tv Recovering Wasted Food CSPAN May 25, 2015 6:31pm-8:01pm EDT
freshman profile features republican of new york. those interviews tonight start act 9:00 p.m. eastern. tonight critics and supporters of the george w. bush administration discuss the wars in iraq and iraq. >> diane nash was a great hero of the civil rights movement. she orchestrated the march in selma 50 years ago. last week at the commemoration of the march on selma she was being honored in the front row of those who were going to march to commemorate that extraordinary experience.
at the last minute, she said this, she refused to march. she said, i refuse to march because george bush marched. he was in the front row with her. i think the selma movement was about nonviolence and peace and democracy and george bush stands for just the opposite for violence and war and stolen elections and his administration had people tortured. i thought that this was not an appropriate event for him. i think she was right. it was not an appropriate event for him. it's actually it's a good thing he's not here today. this is not an appropriate event for him here either. the only public events that is appropriate today for george bush and the others of his administration is to be on trial in the hague for war crimes. >> perhaps most importantly al qaeda and iraq have been decimated due to the boldest foreign policy decisions in the
half century made by president george w. bush. but necessary surge. by the time bush left office the economy of iraq increased in size from its time under hussein. per capita income increased. life expectancy risen and security forces had secured much the country due to the training from the united states. despite the consequences of withdrawal of troops and insistence of both parties we also recently just saw the fourth peaceful transition of power between governments in iraq which is something that had never before been accomplished in the middle east with the exception of israel. >> a look at the wars of the bush presidency. also featuring "new york times"
white house correspondent peter baker. airing tonight at 10:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. food activist talk about hunger and what to do with wasted food in america. featuring former trader joe's president who recently opened a store saling food that's past its sell by date. this sponsored by the harvard food law society. >> hi, welcome. we're so glad you're all here today. my name is ona. i'm a staff attorney at the food law and policy clinic here at harvard law school. for those of you who don't know, clinic provide action based learning opportunitys for law students to get real lawyer experience and our students are
working with nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups to improve the food system in their community. we have an excellent panel of experts here today to talk about how recovering nutritious food that would go to waste is a key strategy to achieving fod justice. to my left is emily broadleaf she is my boss. she is recognized as a national leader in the legal and policy efforts to reduce food waste. doug rowe is the former president of trader joe's. doug has been a long term client of our clinic and we are proud to be supporting his innovative effort in food recovery. sasha is the executive director
of food for free am cambridge based nonprofit that recovers fresh food to distribute those in need. in 2013 they recovered 1.5 million pounds of food and served 25,000 individuals. food for free has begun an exciting partnership with harvard university. my role is to briefly help us understand the scope of this problem. in the united states between 33 and 40% of the food we produce here goes to landfills. this problem is only getting worse between the 1970's and today food waste has increased in the united states by 50%. why is this a problem? well, first, one sixth americans are food insecure. meaning they can't afford the type of nutritious food that would enable them to live a healthy life.
we know that the commonly wasted food are fruits, vegetable seafood. exactly the type of nutritious foods that are sometimes hard to afford for low income families. food is also the largest component of municipal solid waste. it's the largest part of what goes into our landfill. it is a breaks down, it produces 23% of u.s. methane emission. we dedicate 25% of fresh water in the united states to producing food that we never actually eat. not to mention significant amount of petroleum and pesticides and other chemicals. climate change will dis proportionately affect poor communities. i now going to turn it over to our panelist. we're going to describe their innovative effort to increase
food recovery. we will leave ample time for questions and have a thoughtful debate. >> i'm executive director of food for free. food for free is a nonprofit based in central square. for other 34 years we go around to retail stores, wholesalers farmers market, we collect a lot of really good healthy edible food that would go to waste. we bring it to the folks who most need not just food but access to healthy food. we bring it to food pantries, shelters, youth programs serving over 25,000 people. food waste is bad. it's not good to waste food and where we can control it we should control it. one of the places to control it is at the consumer level. tremendous amount is a shocking percentage, which i don't have
have food waste that comes to the consumer level. i would like suggest that at scale, at other levels, surplus foods that can go to waste is inevitable. i want to talk about a couple of scenarios. first let me start with the farm. that's what i have experience on. if a farmer sends three of his staff out to pick beans for an hour and they come back and the numbers will be wrong here, say they have 100 pounds of beans. they sales those and makes enough money to pay the labor for collecting those beans as well as some profit. the next week he sends three staff back out to the beans. in an hour they come back with 80 pounds. maybe next week it's 60 pounds. at some point, it doesn't make sense for him to send people out to pick every last bean because at some point, the money he's spending on the labor will be less than the money he earns be
a small amount of food they're collecting. it is inevitable that on small farms in new england, there's going to be food left in the fields. what is not inevitable is that doesn't have to become food waste. there's a group called gleensers and they pick every last bean and they bring it to free to a food pantry or shelter . the farmer isn't going to be able to do everything to run a business. it doesn't have to be food waste. if we look at super markets. whole foods is our largest retail food donor. we go to four wholesale food stores. they also are a business and they have to make a profit. to make a profit they have to satisfy their clients. their client have certain expectations and demands for example when i go to whole foods, i want to get -- when be
in goes, we expect to get what we want when we want it. it maybe a tomato in january. if i go in, i expect lettuce. whole food has to have a lot of lettuce. i don't want to go in and see one head of lettuce. that is a turn off to a purchaser. with my husband, we would have this huge pile of beautiful bunches of orange carrots. in two hours all of but one bunch would sale. literally in the next four to six hours, that bunch of carrots never sold people don't want to buy the last bunch of carrots. people want to pick what they want. they don't want the bruised apple or lettuce. additionally if i purchase lettuce from whole food, i want it to last a week. it may not not, if it doesn't i
may have problems with whole foods. they can't sale me that lettuce if it's not good for another five or six or seven days. hopefully knits a situation if they want stay in business and serve us, the population, they have to make sure they always have everything on their shelves that is full and they're pulling it off in it has fat for a couple of days. this that is inevitable -- that is inevitably to run -- that is inevitable to run their stores successfully. what is not inevitable that has to be food waste. every morning we go to all the whole food stores and they load us up particularly with produce. produce is parishable. it is one of the most wasted food. it's one of the top foods that folks need. the most expensive food. it's food they can't access in certain neighborhoods.
