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June 2018

Midwest Food Recovery SummitThe IWRC has just announced that the 2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit will again host an Innovator Lightning Round and this year, with sponsorship from the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI), the winner of the 2018 Lightning Innovator Round will walk away with $1,000.

“We’ve partnered in the past with the Center for Business Growth and Innovation and it’s a natural fit to work together on the Innovator Lightning Round,” says Joe Bolick, Communications and PR Manager for the IWRC. "Using CBGI's format, we're making this year's Innovator Lightning Round more interactive and incorporating a voting process into it." 

From now until Tuesday, July 17, businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs can submit their innovative food waste solution for the contest. Accepted solutions will be part of an online voting period where innovators recruit clients, friends, family, long-lost relatives - everyone they know, to vote for their solution. The innovator with the highest number of votes gets an automatic invitation to take the stage at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit on Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Des Moines, IA, with five other innovators invited by the summit committee. 

The six finalists will have five minutes to present their solution followed by three minutes of rapid-fire questions from summit attendees. At the end, attendees will vote live to determine who walks away with the $1,000.

2017 Innovator Lightning Round WinnerLast year’s special event brought together six innovative businesses/non-profits who showcased their food waste reduction, recovery, and recycling efforts. After rapid-fire presentations and Q&A, attendees voted live for the most innovative and Laurel Burleson from Ugly Apple Cafe in Madison, WI won.

For more information and full timeline, head over to Innovator Lightning Round to learn about how it works!

2018 Innovator Lightning Round Winner Will Receive $1,000

Midwest Food Recovery SummitThe IWRC has just announced that the 2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit will again host an Innovator Lightning Round and this year, with sponsorship from the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI), the winner of the 2018 Lightning Innovator Round will walk away with $1,000.

“We’ve partnered in the past with the Center for Business Growth and Innovation and it’s a natural fit to work together on the Innovator Lightning Round,” says Joe Bolick, Communications and PR Manager for the IWRC. "Using CBGI's format, we're making this year's Innovator Lightning Round more interactive and incorporating a voting process into it." 

From now until Tuesday, July 17, businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs can submit their innovative food waste solution for the contest. Accepted solutions will be part of an online voting period where innovators recruit clients, friends, family, long-lost relatives - everyone they know, to vote for their solution. The innovator with the highest number of votes gets an automatic invitation to take the stage at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit on Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Des Moines, IA, with five other innovators invited by the summit committee. 

The six finalists will have five minutes to present their solution followed by three minutes of rapid-fire questions from summit attendees. At the end, attendees will vote live to determine who walks away with the $1,000.

2017 Innovator Lightning Round WinnerLast year’s special event brought together six innovative businesses/non-profits who showcased their food waste reduction, recovery, and recycling efforts. After rapid-fire presentations and Q&A, attendees voted live for the most innovative and Laurel Burleson from Ugly Apple Cafe in Madison, WI won.

For more information and full timeline, head over to Innovator Lightning Round to learn about how it works!

May 2018

We are 118 days away from the start of the 2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit so it seems like a great day to announce our first 18 breakout speakers. We are thrilled to have a few returning from last year as well as many new faces! These speakers are covering everything from source reduction and feeding people, recycling and recovery options, building partnerships and coalitions, and much more.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitSo without further ado, please help us in welcoming the following 18 breakout speakers:

Check out their full bios here and if you haven't signed up for email updates, sign up here to be the first to know about new speaker announcements, special events, deadlines, and more. 

 

 

Midwest Food Recovery Summit Speakers Announcement

We are 118 days away from the start of the 2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit so it seems like a great day to announce our first 18 breakout speakers. We are thrilled to have a few returning from last year as well as many new faces! These speakers are covering everything from source reduction and feeding people, recycling and recovery options, building partnerships and coalitions, and much more.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitSo without further ado, please help us in welcoming the following 18 breakout speakers:

Check out their full bios here and if you haven't signed up for email updates, sign up here to be the first to know about new speaker announcements, special events, deadlines, and more. 

