So, it’s been a week or twelve since I’ve offered up any fresh Food Saver Friday tips… And, that is kind of embarrassing to admit. Anyhow, last time we talked about food preservation and this week – this week we’re discussing a unique organization known as CropMobster.
CropMobster – Empowering Communities to Transform Food Waste
I recently had the opportunity to travel to sunny Sacramento, California to be in attendance at the first ever Farm Tank – a food sustainability meeting of the minds, if you will. While I was there, I met Nick Papadopoulos. Nick is the co-founder of CropMobster. He sat on the Farm Tank Food Technology panel. And after hearing him speak, I knew that I had to hunt him down, formally introduce myself, and learn more about him and CropMobster. Here’s what I learned.
Creation of CropMobster
One evening in March of 2013, Nick stood in his family’s farm cooler, looking up at several cases of pristine produce that had failed to sell at the farmer’s markets that week. Tired of feeding their award-winning crops to the chickens, Nick experienced an “aha” sort of moment. He took to Facebook, inviting anyone interested to come to the farm and pick up said produce at a discounted rate. Within the hour, every last case had found a new home. Instead of nourishing the chickens, it would be nourishing multiple members in the local community.
Nick continued to send out the Facebook alerts for the following few weeks. Then he had another “aha” moment, coming to the realization that what he was doing, crowdsourcing homes for food that would otherwise be wasted, could be done large -scale. And thus, CropMobster was born.
How CropMobster Works
CropMobster is a free service where anyone (farmers, grocers, food service vendors, literally – anyone) who has excess food can send out an alert. The alerts go out via Facebook, email, and other social media platforms, letting folks know what’s available – food, services, donations, or I even saw an alert featuring a ram (as in a male sheep) in need of a home recently.
Since its inception in 2013, CropMobster has grown from one community into three communities that serve five different states – California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. More importantly, CropMobster has re-homed more than two million pounds of food. That’s two million pounds of food that went on to nourish those in need and provide profit on produce that would have otherwise ended up chicken food, or worse rotting in the landfill.
“CropMobster’s mission is to empower communities to transform food waste, surplus and loss into new value, celebration and resource efficiency. We empower our clients with the knowledge, training and gear to harness the power of community to ignite crowdsourcing, sharing and measurable results.” – CropMobster.com
In a day and age when we are wasting enough food in one day to fill the Rose Bowl stadium and still have millions suffering from malnutrition, CropMobster communities are definitely a step in the right direction. If you are interested in stepping up to help bring an end to food waste and hunger, visit CropMobster.com to start a CropMobster community in your area.
Next Time on Food Saver Friday
Ever wonder if there is anything else you can do with those old coffee grounds, old egg shells, and pesky food scraps? Well, you are in luck! Stay tuned next time to learn how to re-purpose the most common kitchen scraps.
In the meantime if you have questions or ideas for future Food Saver Friday topics, feel free to leave them here in the comments, or shoot me an email using the Contact Me page. And if you’ve missed any of the food saving goodness, click here to catch up.