at the retail level, there's produce available. this is a positive thing. it's going to be there. the third example i want to give is a university. as ona mentioned, last year we started partnership with hear verdict university. they're dining services serve 14 dining halls and i believe it's about 138,000 meals a week to students. buffet style. if any of you ever had a large thanksgiving dinner, there's typically left overs. it's hard to know exactly how much food to make. just like at thanksgiving, if you're serving it and you're bringing in a bunch of people, you don't want people scraping the last bit of mash potato off that plate. if i'm harvard and i have students paid to eat there
can't be two french fries and half soup, they expect to eat whatever folks ate earlier in the day. they have done a tremendous job at predicting and understanding how much food to prepare but it is inevitable that they're going to have extra food at the end of each meal. of that 138,000 meals, we pick up approximately 2000 meals a week. that's the small percentage of waste. however that is enough to feed about 100 people three meals a day for an entire week. that's fantastic. we take that food and get it to folks who live in motels and do have access to kitchens on wore who are homeless. there are a lot of people out there whereabout getting nutrition to folks who need it. it's produce. they've got to cook it. in many cases they can't do that. now we have this harvard surplus food.
the point i'm trying to make is surplus food is inevitable. there's something called food waste and that is bad. i am not advocating over cooking meals, making too much food intentionally. there's a reality to running a society at the scale in which we run this one. there's going to be surplus foods at these larger scale institutions. that doesn't have to be a problem. that doesn't have to be food waste. that's actuallial solution. this isn't solving the core issues of food and security, which has to do with poverty and jobs. those things need to be addressed. people should be in a situation where they can buy their food. but the reality is, many people are not. 45% of the children in cambridge schools are on free and reduced lunch. that's almost half the kids. the reality is they're not. in the meantime, we have to this incredible solution. it's not only preventing a problem which is food waste but it's creating a solution.
last thing i want to bring up and we'll pass it over to doug. when i was working with my husband on his farm, he was trying to create a farm and make a living in new england. that is not an easy thing to do. sometimes at the farmers market people would comment on the price of his tomatoes. he would get frustrated. i saw this tension between need to grow local food system and to pay farmers a fair wage. i care deep billion our local food system and about hunger. all i saw was tension. when i joined food for free, it was fantastic. i discovered there doesn't have to be tension. one of the things we do in the summer is visit 11 farmers market at the end of each market. say it starts raining and nobody comes to market. at the end of a long day, he's
not too happy and he's got a lot of greens and that one bunch of carrot left. he knows he can load it back up he's going to have to load it up and drive it home and it's either going to go to pigs or chicken or compose. instead he can give that to food for free as do many of the farmers. it helps them in terms of ensuring their food doesn't become food waste but becomes a solution. it helps them they don't have to load up this food that don't add value to them. thank you. [applause]. >> thank you sasha. first thanks to emily and
harvard to discuss this critical issue. i promise not to do death by powerpoint a picture is worth a thousand words. i want to give some pictorial context to some of the issues. to me, first thing i learned in my awakening about this, spent 35 years in the food industry 31 years with trader joe's. i saw food throughout the chain being wasted whether it's on farms, manufacturers or retail or wherever it was. when i graduated from trader joe's, i had the opportunity to do fellowship here at harvard. i was looking at getting the mail from -- that one in six people in america are hungry. they're hungry.
it's like, how can this potentially be. we're the richest nation in the world. food is now a third less expensive when i started at trader joe's in the mid 1970's. it's not a surprise. we tend no the to value it as much. the first thing is what's the real nature the problem. you got to understand the problem. i thought hunger was a shortage calories. it definitely is what part of the population. much the population that sasha was talking about is in desperate need of services that she's providing and the food banks and soup kitchens around america are providing. that's not just what food for free does. they do a lot of other things too. what i want to say is that i'm
very aware that there are people in america whom shortage of calories is a reality. the one in six are mentioned as being hungry food insecure vast majority of those actually get enough calories. that's not the issue. the next big awakening was to come to this. you heard about one in six americans. this is the part that gets interesting. you can get all of this from usda and data. 61% of food and secure are what's called basic -- there are people that make the wrong nutritional decisions due to economics. bill gates -- if someone has to
give their kid sugar water liquid candy, or chip and other junk, that's only calories they can afford, that's the type of food and security. what we discovered is that i think it was 39%. these are people that struggle with missing meals during the month at some time. it doesn't mean that 39% of people everyday don't have it. at some point did you go without food. any of us ever gone without food for a day know that even a day is tough. in particular for a kid. here are the things i want to talk about food justice that's really important. first is that, when you talk about black and hispanic, more than one in four, 26 or 27%.
