Green.org sat down with Justin Kamine, the Co-CEO of Do Good Foods, to learn how his company is working on upcycling food, and eliminating the huge amount of food that gets wasted each year. Do Good Food’s facilities are part of a scaled infrastructure approach to eliminating grocery store food waste by turning it into animal feed. Their closed-loop system is made possible through investors, retailers, and growers.
Justin, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I have been focused on environmental sustainability my entire life. My family’s background is that we have built ~$4B of infrastructure and so growing up my brother and I recognized that we can positively impact society and the environment at scale. 12 years ago we helped pioneer the solar industry by building ~100 megawatts of solar across New Jersey. Then about 5 years ago we started to look at what are some of the biggest problems within the environment that need to be solved at scale. We were shocked to hear that 40% of the food we grow is being thrown away and if food waste was a country it would be the third largest GHG emitter. At that moment we knew we had to do something about it and so our DNA as a family is to try to create a business at scale around solving this problem! That is how we came up with Do Good Foods!
What is a fun fact about you?
I actually grew up with a speech and hearing impediment and went to speech school from age 2 up until 8th grade. Now I essentially speak for a living!
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Climate change is happening all around us. We see it with our oceans with plastic in it, our waterways drying up, the hurricanes and fires becoming stronger and are even now seeing it affect the foods we have available. Most importantly, whether you believe in climate change or not…it is becoming a math equation. Resources are going down, population is going up and there is a tremendous amount of inefficiencies in the middle. We need to change the math equation and be more resourceful with consuming less!
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
I hope that Do Good Foods continues to be the pioneering company that helps drive society towards the reality that we can bring sustainability to scale and actually use our food system to solve some of the biggest environmental problems.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Honestly, the reason we are in the climate change problem is due to consumerism. We need to recognize that and know that our consumption of products everyday matters. Yet, the reality is, is that the systems are now so big that it becomes so difficult for people to quantify the real benefit of doing more sustainable things. That is why Do Good Chicken which is the first approved carbon reduced chicken that saves 4 lbs of surplus grocery food from being wasted and 3 lbs of GHG – finally makes climate change tangible to us all. Simply enjoy a delicious piece of chicken and now know that you are doing good for the planet!
Justin, thank you for sharing how you are working to upcycle food and eliminate the $408 billion of food that goes to waste each year.
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.