Brief

How turning food waste into fertilizer benefits the industry

Dive Brief:

  • Biotech startup WISErg developed the Harvester machine as a solution to the billions of dollars of uneaten food that companies and consumers waste each year, Vice's Munchies reported.
  • The Harvester transforms food scraps into a nutrient-rich liquid that the company turns into an organic fertilizer and provides to a network of domestic and international farmers.
  • The company says its "downright delicious" fertilizer boosts soil health, which increases yields and enables farmers to deliver more flavorful produce.

Dive Insight:

Startups, manufacturers and consumers alike have devised a wide range of ways to make better use of food scraps. These efforts have ranged from composting to creating new product lines or even packaging out of otherwise wasted parts of foods. 

WISErg's solution is more cyclical in nature: It enables food waste to return to the earth and fertilize tomorrow's crops. This benefits farmers, who can generate more revenue off higher yields. But it can also improve profitability for manufacturers that work with these farmers and can enjoy a more plentiful supply at a potentially lower cost.

Creating a new product out of food waste could potentially turn off consumers, even if sustainability drives their purchase decisions. However, if the food and beverage industry can find ways to utilize food waste as a way to improve crops further down the supply chain, it could be a more palatable way to reduce the country's glaring food waste issue.

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Filed Under: Manufacturing Sustainability
Top image credit: Pixabay; Ben_Kerckx