one in four is food insecure. one in three, that's 34.8% of low income. now you got a third of low income families that are food insecure. this is to me a chart i -- i stole this from jonathan bloom many of you know -- this is hung inner america. this is the evolution of man in america and hunger. it turns out hunger isn't a shortage of calories. the solution of majority of those one in six are getting plenty of calories. the problem is they're getting the wrong calories. they can only afford to eat things that have been stripped in nutrition. here's, again, you've seen those
obesity maps. if not you can google it on cdc's obesity maps. it goes by year from 1985. i will give you the punchline. this is 2010. 1985, 25 years earlier not a state in the nation was yellow or light orange or dark orange. not any state, louisiana mississippi, alabama, texas was more than 14 obese. now we're looking at obesity rates higher than 30% in one generation. this one in six that are food insecure, hunger and obesity coexist in the same community and same person. if you will solve a problem, you better know what the problem is. the problem turns out the
majority, 61% at least is affordable nutrition it s what we're talking about. getting them fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein compared with empty calories etcetera. i also stole this slide. i was on a panel for partnership of healthy america down in d.c. the gentleman who runs the largest food service group in the united states, called marcon, he had this slide. he's headquarters in northern california bay area. this is exhibit a. what we're talking about. this is a field of lettuce. you know the punchline already. this is after the harvest. what's up here is about to get plowed under. why is it going to be plowed under, what happens is, they go out and measure when is the arch
head of lettuce is the right size. why? this lettuce goes to a bag. if you noticed the top is in tact. this whole plant including the roots so it's not chopped off the bottom and the leaves haven't been trimmed. as a result, nature doesn't grow things perfectly. the only thing wrong with this food is it's too small or too large. that's it. other reason you may know, that's this one here, code dates. emily and her team did something work with the nrdc and put out a report called the dating game that has to deal with the challenges we face by the confusion over display codes being mistaken as expiration
dates that sell by and best buy are completely confused by the customer at home is thinking, i can't use it after that. this is one of my favorite ones. up know that code life for honey is? it's like forever. this product says best buy october 2, 2015. if i remember right. there are probably 99%, they will say, i can't have this. inbetter throw this out. i want to put my kids at risk. i don't want to use expired. these are examples. another example we're up at the farmers market just introducing ourselves we'll looking around and seeing if you have excess food. we have 7000 pounds of mangos. what's wrong with the mango?
they're almost ripe. that's what was wrong with them. can't ship them to a store at this rate because they're almost ready to eat. yes, got to waste those. this is what we're talking about. it's designed around tackling a part of the market that i saw the food banks weren't tackling. this came out harvard research and talking to vickie who is ceo of feeding america. one of the key issues is this one here. it's the issue of -- well, to me, it's dollars and not distance. it's the fact of affordable nutrition, not food desserts. you can put trader joe's wal-mart or target. every corner in america and many of these one in six cannot afford to buy produce, dairy or protein. it's not so much acceptability
as affordability. other one is this one here. 38% of our clients that are eligible for our services won't use them. why won't they use them? dignity. large percentage of the population particularly that are working -- at the economic lower strata, they don't want a hand out. they don't want to feel that they're being held up. they want to have that feeling i can provide for my family. dignity issue is really big one. i'm trying to think of if we will come up with a sustainable solution as a society of how we're going to feed 49 million americans, we will get them affordable nutrition, right away we got a problem. the entire food system from the farm bill down is designed
around cheap calories and expensive nutrients. you can start with high fructose corn syrup. it's tough to find a sustainable system that's designed around affordable nutrition. if we can go out and help try to recover some of this wasted food -- by the way, sasha heard me say this before, i actually think we would do ourselves a favor and anyone that's in this fight, never use the word food waste again. food waste is food as a modifier of what kind of waste is it. nobody in america wants a second helping of food waste. no one. however if you talk those two words and flip them, nobody in america think it's a good idea to waste more food. we're talking about wasted food. food that's excess. that's healthy, than goes that are almost ripe. lettuce that's the wrong food.
food added sell by date that have two weeks or more. daily tables is designed around really to is designed on what we can do to bring it to a retail store and offer it for pennies on the dollar. the reason we are so when you're is true for first -- is. if you so people something, i do not care how cheap it is, bundles of california and cents-- kale for them cents. -- .10 the second is that if you can get people to choose something
that will use it. the school cafeteria puts an apple on the tray they will put it in the trash. get them to pick in apple and it will be a high percentage of usage. in retail, we can not them nudge them to a diet that is a healthier outcome. the challenge when you are poor is that you are not just poor economically. short of time. all of america suffers with a shortage of time. that is why more meals or eaten outside of the house them in. when you move down the economic pyramid it is tougher and tougher. the focus groups in the inner cities churches, these issues come up over and over again. we do not have time. you can have all of this produced but we are getting off of a boss and we are tired and the kids are hungry.
i cannot buy things and cook. i am expected to walk through the front door with dinner ready. did change the model of bit.ly table from a grocery -- 30 from a grocery store to computing with fast food. --computing with fast food. -- computin-- co pmpeing-0- -- competing with fast food. that is the percentage of executive time spent in fund raising america because if you are a nonprofit, fundraising is important. to me i did not want to build a model that had to have so much energy and time raising funds
for admission no matter how -- for the mission matter how pure the mission is. there is no agency i know of that does not have a phenomenal mission. the challenge is funding. first of all if i can find a way in which we can get revenue by delivering mission instead of for delivering mission, to some degree i am not competing and they do not have to look at me as competing and taking money out of the charitable pool. just doesn't importantly it allows me to do scalable work-- just as importantly it allows me to do scalable work. daily table met in that area of dorchester.
it will have a teaching kitchen. it will have a retail floor and a lot of kitchen space where we and do stuff. this is where we have children after school. this is not eternal, i wish it was -- not daily table, i wish it was. we have kids brought in to learn about education and feeds them at the same time. but photo for me, i think that we are gathered here because food is a precious resource. whether you look at it from the environmental standpoint and what happens was wasted food and greenhouse gas or you look at it from the human side that we all went to ourselves -- owe it to ourselves and our grandkids that we're using this precious resource so that every kid in america gets an opportunity to
be their best, neurologically develop, and to have access to affordable nutrition. [applause] >> all right. i am really excited. i am always excited to be with such installation of people on a panel were out there every day -- inspirational people on a panel who are out there every day pounding the pavement. and the role that we play is really trying to figure out what are the laws and policies that make is hard. this is important we are getting foods from farms and farmers markets to people in need. some of it for free and some of it for people who purchase it in
a setting that allow them dignity. there are a lot of laws that get in the way. reducing the work on food waste and food recovery is one of the key areas. and i think let's start here because a lot of people think what is the role of law in this space. i've actually there is a lot of impact that laws-- and actually there is a lot of impact that laws have on getting food to people in need. part of this is sort of a cross our food system. we have been doing business as usual for so long and treating food as this sheet thing as doug talked about. -- c heap thing as doug talked about. because it is so cheap we throw it away and do not treat it well or think about people who do not have it.
