Today let’s talk about food waste and CropMobster, two things that go together. One is a problem the other is a solution.
Food waste bothers me in a big way.
We Waste Too Much Food
Last week I was at the farmer’s market and watched a lady picking through the table of tomatoes. Seriously, she picked up several tomatoes on the table looked at them and put them back down. I’m thinking, wow, these tomatoes look great. However, the lady made a comment to the vendor, asking him if he had anything better than what was on the table. REALLY.
I bought my tomatoes from this vendor and they tasted like a sun-ripened, homegrown tomato. What could be better? Oh, I know, these tomatoes had a couple of spots on them and weren’t perfect.
Food Does Not Have To Look Perfect To Be Good
This is a problem! It seems that we as food consumers feel if our fruits and veggies are not perfect then they must be inedible. I see bins of food thrown away in the grocery stores because they have a blemish or are not perfectly round, or smooth; thusly people will not buy them
Homegrown food is not perfect. And, if you are lucky, the farmer didn’t use pesticides and your corn may have a lovely worm inside the husk because it wasn’t poisoned. Those spots on your apple, peach or tomato, they can be cut away with little wastage.
I buy a lot of food at the farmer’s markets which are picked very close to market time and is ripe. If we don’t buy it then what do they do with it? Face it, when fruit and veggies are ripe it has to be picked and sold. Many times a farmer can’t sell everything, then what? If we expect the farmer’s homegrown food to look like the perfect mass-produced/grown food that we see in the stores then the farmers are left with bins of produce.
One year my two lemon trees and one grapefruit tree produced so much fruit I was begging people to take as much as they wanted. I still had buckets of fruit and no one else to give it to.
Meet Nick Papadopoulos of CropMobster
Here’s a solution. Nick Papadopoulos also known as “Nicky Bobby” is an organic farmer in Northern California. Nick found many times he was left with food that did not sell leaving him the option of finding someone or someplace that needed this food or throwing it away.
He has an inspiring story to tell and I was fortunate to hear it at the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC17) in Sacramento.
CropMobster is the creation of Nick to alleviate waste in the food industry and bring communities together to share. This is an online community and crowdsourcing venue that alerts people and communities of food and agriculture supplies that are wanted, are for sale, or even free. For instance:
- you have crates of peaches you need to find a home for
- you have extra fruit crates you don’t need
- you need to find a home for a chicken
- you know someone who could benefit from a farmer’s extra produce
- you want to share an agricultural event
You can find Nick throughout California with his 8-foot selfie stick taking pictures and videos. Nick is out telling his story and sharing his vision of how everyone can be involved to help alleviate food waste and help people find necessary resources.
Make sure to view Nick’s CropMobsterTV for great interviews.
Let’s stop wasting food and find ways to get it to people who can utilize it and consume it.
Thank you, Nick Papadopoulos.