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Do Good Foods Turns “Waste Not Want Not” Into A Business

About 40% of the food in the United States goes to waste for various reasons, ranging from bad weather and overproduction to overbuying and poor planning. That amounts to as much as 160 billion pounds of wasted food a year – much of it edible and nutritious.

One company that aims to put some of that wasted food to better use is New Jersey-based Do Good Foods, which recently launched with $169 million in funding from asset manager Nuveen.

The company was created by the founders of Kamine Development Corp., which finances, owns, and operates infrastructure projects.

Do Good Foods’ mission is to convert produce and meat, that can’t be sold in grocery stores or used by food banks, into animal feed. Its strategy is simple: help eliminate the estimated 48 billion pounds of yearly food waste generated by grocery stores by picking up food waste from grocery stores using reusable coolers, at no cost to the stores themselves, and then processing the food at production facilities.

Photo Courtesy Laura Anderson

The company claims that its first facility, in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, has the capacity to take in and convert 160 tons of surplus food a day from about 450 grocery stores, or about 60,000 tons per year. It plans to replicate the model at facilities across the country over the next five years.

Do Good Foods’ first product is Do Good Chicken, a sustainable, carbon-reduced chicken that will begin rolling out in supermarkets, restaurants, and other foodservice locations around the country early next year. Each package of Do Good Chicken will keep one pound of food waste from being tossed out, according to the Grocery Dive website.

Photo Courtesy Kyle Mackie

Hal, Matt, and Justin Kamine founded Do Good Foods as a way to address climate challenges and contribute to a more sustainable planet.

“We need actionable solutions to our massive environmental problems, and we need them now. We can’t afford to wait 10 years or 20 years,” co-CEO Matt Kamine said in a press release. “The beauty of Do Good Foods is that it has immediate economic and environmental impact by driving us toward a more sustainable food system for all.”

The Kamine family also was motivated by a desire to empower consumers to make food choices that can benefit the planet.

“Food waste is one of the biggest – yet solvable – catastrophes as we waste approximately 40% of the food grown in this country,” co-CEO Justin Kamine said. “To put it into perspective, that is like buying five bags of groceries and throwing two of them in the garbage as you walk out the door. We know consumers are becoming more eco-conscious and want to waste less. Through Do Good Foods, we are providing consumers with an easy way to do good for their plate and the planet.”

The FoodPrint website, citing data from the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council, estimates that food waste in the U.S. costs the country roughly $218 billion per year. Reducing food waste by 15% a year could provide enough sustenance to feed more than 25 million people, the NRDC said.

Do Good Foods has lured some pretty big names to its team. One of them is Chief Strategy Officer Sam Kass, who once served as chef and nutritional policy advisor to President Barack Obama. Another is former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman.

“As a chef who has also had a seat at the policy table, I’ve worked with governments, NGOs, corporations, and academics to solve food waste,” Kass said. “Do Good Foods will make an impact on this issue at a scale that we have not yet seen.”


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