this is just one area of that context where i think the legal system has developed, that forcing people to make better choices and in fact not allowing people like doug and sasha and others with creative ideas to use those creative ideas. one example, current laws restrict abilities to innovate. i will talk about a few examples of these exact policies but this is something we have been working on. i didn't we encourage more people to be out there being innovative -- how can we encourage people to be out there being innovative. there is a lot of food lost around the edges and not used in ways that are sustainable. laws failed to incentivize the reduction of food waste. there are some incentives but we do not say to people if you reduce food waste and get it to
people in need and all the extra mile and spend the extra time to get food in your place we are not giving people enough rewards to do that. so we are not making it possible or easy. laws failed to penalize people for making unhealthy choices. it is crazy to think that we would hold people liable for wasting food but in a way we are throwing away of this resource that we spent a lot of water and oil and pesticide to create and we throw it away like it is nothing. if we find things that really work if soft's method really works, -- soft shot's method really works, we can -- ashs-- sasha's method works. you can be advocating for things
that would make this more possible. i would like to start with this picture this upside down pyramid which was created by the epa, the environmental protection agency and it is meant to give us a sense of how best to use food resources i think it is important. everybody knows that landfills are at the bottom, that is the worst place. actually as we are thinking about how we can put into place policies and organizations, we stayed at the top levels. both people much of the best. we do not want more food waste -- mentioned this. we do not want tmore food waste. the first thing we should do is reduce at the top and realize this is a valuable resource and be thoughtful about how much we are producing. if we are not doing that we want
to be feeding hungry people because there are so many people in need. beyond that, feeding animals and so on. a lot of the laws we have in place right now are thinking about and not remembering that we want to start at the top of the pyramid and work down. we will start with work on date labels which doug mentioned and which we started after i met dog and reluctantly looked at the work he was doing with daily table. he said we want people to use food that is close to or at the date and the law will not let us do this. and we said, why? what is going on with the dates? what do they mean? we embarked on years of research which brought us to this report and i will tell you about what we found. every group that has been looking at date labels as a driver of food waste says that
date labels are causing a lot of waste and someone should try to understand what they mean and how we can make them better. this was a challenge that we took on and it was a great challenge for the legal clinic because it is looking at laws. let me tell you about the findings. the first one is that they are undefined in law and just a suggestion by manufacturers of when the food is that the quality-- is at the quality. if you have ever thrown food away because you thought people would get sick after that date that is absolutely wrong. it has nothing to do with food safety. there are no safety tests done on the food. if companies do any testing at all it is taste testing. they will find the date when most people start to say it did not taste as good as it tasted yesterday. and to be overly protective they
will set the date a few days before that to make up for shipping and storage conditions. that is if they do anything. some companies do not really do testing. they just pick a date. and there is no law behind that. nobody is enforcing. at a conference in which we are thinking about this, there is this frame but on our food that we are following rather than thinking about it. saying that the date past but it tastes fine. especially honey, many of these things are fine. modeled water will always be bottled water-- bottled water will always be bottled water. there is no federal standard. that is what we mean by this,
there is no federal law that defines them or requires them to be created in a certain way. in fact, the fda has chosen not to regulate these as they say these do not have to do with safety. we care about safety and they are not within our mandate. this is really important. the next thing that we found is that the federal government does not regulate so the state has stepped in and regulated. this was a big piece of our research, looking at what states require as far as date labels. 41 states require that at least certain foods bear a date label. it has nothing to do with safety. as consumers got further and further away from the food supply consumers said we want to have dates so we can know when we should eat it. we want the indicator. states develop the charge them put together the regulations.
what is most interesting is that state regulations are totally different from one another in terms of what they require. the second map shows that there are 20 states including massachusetts which restrict the sale and donation after the date. let's think about it. we have just said that the dates have nothing to do with safety. someone is very angry about this. i am also angry. we have just said that the dates have nothing to do with safety. we have safely massachusetts that require dates on food that is perishable or semi-perishable. any food that would go bad in 90 days is required. we will make it difficult for you to sell or donate food after that date so that the bulk of the food is in the trash because there is nowhere else for it to go. i will just give an example.
milk. it tells you how crazy the system is. some states require that milk have a date label a certain number of days after the date of pasteurization. in pennsylvania it is 17 days and in montana it is 12 days. 12 days after pasteurization. there is not a different climate. it just points to how absurd it is that the dates are not links to science and safety. massachusetts has some of the strictest requirements. the state of new york which has new york city does not require dates on any food. new york city used to require date labels on belt and they got rid of that -- milk and they got rid of it in 2010 because they say it is not linked to safety. i think this is important to keep in mind. i know sometimes i get into
places where obviously foods with expiration dates are packaged foods and processed foods. but they are also the foods we put the most energy into creating. we took them from the farm, we transported them somewhere, we cooked them into something, we spent refrigeration energy. and then we are going to throw them away because the dates are unclear. and just to give evidence, this is a study from industry that shows no matter what the label is on the date, whether it is used by, enjoy before. people throw those foods away 90% of consumers. they say they throw them away because they are afraid of safety. this is impacting the way that consumers are using the food. this gets to why law and policy comes into this. as we said, the federal
government does not regulate. states do but not based on science. the do not require that the label be something specific. who do not require that there be any method. nashville you do not require that there be any method-- they do not require that there be any method. this includes agencies that are restricted from giving it away or do not because they want to keep people safe. what we are pushing for is a consumer facing label that would make sense and the standardized and help people understand so that we can avoid the amount of food we are wasting. with preliminary focus groups we conducted we found about the term freshest before made the most sense to people. when you think about it, used by it sounds like what will happen if i do not use it that date.
