On Food Waste and Sustainability

If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest global emitter of greenhouse gases. (United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization) It is so frustrating to think about all the food waste and still there are people who are hungry. It makes no sense.

In order to do something about it, the United Nations set a goal to reduce food loss and waste in half by 2030. The U.S. set a national goal to do the same. Join me and special guests on this important topic. Kai Robertson is a Senior Corporate Sustainability Advisor at World Resources Institute, a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. Evan Hazelett is in charge of outreach at Imperfect Produce, an organization whose mission is to find a home for "ugly" fruits and vegetables through produce delivery and partnerships with Whole Foods and others.

Kai Robertson is the Lead Advisor for the Food Loss & Waste Protocol for World Resources Institute.

The FLW Protocol is a global collaboration of seven leading organizations that has developed the Food Loss & Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard. The FLW Standard empowers companies, countries, and others to quantify and report on food loss and waste in a credible, consistent, and transparent manner.

As Lead Advisor for the FLW Protocol, Kai has drawn on 25 years of working closely with companies and non-profits linked to the food sector.  She previously led the global food, beverage and agriculture advisory practice at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), and directed corporate partnerships at both World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International. Early in her career she researched, wrote, and presented on food industry trends for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the leading supermarket trade association in the U.S. Kai began her career in investment banking and has an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Evan Hazelett, in charge of outreach for Imperfect Produce
Evan grew up in Amherst, MA, a lovely New England town with great character and intellectual enthusiasm. He eagerly seeks to fill up all of his free time with an array of group activities — music, sports, reading (reading can be a group activity!), hiking, hanging with friends — which has been the case since he was very little. Evan went to Wesleyan University for undergrad where he studied economics and environmental studies, played soccer, sang in an a cappella group, and did theater. Two years out of college, he’s so thrilled to be living in the Bay Area working for the awesome social enterprise, Imperfect. It’s like a dream come true — he’s living in a place he dreamt of for quite some time working in the field he’s most passionate about surrounded by wonderful people, and gets to spend at least half of his time outside!

Imperfect was started by three national leaders in food waste. The Bens — Ben Chesler and Ben Simon — two of Imperfect’s co-founders, four years ago co-founded Food Recovery Network (FRN), an organization that galvanizes student volunteers to recover wasted food from their campus dining halls and donate it to those in need. Together, the Bens grew FRN to become the largest student led food waste movement in the country. Ron Clark, Imperfect’s third co-founder, worked with the California Association of Food Banks for 15 years, leading their Farm to Family program and building relationships with farmers across California. They united to tackle one of America’s biggest sources of food waste: the farm, where we throw away 20% of fresh fruits and vegetables because of minor cosmetic deficiencies. We buy that produce from farmers, box it up, and deliver it directly to homes at a huge discount.