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2017 Food Waste Forum Recap

WasteCap held their 5th Annual Food Waste Forum Thursday, July 27 and was thrilled to see the community rally to support the cause. It’s a cause worth learning more about considering the $160 billion worth of produce that gets thrown away annually, according to a Guardian report.

Guests of the event enjoyed appetizers generously donated by Outpost Natural Foods while listening to 8 speakers share their stories.

As the event focused on food waste, it’s important to note the waste created by the forum. The results are as follows:

Recycling: 23.7 lbs.

Organic Waste: 3.1 lbs.

Landfill: 0.6 lbs.

The event featured 8 inspiring panelists representing the industry’s biggest food waste leaders. Although each organization utilizes a different method to divert food waste, the speakers, as well as attendees, share the same mission of bringing less to landfill.

Each speaker, with the exception of Tera Johnson, represented a tier of the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy.

Tera Johnson, Edible Alpha, Food Finance Institute and Founder of teraswhey

Johnson had one “big idea” to solve a massive food waste problem. By creating teraswhey, a protein powder made from whey by-product, she repurposed what would have been discarded and created a profitable commodity.

Ross Younger, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin

Younger spoke about the 687,370 food insecure people in Wisconsin and how Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is making an effort to reduce that. He noted that consumers are the biggest contributors and showed the percent of food waste at each step in the supply chain. We can make an effort to reduce that number through donating extra food to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters.

Jonathan Gutoski, LaBudde Group

Gutoski focused on the nutrients that get lost during food production and the ways in which Labudde group is able to capture what would have been lost.

Michael Keleman, InSinkErator

InSinkErator disposals offer an alternative solution for landfill diversion. Keleman spoke about InSinkErator and how disposers benefit the environment and can even be more cost efficient than composting.

Jeff Spence, Milorganite

Composed of heat-dried microbes and manufactured by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Milorganite is composed of recycled nutrients pulled from organic materials that are then transformed into fertilizer.

Melissa Tashjian, Compost Crusader

Armed with her Compost Crusader, Tashjian is helping the Milwaukee area turn food scraps into valuable compost. During the forum, she discussed the importance of composting and how it can turn waste into a resource.

Marion Ecks, Kompost Kids

Self-described as “urban pioneers,” Kompost Kids is pushing to create a world without food waste while educating the public on the issue.

Katie Rose, Goodkind

GoodKind is a farm-to-fork restaurant in Bayview dedicated to composting their food waste. Through these efforts, Goodkind has kept its waste to one garbage bag per day. Rose noted that while cost is often thought to be a deterrent, the expense is minimal and effort is worth it.

The event slide deck is also available for download here. 

After final words from Travis Blomberg, Executive Director of WasteCap, attendees and panelists were left with time to network and ask follow up questions.

"The Food Waste Forum was a great success!” said Travis Blomberg, Executive Director of WasteCap Resource Solutions. “Our expert panelists educated attendees on each stage of the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy. It was clear that everyone who attended the event is passionate about solving complex issues surrounding food waste." 


WasteCap Resource Solutions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing waste reduction and recycling assistance for the benefit of business and the environment. The WasteCap mission is supported through a variety of initiatives rooted in waste diversion including: zero waste consulting, construction and demolition waste management, deconstruction and salvage, organics diversion and LEED® administration. Additionally, WasteCap operates a retail store that carries architectural salvage and reclaimed goods. Join us in transforming waste into resources at www.wastecap.org and @WasteCap.

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