freshest before it makes sense that it is about quality and that if it tasted fine and smelled fine you can eat it and it will not be sick. you want to make a commitment not to waste food or use it after that date? that is up to you and you do not have to have fear that you and your family will get sick. we also think that 1% of the food supply were there might be risk, these are foods like deli meats that could be previously contaminated and because we do not cook them they could increase the amount of listeria contamination. we are not telling anyone about those risks. let's make it clear, the system is not serving anybody. those could have a label and there is a list, the fbi knows what they are. let's allow the sale and donation of food after this date.
we can educate people and do not have to worry as much, all of these people getting concerned and throwing food away. i want to talk about one other. two other areas were the law is important but i want to talk about one as it ties into the discussion and is timely right now. going back to this hierarchy, i think expiration dates affect reduction because it means we are throwing away less food out of the foods i before we get to people but it -- food supply before we get it to people. another way that it affects getting food to hungry people is the protection for food donors at incentives for food donors and this is an area we have been working on. we talked a lot about how many people are in need but if we redistributed 30% of the food that we lose that could feed all
of the food insecure americans every meal that they needed. as i think about, people are eating -- think doug talked about, people are eating something. get only 10% of food is recovered in the u.s.. this is for a lot of reasons including liability concerns which i circled. companies want to do business want to do business as usual and do not want to give food to someone with the fear that they will get sued. we have good protections in place that we are not getting that message to people and not making protections, they could be broader and protect even more. the other big issue is costs. let's say there is a farmer that is on the last field of bneeans as sasha talked about and it
does not make sense for them to pick them and send them to market. we need to give them an incentive and this is an area we have worked on. at the federal level there is a tax incentive that would pay a food donor for donating that food. the problem is that the incentive right now is limited to only the biggest corporations. for many years it was open to anyone so that farmers that are generally not the corporations, mom-and-pop stores were able to get the incentive and that has expired. there is an attempt to get that back out there. i think it comes up a lot in the context of farmers because farmers often, especially small farmers are working at such small profit margins that any money they can get to support would help them to continue growing beans. it is fresh food, healthy food that is often getting wasted for
the reasons that we have heard which are not good reasons. they are not linked to safety. it is really just the economics of getting it to the people in need. that is one issue, that only c corporations right now are eligible for the tax deduction. the other point gets back to what doug said about making food recovery sustainable. people have good ideas about a revenue stream and there are people that are willing to pay some amount of money for the food. but right now the tax incentive goes away if any money changes hands. and i think this is an old-fashioned way of looking at food waste and food recovery, thinking that everything has to go to a big food bank to get to somebody in need of. when in fact there is opportunity for new models that we could be encouraging and
allowing if we want to get it to people who need it. new businesses, farmers trying out new models. this is something that we have been working on. several areas have state-level tax incentives but at the federal level there is a lot we can do. the other area is around liability protection. the biggest issue here is that we have some great ones in the federal and state law but every corporation that is not donating food has said it is because of liability concerns. we have an awareness and education problem that not only can they don't make the food but that we as consumers do not want to shop at companies -- they donate the food but we as consumers do not want to shop at companies that are throwing away food. we are working to increase understanding of liability protections and to align
policies so that we can figure out how to get to a better future where we are not wasting 33% to 40% of food in the u.s.. with that, i am excited to have a conversation and hear your questions. [applause] >> thank you, everyone. we will open it up to questions. we will use the mic. i will ask the first question so you can walk slowly to the microphone. in a very timely way, molly anderson, the keynote speaker said something to the effect of -- and i am paraphrasing -- poor people do not want your food waste. it was very timely because his was actually my first question anyway and she gave was a punchy sound bite for it which is that there is not this pushback that recovering food that wealthy people "waste" and distribute is
insulting to communities and i would love to hear the feedback on that statement from the presenters. >> i will start. food for free was fascinating when i joined. we have been around for about 33 years. i came to learn that a large part of our staff are recipients of the emergency food system. we have this tremendous volunteer base that helps the drivers, gives them another form of dignity. they want to take the food home. food for free, it is not wealthy people giving anybody their food waste. it is people in the community saying hey look at this insane thing that is going on. why is that stuff going in the trash when the community could use that? and they are stepping up and collecting that food and eating
that food and ensuring that food with others in the community -- and sharing that food with others in the community. i think for food for free anyway, there is nothing about outsiders giving poor people food waste. you know? it is people in a community making a sensible decision and saying, look at that, i am going to get that end-user use it if i need it and share with my neighbors. my husband was not rich, still isn't. the farmers are not rich. the folks at whole foods are not rich. this is a community of people working together to solve a problem and in my experience at food for free and from what i understand it has been a community building event. this issue just has not come up which is great to see. doug: so i have a slightly
different take. not one contrary but shall we say adding a different perhaps element. which is in my work going down into dorchester and working also and talking about early work in the bronx, new york. first of all i absolutely resonate with the statement and i think it is fair to say if you ask poor people if they want food waste the answer is no. if you ask people, we are going to get some stuff out of the trash, would you like it? the answer is no, of course not. if you say listen, there is some healthy, good food here which is going to go to waste mangoes almost ripe, would you like a man go that is almost ripe? i would.
