Instock Food Waste: How To Start A Rural Surplus Food Co-Op
Surplus Food Has Never Looked Or Tasted So Good
Instock food waste is on the cutting edge of a human food rescue market with catering, food truck with built-in speakers, bar (selling potato beer), etc.
The Instock concept is “recycling” food that was intended for consumption, but is discarded along the food supply chain.
Instock is an innovative community organization developing new products with food wastage that all western countries should take notice.
This concept would be particularly useful in revitalizing lagging economies of many rural areas where there are plenty of wasted farm produce.
If food that is fit for consumption gets spilled during harvesting or transport, or go bad in storage, or rot in the market, it’s called food loss.
Growers are forced to dispose of various produce that doesn’t meet the markets standards.
Another example, certain fruits and vegetables may have awkward sizes and shapes, therefore, must be discarded.
The average consumer has no idea that tons of perfectly good food is wasted every day because of these ridiculous marketing standards.
There is no reason why anyone on this earth should have to go hungry while governments stand by demanding that excess food and so-called sub-standard foods are disposed of.
Another thing that galls me is that consumers pay for this food to go to land fills through local waste management taxation.
Instock of the Netherlands shouldn’t be the only organization capitalizing on food loss in the most sophisticated and creative ways.
Valuing Surplus Food Is Everyone’s Responsibility
Individuals or groups in rural areas could easily replicate this business model with the help of farmers, local grocers, the community and government.
With enough signatures on a petition requesting to start a community food loss co-op, it won’t take long to draw the attention of local leaders.
When they are presented with facts, figures, charts and diagrams of the natural progression of human food waste, they may be more likely to cooperate and provide funding.
For example, your proposal must show them how the lowly potato can be converted into ‘taxable’ products such as beer, which could help the whole community increase depleting tax revenue and jobs.
People love potatoes and; they love beer!
As a food loss co-op (sounds better than waste), farmers can supply the potatoes and a craft beer brewery can supply the production and distribution.
Then, a co-op can get a special license to sell the beer, which would compensate the brewer and be a win-win for the whole community!
In addition, the co-op can have a restaurant, catering/bar, and store where the beer is sold and, low-income people can get a weekly supply of free food—whatever is available.
That way, the co-op will be serving the entire community.
Well-to-do patrons can try to shop for or dine on rescue food incognito.
While others who are more spontaneous take great pleasure in a surplus food restaurant and catering.
This could potentially be a booming business for a rural town, if branded and promoted correctly.
Other Instock Food Waste Ideas For A Rural Co-op
I love the idea of a classic Mercedes or VW bus converted to a rescue food truck with soft speakers so a crowd can enjoy music while they eat.
Transform an old school bus or van into a surplus food truck.
With this truck, your co-op can serve delicious dishes, that are made with food loss ingredients, throughout your rural area—and beyond.
Your dishes can range from warm meals to hearty filled burritos and artisan granola and bread!
Create a menu that fits with local tastes and available produce.
The food truck has built-in speakers so customers can boogie while enjoying dishes at the same time!
Catering is also a bonus idea with a portable, rustic lemonade stand set up for a bar to sell potato beer.
- Food Surplus Truck
Is ready to serve the most delicious rescued appetizers and dishes!
- Food Surplus Bar
Not enough space for a food truck? No problem! A portable bar is a perfect alternative! This bar is suitable for various purposes: serving potato beer, delicious dishes, appetizers and many more. Whatever you feel like! The best that is available!
- Food Surplus Catering
It’s possible to prepare the dishes and appetizers at the kitchen of your co-op. After that, you’ll directly deliver it to your event location.
- Food Surplus Cookbook
Off hand, I can think of a dozen ideas for pickling produce and meat recipes for a surplus food cookbook.
There is no limit to the creativity and ideas a community co-op can develop to prevent perfectly good surplus human food from going to the landfill.
It Sounds Like A Good Idea, But How Can You Guarantee Food Safety?
That is the question that will be on everyone’s mind so; it’s best to let them know that surplus food is perfectly fine.
It may be illegal to sell food that has passed its expiration date.
However, it may be fine to distribute and/or serve in homeless shelters, etc.
When operating a restaurant, I imagine you would have to meet the same requirements as any other restaurant.
Yet, there is a difference between food waste that is either unavoidable or avoidable.
The former category consists of food that cannot be consumed anymore according to the food safety guidelines, like perished meat products.
Avoidable waste includes all the foodstuff that’s still fit for consumption, but is thrown away, anyway.
As you might guess, you would only accept and cook products that belong to the last category!
How about that one-day-old bread, a bag of oranges that has one rotten but five fresh ones, those slightly discolored cauliflowers, or that meat that is too close to its expiration date to end up in the supermarket?
I sometimes use a personal shopper for groceries to be delivered and receive apples as described above—no big deal.
As an advocate for food waste and surplus food, I believe these products deserve another chance.
About: I’m the author in residence of RuralMoney.com. Unfortunately, I am also a person with disabilities. I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I love to share what I know and practice to help others survive and thrive in rural areas.
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