Circular economy: Using food waste as a resource through ReFeed Circular Nutrition™
Enormous amounts of food are wasted worldwide, and more and more people are aware and concerned about this. According to UN FAO, one-third of all food produced globally is thrown away, that is 1.3 billion tons of food waste per year. We are all facing an evident need to rethink food production.
It is true that food production systems aim to feed the rapidly growing population and raising demand, but not only world hunger is on the rise, also environmental consequences are up: rising CO2 emissions, pollution and loss of productivity, energy abuse, and natural resources wasted. Current waste management methods are built on a linear consumption model, and are obviously unfit to satisfy the longer-term needs of current populations. As the need of a shift is more than evident, a circular design for handling food waste, and more and better regenerative practices would help restructuring the food economy.
Current waste management methods are built on a linear consumption model, unfit to satisfy the longer-term needs of current populations.
A linear economy operates on a traditional approach in which products are created and utilized only once before being discarded as waste, a circular economy recreates the whole food system by eliminating the concept of waste. With a circular economy, waste is now a resource. This type of design entails reusing, repairing, and recycling preexisting commodities to ensure optimal food patterns and decrease actual waste. A circular economy for food mirrors natural regeneration systems by giving organic resources back to the soil as organic fertilizers, and thus repurposing waste as fuel for the next cycle. This process helps living systems regenerate, promotes biodiversity and supplies renewable resources.
Solutions supported by a circular economy provide a diverse range of benefits. By renewing biological ecosystems, circular food systems enhance soil and water quality, reduce land conversion and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, this can greatly improve the general health of local ecosystems while also fostering excellent human health and conserving natural habitats. Circular economies also contribute to higher supply chain resilience and diversity, as well as food insecurity reduction. Furthermore, they offer environmental and economic advantages by preserving raw material sources and decreasing the environmental effects of production and consumption. A circular economy for food increases food security for people, and fosters resilience in local communities. Is this amazing or not?
A perfect example of a modular, multi-step circular system that recovers 100 percent utility from unused food and food waste is ReFeed’s Circular Nutrition™. With this model, ReFeed Farms has succeeded in what many strive to achieve- feeding people, livestock, and land with recovered produce and agri-food byproducts, and repairing the dysfunctional food system.
ReFeed Farms has succeeded in what many strive to achieve- feeding people, livestock, and land with recovered produce and agri-food byproducts, and repairing the dysfunctional food system.
With this system, ReFeed Farms firstly transfers usable food to food banks to address food insecurity for local communities, and then converts some of the usable excess into livestock feed. Food for livestock is sent to several farms that work with Refeed Canada, most of which are dairy farms, where the cattle ingest tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and other vegetables. Everything that cannot be used in these two ways is channeled into ReFeed’s innovative vertical worm farm, which creates organic, natural fertilizer and soil amendments to aid growers and farmers in reducing their usage of synthetic fertilizers, while also replenishing their soil. Worms assist ReFeed in closing the virtuous Circular Nutrition™ cycle by consuming everything that people cannot use and converting it into organic, microbially dense castings. This methodology is modular, scalable, and exportable everywhere there is food waste and insecurity. And, with the world’s food system being in shambles, it can be applied anywhere.
ReFeed’s vision matches ours. We partnered with them to revolutionize a circular design for food waste. Nature + enables companies and private investors to invest directly in regenerative activities, while accessing a range of benefits including impact offsets and building up a positive ESG sustainability score with audited and transparent year-end impact reports. Through Nature + and Reality Gaming Group’s Digital Assets Certificate (DAC), ReFeed is able to invest in specific incentives to follow their impact, and as a result harvest on the external value in an updated and transparent way.
On top of this, ReFeed Farms is also constantly experimenting with new ways in to support regenerative agriculture, eliminate synthetic fertilizers and promote circularity. They have started working on bioreactors to produce biocomplete compost, which is directly linked to concentrated soil microbiology. This will provide them with a product that can be microbially balanced and boosted to become fungal or bacterial dominant. Moreover, because this product is backed up by microscopy verification and full traceability, it will increase beneficial microbial populations in ReFeed’s castings, creating a bio complete soil amendment which can serve as fresh tea in agriculture applications and seed inoculation. With suh a product, ReFeed Farms is able to scale their impact with a microbial technology system which focuses on carbon sequestration, balanced soil microbiology to support regenerative agriculture, elimination of synthetic fertilizer and plant nutrition.
As the environmental and economic benefits of a circular economy for food become evident, and more businesses allow nutrients to be continuously cycled, the system will start working better for everyone — working with nature to protect biodiversity, encourage human health, and stabilize our climate. Circularity in food systems emphasizes that natural systems have the ability to support food production, while also keeping nutrients in their highest and best use. By using circular systems that treat and respect food as a source of life, we can create an economy that values regenerative practices and promotes biodiversity, resilience in local communities and the use of renewable resources.
Get inspired! Check the detail of the project we are running with Refeed Farms