it is about the framing of our we second class citizens, getting something -- are we second class citizens, getting something less than. we do not want to be treated like second-class citizens. which is why at daily table i happen to think, of course i do, right? if you are a hammer all of the world is a male. i grew up in retail -- nail. i grew up in retail so of course the solution is retail. one of the things in retail that i do like is that you talk about affordable nutrition, we understand that if you get into a real conversation with groups twice this size in a community they will start to ask you really pointed and tough questions because they are struggling. you talk about a lot of stuff. what is affordable to you might
not be affordable to me. who defines affordable? this is the nice thing about retail. if i am selling you something you define what is affordable. if i just am handing something you did not choose it. if you are choosing you will choose if it is healthy, if it is tasty, is it convenient, was it priced right, did it seems safe and is the store first rate? we do not want a store that looks like an outlet, second rate. we want a first-rate looking store. spending the money to make sure that daily table, for as little money as possible, is first rate. it does not look like it is a salvation operation. that is not what they want. so i think there is some truth in the fact that if you simply frame it up, for many people are in favor -- how many people are
in favor of obamacare? when you call it that, the percentage in favor. many people like the affordable care act? do you want food waste? no. do they want to have access to affordable nutrition? . absolutely. do they think food is a resource that should not be wasted? absolutely. a lot of it is how we frame it and how we presented and it is about the community -- present it and it is about the community recognizing that it is the story of us and not the story of them. if me as an outsider i am trying to solve the problem it is not embrace. if we are creating the community within the community to solve a problem together that it is embraced. emily: i wanted to give two answers to that. one is zooming out one level from the discussion and talking
about the food that is getting wasted. we talked about 33% to 40% of the food. who do you think is impacted by the agricultural system? by pesticide runoff, fertilizer runoff, climate change? all of these negative environmental impacts. people who are poor. people who are in less well resourced communities. to the extent that we are not eating 40% of our food, we are putting all of the costs onto to these communities to throw the food away. i think the food justice component starts back there before the food finds a home at the end. to make sure that after we spend the resources that someone will get to eat it, that is so important. on the other side of it, looking at the things we talked about -- yes, he said that food in
america is very cheap. but there is cost to the food we throw away at the retail level in particular. stores know that a certain amount of food will be wasted because at the end of the night the grocery store feels like it needs to have piles of lettuce and apples and whatnot. they need to build that into the model and charge more to account for that. there are all of these other ways to make sure that food does not get wasted. no matter who ends up with the food we are benefiting everybody by making sure the system is not having as many externalities, that food costs what it is supposed to cost. what is interesting in working with doug is that so many people want to shop at the daily table. it is meant to serve the community that there are people who say they want to buy the food because they want a better and more sustainable food system. it is not food that not everybody wants and it is
important to get it to people who are in need with it but the fact that many people are interested in buying it and eating it, the more that we can put into place things were people can access that do show that this is good and healthy food is important. >> doug, this is a question for you. daily table sounds like a fantastic idea and i am curious about a couple of things. one is, what percentage of your cost you cover with retail revenue in the first few years? how will your revenue model work? and also since it seems like a mission driven organization, are you planning to hold the organization responsible for specific health outcomes of the population you are serving just beyond the numbers of pounds served or people that come from? sasha:-- doug: two big
questions. at harvard i learned about the theory of change. very few companies and certainly not at the size of sasha's or daily table can afford to do the thorough social impact, that is difficult. even outcomes are difficult. when you are talking about an ocean of factors. if we are able to get customers to regularly just eat dinner. have something else for breakfast. we are nudging them and helping them. here is the fundamental thing. and the focus groups we did we were told in no uncertain terms to things. one, the question is who can shop here. who do you think should shop your? if it is -- shop here? if it is only a store for the poor i am not coming because i
do not want to be seen by my neighbor. is everybody cannot shop here you will not get your target audience -- if everybody cannot shop here you will not get your target audience. the second thing was interestingly enough that our model was really designed around as i said trying to be a trojan horse for health outcomes at retail. to me them where they needed to be met -- meet them where they needed to be met. they did not want it to be a larger program store. i was originally thinking that on saturday we could measure your bmi and your cholesterol and your prediabetic, we are your partner. no way. if you do that, i am not coming. i do not want to be reminded of my problems when i walk in here.
not talk to me about illness and morbidity issues and obesity and is the food is killing me. if you do that i am not coming. negative, negative, negative. talk to me about kids doing their best and feeling their best. i came up with these lame marketing things. we create food to die for and not to die from. and the other is that we are trying to create food that moves you forward and does not hold you back. cannot talk to us about nutritious. that is the and word-- n word. somebody said do not use the n owrd., -- n word. give somebody use the-- did somebody use the n word. the sensitivities in this, i am
not saying this about everybody but in dorchester this community had a sensitivity. they do not want to feel they are a part of the program. it is a membership store. if you are not in zips that are economically challenged, you cannot shop with us. anybody in those zips -- and those include a million-dollar homes so there are plenty of people who are economically middle-class or fire but the majority -- or higher but the majority is our target audience. and because we have free membership we are going to be able to track. it is a backdoor, not what we intended. the idea is that this is how we provide the service to the community. give the zip code that you live or work in.
now we will be able to know how many times you, and what you buy and follow that up with public health. ways that they can take that data and come back and say it did these outcomes. economically, ideally, we will be raising funds. it is a nonprofit. our intention is not to make money, our intention is to deliver nutrition. i hope we do not have to do much fundraising other than the initial brick to build the store out. i hope we are able to recover costs close to what they are. we want to feed people well -- pay people well, have benefits. we are paying at or better than the marketplace. you can get a job at kfc but we want to pay better than kfc and you have a mission you are proud of. it is idealistic and wonderful
and we are perfect now because we have not opened yet. when we opened, the rubber hits the road. it will be interesting to see if it works. >> awesome, thanks. >> my question is for emily what i wanted to mention very briefly i moved to london a couple of years ago and i remember the first time i went to the market and i was looking for eggs and i was in the refrigerator section and i could not find them and i said, where are the eggs? they said they are on the baking section. to me, eggs a refrigerated or they go bad. my question is when you have these findings about the meeting behind the dates and the misunderstandings, have there been consumer education campaigns? is anybody working to spread the news? is there anything we can do to help?
