An Eye Opening Experience in Oakland
According to Paul Hawken’s comprehensive new book Drawdown: “Uneaten food squanders a whole host of resources—seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital—and generates greenhouse gases at every stage—including methane when organic matter lands in the global rubbish bin.” Therefore food waste is responsible for roughly 8 percent of all global emissions! In this tour, we’ll follow the food waste trail to learn how ingenious social entrepreneurs are sourcing unwanted fruits and vegetables. We’ll learn how some are creating food products and meals that would otherwise rot on farms or spoil during storage or distribution.
Some Suggested Stops
O2 Artisans Aggregate
We’ll see how an upscale bistro in San Francisco is exploring the culinary potential of urban farming via a 2,000-square-foot aquaponic greenhouse. We’ll learn about prehispanic snackeria producing delicious edible insects in a “farm” housed in a shipping container. Learn about biochar, composting and worms. There’s solar power production, waste water digestion for re-use and an urban milling facility, where Oakland trees are preserved and milled into beautiful lumber used for firewood and furniture. There’s chickens, a bonsai garden, a sake brewery and a Japanese restaurant that gets its udon noodles on site.
Learn how a team of entrepreneurs took the wasteful byproduct of soymilk, okara, and used it to create healthy, sustainable, and tasty cookies. Renewal Mill is the product of a project by two Yale graduates looking to make use of okara, a byproduct of soymilk usually put in landfill. Their small bakery in Berkeley shows off okara’s various uses in baked goods and flour.
California Association of Food Banks
Learn how the nation’s leading produce recovery program is bridging the gap between our state’s surplus produce and people in need. The team at Farm to Family works with growers and packers to find excess produce that might not meet market timing or the marketplace standards for beauty, size or shape. They then arrange to ship their surplus produce directly from the fields to the California Association of Food Banks’ 42 member locations across the state. This results in the distribution of more than 160 million pounds of fresh produce among their network of 6,000 schools, churches, senior centers, soup kitchens and other community venues.
Grocery Outlet Bargain Market
Come learn how this grocery store is offering steep discounts on fresh, nutritious produce while helping save excess food and waste from the landfill. Grocery Outlet helps out their manufacturer partners by buying excess inventory and moving it quickly into their stores. Unlike the big chains, Grocery Outlet stores are mostly independently owned and operated by local families, so each store has its own local personality.
Berkeley or Davis Street Transfer Stations
The Davis Street Resource Recovery Complex and Transfer Station is a state-of-the-art facility designed to recover materials for reuse, recycling, or composting and to facilitate the transfer of trash to the Altamont Landfill. The Ecology Center in Berkeley manages the transfer station and iniatiated the first curbside recycling in the country. Their food waste and organic matter is shared with the local community as compost.
Back to the Roots
Back to the Roots is a company focused on bringing sustainable grow-at-home products into households. They produce a line of indoor gardening kits and aquaponic fish tanks for producing organic mushrooms, herbs and vegetables at home. Their mission is to reconnect families with where their food comes from. They began their company as students at CAL Berkeley where they used used Peets Coffee grounds to grow their mushrooms.
ReGrained + Brewery
At the end of the day we’ll enjoy a beer in the tasting room of a local brewerywhile enjoying a ReGrained energy bars made from up- cycled grain that has already served its purpose to the brewery. Not just a bakery, but more of a go-between the brewing industry and local food systems. They harvest grain from local breweries and up cycle “spent” grain it to create delicious, nutritious, and sustainable food to fight food waste at the tap!
Lunch Stops May Include
Meet with a community member and experience Agave Farm Fresh Oaxacan Mexican Restaurant. This destination is in Uptown Oakland’s Kapor Center for Social Impact. The spacious, ground-floor spot goes chic with natural wood, banquettes covered in festive fabrics and murals inspired by Oaxacan culture
Lake Chalet Waterfront Restaurant
Transforming Lake Merritt’s formerly dilapidated municipal building, this waterfront, 425-seat seafood behemoth offers oysters, calamari, and other oceanic bites, with a stunning view of the lake. Depending on mood and weather, diners can choose between a fireplace setting inside the grand, white tableclothed dining room, or a dock patio open year-round, located just a few breezy steps from the water.
Boxed Lunch from Town Kitchen
At this unique coworking kitchen the underserved youth are trained in culinary skills. Enjoy lunch on the beautiful and expansive Kaiser Rooftop Garden where participants will learn about Henry Kaiser and have a panoramic view of Lake Merritt and beautiful downtown Oakland. Check out historic pictures in the Kaiser building next door on the way in or out!