of Wright Foods/Aseptia

In early March, 2014, Raleigh-based food processing technology company Aseptia secured $28 million in Series C-Preferred Stock financing to support the growth of Wright Foods Inc., the manufacturing subsidiary of Aseptia. Lookout Capital, SJF Ventures, Prudential, and F.B. Heron Foundation provided the financing.

As a leading aseptic food manufacturer, Aseptia has developed an aseptic, sustainable, shelf-stable carton that can maintain a higher-quality food product, according to Michael Drozd, president and CEO of Wright Foods. The packaging can be found in most every grocery store. Read More

Days Away from First Harvest, Sustainability is Lynchpin to Bay Area Aquaponic Startup

September 26, 2013 |
Interior of Viridis Aquaponics greenhouse in Watsonville, CA. Photo credit: Viridis Aquaponics

Interior of Viridis Aquaponics greenhouse in Watsonville, CA. Photo credit: Viridis Aquaponics

Beginning an Aquaponics business takes hard work, the right partnerships and a patient nature when it comes to organic pest control. Viridis Aquaponics is a burgeoning startup based in Watsonville in the San Francisco Bay area. The farming business has been quite a learning curve for co-owner and former construction businessman Jon Parr. A mutual friend introduced Parr to Drew Hopkins. Finding they had complimentary business skills, they began devising a business plan for a sustainable greenhouse-based farm. That plan found an investor and soon became the eight acres of grow space that now houses Viridis Aquaponics, Inc. The company is days away from its first harvest. Read More