emily: that is a great question, thank you. what was so interesting, our report, when we came out. we are at a law school and we are focused on the law and policy. we wrote this report that went through these things and said here is the policy change and it got a lot of press. there was a lot of news coverage and it was great. all of the news coverage was about the consumer. moms at home, here is how you can waste less food. i am glad it got the press it did. the problem with a one-time thing with the message getting out is that it does not change things over time. it is not like we can every year have more news reminding people. and one of the biggest challenges with our current lack of a date label system i will not call it a system because it is not thought out, is that it is impossible to do consumer
awareness because the dates say different things and may look different in different states. there is no education that we can put out a message on a federal level. that is one of the benefits if we change the policy to have one standard label. we can say americans, there is the label and what it means. if you see another label this is what it means. this is what you should do. you can see when the usda -- they have the best guidance on the best guidance on date labels and basically they say if your food expires on this date, is it is a refrigerated food and you keep it refrigerated it still should be good. this is meant to help people but it is hard to do consumer awareness. we are working on consumer legislation. we were approached by congressman and representatives saying, what can we do? we are working on that and to
try to reframe the message and make it about policy. a win-win-win for everyone if we change this. we are working on a small film an opinionated documentary to get the message out. that hopefully will come out this year and will be alongside the campaign to get the policy change at the federal level. >> educated and informed, not opinion. emily: educated and informed and opinionated as well. i am glad you asked because we are going to need as many people everybody in this room and your friends and families and everyone who cares to push and say this does not make sense. this is just the beginning, we in the u.s. are so far behind on food waste. we are doing very little compared to -- you mentioned london, the u.k. has done so much. they have had education and campaigns and are tracking data.
they are saying that we have a national mission to avoid this. france also has a national mission. in the u.s. we do not have a national mission to avoid food waste and we think that we should. >> i have to speak to the egg thing. it is about how the exit are prepared. in this country we do washing of eggs which is why they are refrigerated. if you get farm fresh you can leave them on the counter forever. that is not what this is about but i just discovered that because i did not understand it myself. doug: for the first 12 years i was at trader joe's they were unrefrigerated. and what happened is that somewhere in america there was a salmonella issue someone was an issue with salmonella. everyone refrigerated eggs. and now you would be terrified. >> a great panel and i want to
thank you for the work you are doing because it is important. emily, when you are talking about legal barriers to sharing food and nutrition, i was thinking about breast-feeding which is an area that i do some writing on. first food justice, right? one of the problems is when women have problems breast-feeding it is not easy to access access breastmilk-- access excess breastmilk because there is a huge regulation in place. . it is elitist. i was wondering if that is anything your clinic has thought about doing. emily: that is a great question. it is not something that has been present in our work although as a component of our clinic we have a fellow in the mississippi delta who i mentioned in my welcome, that is where i got started doing food related work.
our fellow has been working on food related -- breast-feeding policies because in the low income communities it is free food which is important. those same communities are often the communities that get the least resources and knowledge and advice about breast-feeding. on this topic it is not something that i know that much about but i think that you are right. we are talking about food all across the fujian and for all ages -- food chain and for all ages. how do we make sure we are doing it justly? >> thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. my name is erin schultz and i am a student at the business school so i am wondering if you can talk about the tension between nonprofit models and competing for fundraising models versus for-profit models and if there are other models you can see to
capture more foodways on the nonprofit side or for-profit side that you have both considered and think there is potential in the market. doug: i will start and sasha can finish. so daily table's nonprofit not because i thought that nonprofits are better or more pure or that they are just an for-profit companies are unjust. it was because of the section 170. if we are not a nonprofit then those who are going to give us food could not take advantage of the tax deduction. there was also some feeling that in the community for coming down to a nonprofit would be easier to be embraced with the idea that we are not trying to make money selling food that i thought we would have to push hard on the expired food.
turns out probably the best majority of wholesale if not all of it would be within code because we are cooking up and preparing. most of it has 14 days or so because we are cooking up on the spot. i do think that the people that started well the b corps and the idea, the social contract that a number of states have different ones. 31 or 30 five states that allow for a corporation, a for-profit corporation -- 35 states that allow for a corporation, a for-profit corporation allowed to have a charter were they make money but it is tied to a certain percentage based on social benefit. it is like social contract bonds. they started in england but there are some here now. there are a lot of different ways that you can hybrid. the nara, for instance, a chain that i have gotten to know--
panera, for instance, a chain that i have gotten to know has panwera cares where you can pay what you want. it puts them on the edge where 20% of the shoppers pay more. 60% pay whatever you ask in 20% pay nothing -- and 20% is nothing. -- pays nothing. so it breaks even. there are innovative privates whether you are b corp, nonprofit, for-profit. for me it is about are you efficient, are you effective are you meeting customer needs. it is market-based stuff. at the end of the day, funders get fatigued just as investors to. if you have a -- investors do.