 

 

February 2018

Call for PresentationsIs your organization or business doing something incredible to reduce, recycle, or recover food waste? Do you have a great case study that can help others take action? If so, share it with the attendees at the 2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit, taking place September 11-13, 2018 in Des Moines, IA.

Last year’s first-ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit brought together over 130 attendees from all over the United States (18 states overall) and Canada and discuss their food waste initiatives, case studies, and successes to overcome and tackle food waste.  Speakers came from numerous industries and focused on many levels of food recovery - source reduction, food insecurity, anaerobic digestion, composting, landfill operations, and more.

“I was impressed with the planning and organization of the conference. The keynote speakers, presenters for the breakout sessions, and participants in the Lighting Round were all. I don't know how they were found and selected but I am impressed. Excellent job in the first year! I would be honored to speak and attend again at future Midwest Food Recovery Summits.” Breakout speaker from 2018 summit

Speakers were able to share their insights and efforts in reducing food waste and attendees were able to learn strategies that could have a real effect within their organization with the greatest conversations taking place after the presentations.

“I had three people from three different states come up to me after my presentation and that’s all you can ask for.” Breakout speaker from 2017 summit

The Call For Presentations is open now until February 28. Accepted speakers will receive a discounted full registration or free one-day registration for the day they speak.  For more details and to submit your abstract, visit the Call for Presentations page.

Call for Presentations Open for Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Call for PresentationsIs your organization or business doing something incredible to reduce, recycle, or recover food waste? Do you have a great case study that can help others take action? If so, share it with the attendees at the 2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit, taking place September 11-13, 2018 in Des Moines, IA.

Last year’s first-ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit brought together over 130 attendees from all over the United States (18 states overall) and Canada and discuss their food waste initiatives, case studies, and successes to overcome and tackle food waste.  Speakers came from numerous industries and focused on many levels of food recovery - source reduction, food insecurity, anaerobic digestion, composting, landfill operations, and more.

“I was impressed with the planning and organization of the conference. The keynote speakers, presenters for the breakout sessions, and participants in the Lighting Round were all. I don't know how they were found and selected but I am impressed. Excellent job in the first year! I would be honored to speak and attend again at future Midwest Food Recovery Summits.” Breakout speaker from 2018 summit

Speakers were able to share their insights and efforts in reducing food waste and attendees were able to learn strategies that could have a real effect within their organization with the greatest conversations taking place after the presentations.

“I had three people from three different states come up to me after my presentation and that’s all you can ask for.” Breakout speaker from 2017 summit

The Call For Presentations is open now until February 28. Accepted speakers will receive a discounted full registration or free one-day registration for the day they speak.  For more details and to submit your abstract, visit the Call for Presentations page.

January 2018

Midwest Food Recovery SummitWe are excited to announce the second Midwest Food Recovery Summit will be held September 11-13, 2018 in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

The first summit was a great success as it created a setting for food waste to be at the forefront of discussion. There were representatives from an array of industries including educational institutions, manufacturers, non-profits, consulting firms and businesses in the service sector spanning food waste reduction, recovery, recycling, and diversion strategies and techniques. “We never intended to have another summit but demand is there,” says Dan Nickey, Interim Director at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. “And we just learned that the amount of organics in Iowa landfills has increased.”

This increase came to light with the release of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' 2017 Waste Characterization Study. In the 2011 study, food waste accounted for 13.3% of the municipal solid waste composition. In the 2017 study, food waste now accounts for 20.9% of the total composition and 7% of that remains in its original packaging, having never even been opened.

The 2018 summit will include keynotes, panel discussions, and interactive workshops that will allow attendees to discuss ways to tackle food waste as well as showcase their own efforts to reduce food waste. "I'm looking forward to building off of last years' momentum through continuing the discussion and collaboratively developing actionable solutions”, says Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager at the IWRC.

In February, a Call for Presentations will be available for those interested in speaking, registration will be open soon, and sponsorship opportunities are available now. For more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.

