Students win challenge with plans for businesses that reduce food waste
Two teams of students won the college track of the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge with plans to create businesses that would divert wasted food into usable products.
The College of the Atlantic students proposed [Re]Produce, to use farm surplus or imperfect corn, broccoli, kale and potatoes to create frozen vegetables for sale to consumers.
A team from Bowdoin College, where the challenge was hosted, proposed Spent, a company that would make flour from spent brewery grains.
The teams took home $2,500 prizes.
“It seems so contradictory that in Maine, 40 percent of our food goes to waste every year, while the state is the 12th most food-insecure state,” Grace Burchard, part of the College of the Atlantic team that included four students and professors Kourtney Collum and Jay Friedlander. “As a society we need to shift our cultural perception of ‘perfect’ looking food and respect the farmers who grew the produce by giving them a fair wage.”