Here in Sarasota, when you hear gleaning, the local Transition group and Jessica’s Organic Farm come to mind. “Since October 2010, we have donated over 130,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables,” states Transition.
While this effort is thrilling and encouraging, it’s heartbreaking to think that up to 40% of food produced in the US ends up in landfills. Not going to hungry people, not feeding animals or even compost… landfills. I learned about Food Shift through an article about gleaning, and I’m hoping they’re the start of a paradigm shift in which food is more highly valued – because it should be. Food Shift, in San Francisco, recovers and redistributes food that would otherwise go to landfills to those in need. They charge for it too because, as founder Dana Frasz states, “We’re paying people to remove our trash and we’re paying people to remove our recycling. Why aren’t we paying people to recover this incredibly valuable resource of food?” And Food Shift is being hired. They know the routine and they’re reliable, so they make it easier for companies to donate excess food. Seems like a great way to begin valuing food properly to me.