2018 Midwest Food Recovery Summit Announced

Midwest Food Recovery SummitWe are excited to announce the second Midwest Food Recovery Summit will be held September 11-13, 2018 in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

The first summit was a great success as it created a setting for food waste to be at the forefront of discussion. There were representatives from an array of industries including educational institutions, manufacturers, non-profits, consulting firms and businesses in the service sector spanning food waste reduction, recovery, recycling, and diversion strategies and techniques. “We never intended to have another summit but demand is there,” says Dan Nickey, Interim Director at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. “And we just learned that the amount of organics in Iowa landfills has increased.”

This increase came to light with the release of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' 2017 Waste Characterization Study. In the 2011 study, food waste accounted for 13.3% of the municipal solid waste composition. In the 2017 study, food waste now accounts for 20.9% of the total composition and 7% of that remains in its original packaging, having never even been opened.

The 2018 summit will include keynotes, panel discussions, and interactive workshops that will allow attendees to discuss ways to tackle food waste as well as showcase their own efforts to reduce food waste. "I'm looking forward to building off of last years' momentum through continuing the discussion and collaboratively developing actionable solutions”, says Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager at the IWRC.

In February, a Call for Presentations will be available for those interested in speaking, registration will be open soon, and sponsorship opportunities are available now. For more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.

September 2017

Midwest Food Recovery SummitIn planning and implementing the 2017 Midwest Food Recovery Summit, the IWRC knew we wanted sustainability to be at the forefront of our efforts. For two-and-a-half days in September 2017, attendees came from 18 states, from the West Coast to the East Coast, and even from Ontario, Canada, all to focus on reducing, recycling, and recovering food waste. In bringing so many people together for a multi-day event, we knew we wanted to implement sustainability measures into the core of the event so are six ways you may or may not have noticed those efforts at the summit.

Food Summit App

While the summit was in its planning stages, we brainstormed ways to keep everyone informed in a sustainable and efficient way. We decided to ditch the traditionally printed conference booklet entirely and go digital using a mobile application. It was a great way to reduce paper that would end up in the recycling bin or even worse, the trash. It also allowed us to share a large amount of information to the palm of each attendee’s hand, have a live poll during the Innovator Lightning Round and gave attendees the opportunity to rate sessions without needing paper.

Midwest Food Recovery Summit Name BadgesName Tags

Did you happen by chance to take a closer look at your name tag? The name tag material is called seed paper. This plantable paper is regular paper, but has been infused with seeds of either carrots, lettuce, or tomatoes!. So attendees are able to plant their name badges and grow their own vegetables in the backyard.

Midwest Food Recovery Summit, Food ScrapsNo Food Waste

As the summit was created to educate about food waste, it is only fair that there be a no food waste policy. This was a primary focus when we began looking at venues and the Des Moines Marriott Downtown hit the mark. They had already implemented source reduction and donation strategies into the kitchen, plus they were working with an Iowa-based hauler, GreenRU, to collect their food scraps for compost. Additionally, with the plans for Saving Scraps: A Culinary Competition in place, we needed food. Instead of placing orders for food to be used in the competition, the Des Moines Marriott Downtown was more than willing to help save food scraps. Not only did they save excess food and scraps directly from the summit meals for the students to use, but they also saved food from the previous weekend when a wedding was held at the venue.

And did you notice the bright orange bins in the exhibit hall? Those were generously provided by one of the summit sponsors, GreenRU. All of the food in the exhibit hall went right into those bins.

Compostable plates and bowls

Compostable BowlsFurther emphasizing GreenRU’s sponsorship with the summit were the compostable plates and bowls used in the exhibit hall. Thanks to Chamness Biodegradables, we were able to provide compostable plates and bowls so that attendees could take the little bit of salsa that was left with their nachos and compost the bowl right along with it.

