On a beautiful fall Saturday my dear friend Beth Hopping and I rode to Raleigh to join Dan Moore from Ninja Cow Farms on a food-waste-to-farm adventure. Dan and his team visit the Raleigh Farmer’s Market daily to pick up produce vendors deem as unsellable. This produce ranges from tomatoes with rotten spots to slightly wrinkled peppers. In most cases the produce is perfectly fine and edible, as seen in the pictures of the pumpkin and cucumber above. All this quality food would go to waste because of irrationally high consumers standards.
Dan Moore is the expert in customer service, and lays out buckets by each vendor’s stand for farmers’ convenience. Dan’s work does not go unappreciated, speaking with one farmer directly I was told about the unpleasant dumpster that is packed to it’s brim and stinks to high heaven. Dan allows farmers to avoid this rancid trip, and in exchange he feeds his pigs and cows local, nutritious and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Back at the farm, Beth and I watched the animals devour the food, and were astonished to learn that Dan has never had to pay for feed. During the winter season Dan picks up food waste from a local restaurant to supplement the scarce farm produce. Dan has a created a model that is beneficial to farmers, livestock, the environment, and his pocket.
Dan Moore is truly innovating the food system.