Food waste and food insecurity are some of the biggest problems facing the planet, contributing to world hunger, climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss
More than 800 million people are food-deprived globally. On the flip side, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year (equalling $750 billion in economic consequences). This is enough to feed the hungry four times over—something isn’t right.
Canadian company Trendi is setting out to revolutionize food waste, and has raised $2.25 million in seed funding to finance its new Biotrim mobile processing technology.
“We have built AI-driven robotics to rescue food before it's wasted," says Trendi’s co-founder and CEO Craig McIntosh (pictured below), "We upcycle that food into nutritious products to help feed people (first), animals (second), and industries (third).
"Unlike a traditional waste-management company that diverts products to the compost or landfill, we focus on transforming that food into shelf-stable products of value before it's wasted. We take one man's 'waste' and upcycle it into nutritious treasures that hold high-profit margins so we're able to share the profits with our partners, so they too can create a new stream of revenue, reduce their footprint and help the planet."McIntosh shares that Trendi's model is built around donating a percentage of all products they make to help feed marginalized communities, food banks and those in need while still maintaining healthy profit margins. "We believe healthy food should accessible to all, not just to those that can afford it.”
Trendi’s distinguishing feature is its Biotrim technology. Co-founder and CMA Carissa Campeotto (pictured above) explains that Biotrim is a, “mobile processing unit (the food truck of food processing) that goes to farms, fisheries and food processors, and transforms their food trim, scraps and by-products into a shelf-stable product called Bioflakes.”
Campeotto continues, “Our proprietary chill-drying technology retains 97 percent of nutrients in the food and reduces the size and weight to one-tenth. Now that the food is shelf-stable, it can be easily transported, stored (up to 30 years, without the need of a fridge or freezer), and upcycled into nutritious products by our experienced team of product developers and food scientists to ensure it's delicious and safe to eat.”
Compared to competitors, Trendi's method comes with minimal environmental impact. They go directly to the source of the waste with their mobile processing units to prevent food from going to waste during transport, especially in rural areas. And because Trendi’s processing methods reduce food to one-tenth of its original weight and size, instead of transporting 10 trucks of raw cucumbers, they only need to use one truck to transport the processed cucumbers.
Campeotto reveals that transport has gone up 1000 percent during COVID, so Trendi’s solution is more sustainable—environmentally and economically.
Want to join the mission to eliminate food waste?
This fall, Trendi will be launching a pledge to halve food waste before 2030—and you can join the community of like-minded planet-lovers who will receive access to resources to help your journey in reducing waste at home, in your business and in your community.
So how you can you eliminate food waste at home? Trendi recommends avoiding shopping at big-box grocery stores (unless you're feeding a family of eight), shopping local, prepping your meals in advance so you buy only what you need, and if there are leftovers, giving them to your neighbour, donating them to a local food bank or a local community fridge. Keep an eye on Trendi's website for more on how you can get involved.