Non-Disposable Plates, Cups and Silverware

When serving meals, we did not want styrofoam or plastic to be used and luckily, the Des Moines Marriott Downtown already used non-disposable plates, glasses and metal silverware. It not only gave the conference a very formal feel, but it also took the place of dinnerware that would inevitably end up in the garbage.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitRecycling

Throughout the entire facility, there were recycling containers alongside the compost bins. Any paper products that were being used could easily be recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. All of the signs, banners, papers, etc. that were used during the summit were made out of material that can be recycled or reused. And for those of you that left behind your badge holder and lanyard, thank you! We'll be able to use those at future events.

If you're planning an event, we highly suggest really looking at the materials you're using to see if there are alternatives you can use in order to reduce less waste. 


Aaron JarnaginAbout the Author
Aaron Jarnagin
Marketing Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

6 Sustainability Measures of the 2017 Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Midwest Food Recovery SummitIn planning and implementing the 2017 Midwest Food Recovery Summit, the IWRC knew we wanted sustainability to be at the forefront of our efforts. For two-and-a-half days in September 2017, attendees came from 18 states, from the West Coast to the East Coast, and even from Ontario, Canada, all to focus on reducing, recycling, and recovering food waste. In bringing so many people together for a multi-day event, we knew we wanted to implement sustainability measures into the core of the event so are six ways you may or may not have noticed those efforts at the summit.

Food Summit App

While the summit was in its planning stages, we brainstormed ways to keep everyone informed in a sustainable and efficient way. We decided to ditch the traditionally printed conference booklet entirely and go digital using a mobile application. It was a great way to reduce paper that would end up in the recycling bin or even worse, the trash. It also allowed us to share a large amount of information to the palm of each attendee’s hand, have a live poll during the Innovator Lightning Round and gave attendees the opportunity to rate sessions without needing paper.

Midwest Food Recovery Summit Name BadgesName Tags

Did you happen by chance to take a closer look at your name tag? The name tag material is called seed paper. This plantable paper is regular paper, but has been infused with seeds of either carrots, lettuce, or tomatoes!. So attendees are able to plant their name badges and grow their own vegetables in the backyard.

Midwest Food Recovery Summit, Food ScrapsNo Food Waste

As the summit was created to educate about food waste, it is only fair that there be a no food waste policy. This was a primary focus when we began looking at venues and the Des Moines Marriott Downtown hit the mark. They had already implemented source reduction and donation strategies into the kitchen, plus they were working with an Iowa-based hauler, GreenRU, to collect their food scraps for compost. Additionally, with the plans for Saving Scraps: A Culinary Competition in place, we needed food. Instead of placing orders for food to be used in the competition, the Des Moines Marriott Downtown was more than willing to help save food scraps. Not only did they save excess food and scraps directly from the summit meals for the students to use, but they also saved food from the previous weekend when a wedding was held at the venue.

And did you notice the bright orange bins in the exhibit hall? Those were generously provided by one of the summit sponsors, GreenRU. All of the food in the exhibit hall went right into those bins.

Compostable plates and bowls

Compostable BowlsFurther emphasizing GreenRU’s sponsorship with the summit were the compostable plates and bowls used in the exhibit hall. Thanks to Chamness Biodegradables, we were able to provide compostable plates and bowls so that attendees could take the little bit of salsa that was left with their nachos and compost the bowl right along with it.

Non-Disposable Plates, Cups and Silverware

When serving meals, we did not want styrofoam or plastic to be used and luckily, the Des Moines Marriott Downtown already used non-disposable plates, glasses and metal silverware. It not only gave the conference a very formal feel, but it also took the place of dinnerware that would inevitably end up in the garbage.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitRecycling

Throughout the entire facility, there were recycling containers alongside the compost bins. Any paper products that were being used could easily be recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. All of the signs, banners, papers, etc. that were used during the summit were made out of material that can be recycled or reused. And for those of you that left behind your badge holder and lanyard, thank you! We'll be able to use those at future events.

If you're planning an event, we highly suggest really looking at the materials you're using to see if there are alternatives you can use in order to reduce less waste. 


