Category: Health

Redeeming ourselves at the intersection of food and technology.

How to Recover Millions of Dollars Worth of Food with Luis Yepiz and Eva Goulbourne

February 6, 2018
00:0000:00

Here’s a big, scary number for you. $218 billion worth of food grown, processed, and distributed is thrown away every year. That’s one percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Break it down, and it means that each American family is throwing away about $1600 worth of food every year.

What is going on?  One in six people in Los Angeles copes with food insecurity, the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Why is the food they need tossed away?

 There are a lot of reasons. In this podcast episode, you'll meet two people are working on solutions.

Luis Yepiz is the wholesale food recovery manager for an organization called Food Forward. Food Forward started by collecting unharvested fruit from backyard orchards and distributing it to community centers. The organization has since expanded to large-scale programs to recover food at farmers markets and wholesale markets. This is food that might be blemished or hard to sell and that might be thrown away. That’s where Luis steps in. Each year, the program he runs at the Los Angeles Wholesale Market collects food valued at $13 - 15 million and distributes the produce to neighborhood residents who don’t have ready access to fresh food. 

At the time of our interivew, Eva Goulbourne was the director of business and multi-stakeholder programs for ReFED, a nonprofit committed to reducing U.S. food waste. She was working on a roadmap toward behavior change — change needed from you and me, from restaurants, and food distributors.

A large social engineering project is needed, a way to convince us to buy food more responsibly, use the food we have and don't throw away food that is perfectly good. Restaurants and distributors need a similar reframing of their supply chain.

Eva comes at this problem from the policy side, Luis from the activist side. They tell their stories in the podcast, and you'll find out what simple things you can do every day to save food.

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