if you have a for profit that you seven to come back to the well, investors also get fatigued and say they are done giving money. funders are the same way, if it looks like you are not making a significant contribution to the challenges, funding tends to be a competitive market. i want to say that each of the models can be great. it depends upon how you approach it what your purposes, your design and intent. sasha: i definitely think that if you are serving the people that food for free is serving for example and potentially the people that dog is serving-- doug is serving. if you are serving a population that does not have money to make a profit for you you are taking a risk if you set up that tension of i have to make a profit to stay in business. if the people who are paying you do not have money that is a
challenge. not to say it cannot be done. whether you are for profit or b corp or nonprofit is not the point, the question is where is the funding coming from. one thing i think would happen long-term with the help of laws and incentives, if you look at the retail stores, the supermarkets that we go to, they get a significant tax deduction for giving us the food that they give us. they also stop paying significant waste hauling costs and composting costs. my opinion rubbing a nonprofit that is taking all of that food up is that there is some money ok? all of that benefit, financially, is going back to the retail store and not towards covering any of the costs to getting that food back into the community.
and i think -- i do not blame the retail store, that is how it is set up and they are driven by profit and shareholders but i do think there is plenty of room there to get more creative about how we at community or as a nation address food waste is a national challenge, not as these poor people need food. the issue is that the food waste affects everybody and it is a responsibility to deal with that. that is where there could be room to at least deal with the funding, not-for-profit or for-profit. >> i wanted to jump into really quick on that point. it is not necessarily about structuring the food recovery middleman, what doug and sasha do. on the private actors, massachusetts has passed an interesting law which is in the background of some of our work that we failed to mention.
they know ban-- now ban institutions from sending more than one ton of food waste a week. the idea is that this is the responsibility of everyone and we are going to put the burden on private retailers or institutions to say you cannot keep sending food to landfills. it is one of the biggest contributors to methane which is a bad greenhouse gas. it should not be in a landfill anyway. it has been an interesting lobby because they are basically saying we are going to require private businesses to change habits so that this does not happen. reducing the waste in the first place, getting it to people in need. one of the challenges is that a lot of it will end up in compost which is better than a landfill. but all of us are of the mind that the more of it that can go to people, the better.
the law does not have incentive, they do not care where the food goes. if we start with this as a baseline and now there is a real incentive not just in hauling to the landfill but also you are going to get fined. let's set up all of these systems and make a better profit so we can get it to people who need it. >> i think we have time for one more question. >> my name is andy and i am serving as an americorps volunteer this year. my question is mostly -- first thank you, i am excited for the work you're doing. my question is for doug and sasha. you are doing amazing work but in what you are doing you are going to have waste of your own. what do you directly do with it? sasha: we are already doing something with it. [laughter] sasha: so we actually used to --
if you know central square, there is a house right behind city hall, a big white house and that is where we are housed. the cambridge economic opportunity committee gives us and we have been there as far as i know for 30 years. we used to have a big compost pile in the big backyard but there were red issues among other things-- rat issues among other things. many of my drivers would go to whole foods down the street. whole foods pulls a bunch of stuff from the shelves. the compost some of it and give it all to us. we say that some of it is not good enough. we passed some on to food pantries. there is waste along the way. we were trying to bring it to the waste composter and it was too much. it should not matter, it was their food to begin with, but i understand.
cambridge is starting to compost , starting a program where they are covering composting for us. because we sure of the building with a food pantry where a lot of our food goes to and it is amazing. it is not entirely reduce it. coming out of the food pantry is far more compost than ever leaves my house. it is a lot. we are at least composting it. and i think that -- actually one other thing we do in the summer is we go to the farmers market and bring a bunch of the pig farmer so he can take it back. there is at the end of the day organic waste and it is not food at that point. it is food, it is not edible food. doug: we thought a lot about this because one thing we want to make sure is that we are not spending money to collect food to ourselves and up tossing it. -- end up tossing it. one of the things is we have to
change customer's perceptions of what a store should look like an hour before they close. because of england the first time i went to marks & spencer, i walked into an a half hours before they closed in the mid-80's and the place looked like it was going out of business. it was gutted. the perishable sections -- i thought there was a remodel. i went up to somebody and said, what is going on? they said, what do you mean? is there a cuban missile crisis? that i miss something? no, come back tomorrow morning and we will be stock to fall. -- to full. but right now you are empty. isn't that great? we sold out? but you are missing sales. that is the retail facing. customer facing, though, as emily said and sasha said, if you're in there and are not
starting until it: 30 at night and i come in and -- 8:30 at night and automated you do not have letters, i am going to your competitor. -- and i come in and you do not have lettuce, i am going to your competitor. we are doing studies, fast food is not cheap. breaking news to everybody. when you study what you get at kfc and burger king, forget about the cost of nutrients because there are not a lot of nutrients. in terms of what you paid, it is not that she. -- that cheap. our promises that we will be less than that and if we get a batch of product and it is 3:00 in the afternoon and we are not going to sell it then everyone gets one free because we have to get rid of this. we want to get rid of this. we believe that if someone goes home and fries the product then they will think it is delicious. it is a demo.
buy one, get one free because we have too many. we are committed to making certain that we have as little as possible -- there will be product. we will get product that comes back and you cannot cook it, it will become organic waste and there is nothing we can do. but we do know -- we have for when we opened 40,000 pounds we have gleaned. and we have recovered 70,000 pounds that we cannot use. we have been given to other agencies everything from food banks that can use it. piour intent is to reatch-- reach out. let's call somebody else, they
can use this product. sasha: we have received some stuff. doug: you have received some stuff. if we stop following and start working together, it would make sense. nothing polyamide is, just ways that make sense==- pollyannaish just ways that make sense. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> rugby for you guys leave -- thank you to our wonderful presenters. [applause] >> a quick word for boston area and tenders -- offenders, next week we are screening a documentary. we are excited to have them here. thank you. [applause]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> president obama spoke at arlington national cemetery. that's next on c-span. then we bring you a number of congressional profiles of freshmen house members who served in the military. we sat down with representative less zeldin of new york mike of illinois. >> this weekend, we are live at book expo america in new york city where the publishing industry showcases their upcoming books. in the beginning of june where live with