Aaron JarnaginAbout the Author
Aaron Jarnagin
Marketing Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Looking back, we are very proud of what transpired at the first ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit. With two strategic partners, U.S. EPA and BioCycle, we welcomed 130 registered attendees from both coasts of the United States and many in between (a total of 18 states were represented) as well as Washington D.C. and even Ontario, Canada for two-and-a-half days that included two keynote presentations, 18 breakout sessions, and many opportunities for networking and building the basis for further collaboration to propel food waste reduction, recycling, and recovery.

The speakers and exhibitors did a phenomenal job sharing their expertise and offering powerful insight to everyone. We also must mention the talented students from the Culinary Arts program at the Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus who took food scraps and competed to claim the “Most Innovative” and “Best Tasting” awards for their work. There were so many great discussions, events, and connections that made this summit a success, and it all went off without a hitch.

Earlier this year, we shared What We’re Looking Forward to at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit so we decided to flip the switch now that the summit is over. I took some time to ask the members of the planning committee what they thought the best part of the summit was and they were all thrilled with the event in its entirety, and that made it difficult to narrow it down, but here are their favorite parts.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitLEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE

"The chance to network and meet all of the people across the Midwest who are truly interested in trying to reduce the amount of food that is wasted in this country. It was great to see the energy of the kids in the cooking competition and their great skills. The enthusiasm of the younger participants on the issues shows a lot of good leadership for the future for addressing this issue." Dan Nickey, Interim Director

Bringing Food Waste to the Forefront

"The engagement is what was awesome to me. Watching people walk out of sessions and still continuing the conversation. Seeing people out in the evening in that same conversation. That was the goal, in my mind, of the summit which was to bring food waste to the forefront and make it a part of the discussion and do it in a unique way. I think we accomplished that goal extremely well." Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager

Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Sharing Data and Methodologies

"All of the networking opportunities because there were people from all over the country and Canada. So finding people who are doing similar research like what we are doing when it comes to food waste is awesome.  And now, we're collaborating with these people that we did not know before and we’re doing food waste projects. We’re sharing data and sharing methodologies so that in the future we can continue to work together." Jenny Trent, Environmental Specialist

GREATER UNDERSTANDING

"My favorite part of the Midwest Food Recovery Summit was providing the opportunity to bring together a group of people with a common interest. It was a place where many connections were made and ideas were free-flowing.  Everyone seemed to walk away with a greater understanding of the food waste issue and were motivated with new ideas and information to take back to their organizations." Jen Wittenburg, Program Manager

NETWORKING

"There were many moments throughout the summit that made me proud of what the IWRC accomplished but overwhelmingly, it was the networking that stands out. The summit provided a place for people that may have never crossed paths to meet. I had the chance to firsthand watch attendees collaborate with each other, learn about new strategies they can use, hear from someone who has tried what they're doing about what doesn't work and overall make a new connection that they will use moving forward long after they left the summit." Lea Hensel, Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Couldn't join us at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit? You can check out pictures over on the Iowa Waste Reduction Center's Facebook page. The main album, Midwest Food Recovery Summit, has pictures of the breakout sessions, speakers, and networking that took place throughout the summit. And Saving Scraps: A Culinary Competition is all the pictures from the Thursday night event. 


Aaron JarnaginAbout the Author
Aaron Jarnagin
Marketing Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

Midwest Food Recovery Summit Recap

Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Looking back, we are very proud of what transpired at the first ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit. With two strategic partners, U.S. EPA and BioCycle, we welcomed 130 registered attendees from both coasts of the United States and many in between (a total of 18 states were represented) as well as Washington D.C. and even Ontario, Canada for two-and-a-half days that included two keynote presentations, 18 breakout sessions, and many opportunities for networking and building the basis for further collaboration to propel food waste reduction, recycling, and recovery.

The speakers and exhibitors did a phenomenal job sharing their expertise and offering powerful insight to everyone. We also must mention the talented students from the Culinary Arts program at the Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus who took food scraps and competed to claim the “Most Innovative” and “Best Tasting” awards for their work. There were so many great discussions, events, and connections that made this summit a success, and it all went off without a hitch.

