Story at a glance

  • 820 million people are food insecure yet $2.6 trillion worth of food is wasted each year
  • Many start ups are trying to build systems to salvage the food waste that occurs at the harvest/post production stage.
  • Treasure 8 has built a dehydration system to extract nutrients from post production byproducts and redistribute them to companies who need them.

More than 820 million people around the world are food insecure, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Yet each year, $2.6 trillion worth of food is wasted by both consumers and producers. If we can reconcile those two facts, we can solve one of the world’s biggest problems.

There is a wave of new companies interested in rendering food waste into a resource. One such company in northern California, called Treasure 8, is focusing on the food waste that occurs during post-production. Using new drying technology they are able to efficiently extract nutrients from beer, almonds, fruits, vegetables, hemp, and other consumables that would have otherwise been wasted during harvest and production. They then re-harvest the extracted nutrients into products that they can distribute to companies in need of that resource. 

The drying systems that they have built are designed to be installed locally on the production plants or in the fields where the food is being harvested. They are currently partnered with businesses in the surrounding Bay Area but hope to expand and partner with countries with little to no infrastructure. 

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After the drying process is finished, the product is stored in in film packages and shipped to the partnered businesses. Treasure 8 also has a product that they sell directly to consumers, which can be purchased on their Ground Rules Foods platform. They are currently processing many tons of produce but plan on scaling up as they expand worldwide.

Founder and Co-CEO Timothy Childs says, “Our tagline is to deploy nutrition to humanity. And with that we’re focusing our entire effort on the first 1,000 days, which is the nutrition set for mom and baby in the first 9 months of pregnancy and then the 2 years of nutrition thereafter.”

They hope that their work will help provide affordable, nutritious food options to people who previously did not have access to healthy food. With the mounting concerns about food waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and global food insecurity, a Markets Insider estimate projected the global freeze-drying market could be a $90 billion industry by 2028.

(Some video imagery courtesy of Treasure 8)

Published on Nov 15, 2019