April 14, 2020, Dartmouth, N.S. – Outcast Foods is partnering with farms to stop massive food waste due to decimation of the food service industry by COVID-19.
The company will upcycle fresh produce into dried fruit and vegetables to fill increased demand.
Outcast said in a statement that farms across North America are faced with an unprecedented situation in that there are millions of unsold pounds of product resulting from the collapse of the food service industry.
“Shortly after the rise of COVID-19 we started receiving calls from farmers that had no buyers for their fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Outcast Foods CEO Dr. Darren Burke. “Truckloads of beautiful sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and kale to name a few … all of which would have been rotting on the fields or tilled back into the soil.”
In recent weeks, Outcast has partnered with several new farms to help deal with the growing amount of surplus produce.
“The dichotomy of nurturing plants into food and then wasting it doesn’t sit right with these family farms,” said TJ Galiardi, CMO of Outcast Foods. “We developed our sustainable technology to ensure nutrients from food destined for waste finds its way back into the food system to help feed families.”
“The amount of time and resources it takes to grow our products is substantial, which is why we are always looking for ways to reduce the amount ending up as waste or animal feed,” said Greg Gerrits, owner of Elmridge Farm in Centerville, N.S. “Working with Outcast Foods provides us with opportunities to upcycle our surplus or waste products, thereby reducing our operational risks and improving our farm efficiencies.”
Outcast uses a state-of-the-art, three-step process to dry fruits and vegetables, immediately locking in the nutrients and extending shelf life to more than two years. Next up for Outcast Foods is the construction of a scale processing facility currently planned for rural Nova Scotia to service the largest farms in the province. This plan is being expedited in response to the growing need for shelf-stable foods across the globe.
Outcast Foods has developed a technology that can turn surplus fruits and vegetables into high-value whole plant powders. This reduces food waste, decreases greenhouse gases and makes nutrients in food last longer. The company works with farms, food brokers and grocers to convert misfit produce into natural health products, pet food and cosmetics.
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