Earlier this year, we shared What We’re Looking Forward to at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit so we decided to flip the switch now that the summit is over. I took some time to ask the members of the planning committee what they thought the best part of the summit was and they were all thrilled with the event in its entirety, and that made it difficult to narrow it down, but here are their favorite parts.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitLEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE

"The chance to network and meet all of the people across the Midwest who are truly interested in trying to reduce the amount of food that is wasted in this country. It was great to see the energy of the kids in the cooking competition and their great skills. The enthusiasm of the younger participants on the issues shows a lot of good leadership for the future for addressing this issue." Dan Nickey, Interim Director

Bringing Food Waste to the Forefront

"The engagement is what was awesome to me. Watching people walk out of sessions and still continuing the conversation. Seeing people out in the evening in that same conversation. That was the goal, in my mind, of the summit which was to bring food waste to the forefront and make it a part of the discussion and do it in a unique way. I think we accomplished that goal extremely well." Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager

Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Sharing Data and Methodologies

"All of the networking opportunities because there were people from all over the country and Canada. So finding people who are doing similar research like what we are doing when it comes to food waste is awesome.  And now, we're collaborating with these people that we did not know before and we’re doing food waste projects. We’re sharing data and sharing methodologies so that in the future we can continue to work together." Jenny Trent, Environmental Specialist

GREATER UNDERSTANDING

"My favorite part of the Midwest Food Recovery Summit was providing the opportunity to bring together a group of people with a common interest. It was a place where many connections were made and ideas were free-flowing.  Everyone seemed to walk away with a greater understanding of the food waste issue and were motivated with new ideas and information to take back to their organizations." Jen Wittenburg, Program Manager

NETWORKING

"There were many moments throughout the summit that made me proud of what the IWRC accomplished but overwhelmingly, it was the networking that stands out. The summit provided a place for people that may have never crossed paths to meet. I had the chance to firsthand watch attendees collaborate with each other, learn about new strategies they can use, hear from someone who has tried what they're doing about what doesn't work and overall make a new connection that they will use moving forward long after they left the summit." Lea Hensel, Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Couldn't join us at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit? You can check out pictures over on the Iowa Waste Reduction Center's Facebook page. The main album, Midwest Food Recovery Summit, has pictures of the breakout sessions, speakers, and networking that took place throughout the summit. And Saving Scraps: A Culinary Competition is all the pictures from the Thursday night event. 


Aaron JarnaginAbout the Author
Aaron Jarnagin
Marketing Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

August 2017

The Iowa Waste Reduction Center is partnering with the Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus’ Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management program to host a cooking competition using food scraps.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitSaving Scraps: A Culinary Competition is taking place at the IWRC’s Midwest Food Recovery Summit held September 6-8 in Des Moines, IA. “Our students are very excited for the chance to show off their culinary skills working with food that would have otherwise gone to waste,” says John Andres, Culinary Arts Instructor at Central Campus. “The success of any food service operator is closely tied to thoughtful utilization of food product, so this is just a fantastic learning opportunity for the kids.”

“With an event entirely about how to not waste food, we wanted something fun to bring everyone together and truly showcase what can be done with scraps and leftovers,” says Joe Bolick, Communication and Public Relations Manager at the IWRC. “The Des Moines Marriott Downtown already collects all of their food scraps and waste for composting so they will be holding some extra back for us.”

Items like vegetable peels, herb stems, leftover sauces, or excess soup are all game for the competition and students won’t know what they’re cooking with until the ingredients are unveiled live at the event.

Once the students learn what they’re cooking with, they will have an hour and a half to plan, prep, cook and plate the dish for three judges who will taste and score.

To register for the summit or for more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.

Saving Scraps: A Culinary Competition

The Iowa Waste Reduction Center is partnering with the Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus’ Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management program to host a cooking competition using food scraps.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitSaving Scraps: A Culinary Competition is taking place at the IWRC’s Midwest Food Recovery Summit held September 6-8 in Des Moines, IA. “Our students are very excited for the chance to show off their culinary skills working with food that would have otherwise gone to waste,” says John Andres, Culinary Arts Instructor at Central Campus. “The success of any food service operator is closely tied to thoughtful utilization of food product, so this is just a fantastic learning opportunity for the kids.”

“With an event entirely about how to not waste food, we wanted something fun to bring everyone together and truly showcase what can be done with scraps and leftovers,” says Joe Bolick, Communication and Public Relations Manager at the IWRC. “The Des Moines Marriott Downtown already collects all of their food scraps and waste for composting so they will be holding some extra back for us.”

Items like vegetable peels, herb stems, leftover sauces, or excess soup are all game for the competition and students won’t know what they’re cooking with until the ingredients are unveiled live at the event.

Once the students learn what they’re cooking with, they will have an hour and a half to plan, prep, cook and plate the dish for three judges who will taste and score.

To register for the summit or for more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.

With the Midwest Food Recovery Summit agenda out, we are excited to share about the events taking place during the two-and-a-half day event, in particular, the Innovator Lightning Round.

summitSkylineLogo_vertical.png

Through the agenda planning part of the summit, we have learned about so many awesome organizations and businesses that are being truly innovative in reducing food waste or improving food recovery and wanted a way for them to share their innovations with the summit audience.

So from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, eight innovative companies and organizations from throughout the Midwest will present flash presentations about the ways they have figured out to prevent, reduce, recover, and/or recycle food that would have otherwise been thrown away. These speedy presentations will be just the way everybody likes them, short, sweet and to the point. Come partake in a fun afternoon that will leave you feeling inspired to be inventive when it comes to food waste reduction!

The Innovators

  • Healthy Food for All (Madison, WI)

    • Presenter: Chris Brockel, Healthy Food for All Project Coordinator/Operations Coordinator at FEED Kitchens

    • Healthy Food for All is a food recovery effort program seeking to help their very own community members. They gather, clean and repackage food from farms and corporate cafeterias to then distribute to the food pantries and neighborhoods throughout Madison. Their mission is to ensure all children and families can access affordable and healthy food options with endeavors in obtaining healthier lifestyles.  

  • KinoSol (Ames, IA)

    • Presenter: Mikayla Sullivan

    • KinoSol is a company striving to end food waste by the invention of the Orenda, a solar powered food dehydrator intended for subsistence farmers located all over the world. Not only does an Orenda reduce food waste, but increases the food nutrients in every fruit, vegetable and grain that is dried. This company strongly values sustainability and hopes you can sponsor an Orenda to a subsistence farmer in need.

  • Ugly Apple Cafe (Madison, WI)

    • Presenter: Laurel Burleson, Chef/Owner

    • If you are looking for a fast and fresh breakfast that is served all day long then Ugly Apple Cafe is the place to go. Ugly Apple Cafe is a food cart company with the intentions of limiting food waste by using local farmer’s overstock produce. Ugly Apple Cafe also wholeheartedly commits to help Madison’s less fortunate get the food they need.

  • Compost Connect (Milwaukee, WI)

    • Presenter: Harini Aiyer, Founder & CEO

    • Compost Connect is an online platform that connects urban residents with local compost haulers to promote food waste diversion. It actively promotes the importance of composting and encourages everyone to grow with their company by finding a local compost hauler to dump empty scraps. Compost Connect strives to “put the planet before profit.”

  • Quad Cities Food Hub (Davenport, IA)

    • Presenter: Liz Hogan, Operations Director

    • The Quad Cities Food Hub is a  bi-state initiative that connects farmers and consumers in Iowa and Illinois in an effort to augment regional local food production and consumption. The Quad Cities Food Hub helps to meet the health, social, economic and environmental needs of communities within that region. The organization is part of a network of Regional Food System Working Groups in the state of Iowa.

    • Presenters: Jodi & Lee Wulfekuhle, Owner

    • Ultra Compost, located in the heart of Iowa and family operated company, can provide you with all of your organic plant food needs. It is a composting product in the form of bagged plant food. Using Ultra Compost reduces the fertilizers and pesticides many use to grow their lawn or plants. Instead, this product allows you to save time and money all while improving low quality soils in your very own yards. It is “composting without the mess”.

Registration is still open to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. The Innovator Lightning Round is sandwiched between two keynote presentations, 17 breakout sessions, and a really cool cooking competition! Visit https://iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit/agenda to check out the full agenda and register!

Innovator Lightning Round Announced

With the Midwest Food Recovery Summit agenda out, we are excited to share about the events taking place during the two-and-a-half day event, in particular, the Innovator Lightning Round.

summitSkylineLogo_vertical.png

Through the agenda planning part of the summit, we have learned about so many awesome organizations and businesses that are being truly innovative in reducing food waste or improving food recovery and wanted a way for them to share their innovations with the summit audience.

So from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, eight innovative companies and organizations from throughout the Midwest will present flash presentations about the ways they have figured out to prevent, reduce, recover, and/or recycle food that would have otherwise been thrown away. These speedy presentations will be just the way everybody likes them, short, sweet and to the point. Come partake in a fun afternoon that will leave you feeling inspired to be inventive when it comes to food waste reduction!

The Innovators

  • Healthy Food for All (Madison, WI)

    • Presenter: Chris Brockel, Healthy Food for All Project Coordinator/Operations Coordinator at FEED Kitchens

    • Healthy Food for All is a food recovery effort program seeking to help their very own community members. They gather, clean and repackage food from farms and corporate cafeterias to then distribute to the food pantries and neighborhoods throughout Madison. Their mission is to ensure all children and families can access affordable and healthy food options with endeavors in obtaining healthier lifestyles.  

  • KinoSol (Ames, IA)

    • Presenter: Mikayla Sullivan

    • KinoSol is a company striving to end food waste by the invention of the Orenda, a solar powered food dehydrator intended for subsistence farmers located all over the world. Not only does an Orenda reduce food waste, but increases the food nutrients in every fruit, vegetable and grain that is dried. This company strongly values sustainability and hopes you can sponsor an Orenda to a subsistence farmer in need.

  • Ugly Apple Cafe (Madison, WI)

    • Presenter: Laurel Burleson, Chef/Owner

    • If you are looking for a fast and fresh breakfast that is served all day long then Ugly Apple Cafe is the place to go. Ugly Apple Cafe is a food cart company with the intentions of limiting food waste by using local farmer’s overstock produce. Ugly Apple Cafe also wholeheartedly commits to help Madison’s less fortunate get the food they need.

  • Compost Connect (Milwaukee, WI)

    • Presenter: Harini Aiyer, Founder & CEO

    • Compost Connect is an online platform that connects urban residents with local compost haulers to promote food waste diversion. It actively promotes the importance of composting and encourages everyone to grow with their company by finding a local compost hauler to dump empty scraps. Compost Connect strives to “put the planet before profit.”

  • Quad Cities Food Hub (Davenport, IA)

    • Presenter: Liz Hogan, Operations Director

    • The Quad Cities Food Hub is a  bi-state initiative that connects farmers and consumers in Iowa and Illinois in an effort to augment regional local food production and consumption. The Quad Cities Food Hub helps to meet the health, social, economic and environmental needs of communities within that region. The organization is part of a network of Regional Food System Working Groups in the state of Iowa.

    • Presenters: Jodi & Lee Wulfekuhle, Owner

    • Ultra Compost, located in the heart of Iowa and family operated company, can provide you with all of your organic plant food needs. It is a composting product in the form of bagged plant food. Using Ultra Compost reduces the fertilizers and pesticides many use to grow their lawn or plants. Instead, this product allows you to save time and money all while improving low quality soils in your very own yards. It is “composting without the mess”.

Registration is still open to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. The Innovator Lightning Round is sandwiched between two keynote presentations, 17 breakout sessions, and a really cool cooking competition! Visit https://iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit/agenda to check out the full agenda and register!

July 2017

We are excited to announce the Thursday keynote speaker for September’s Midwest Food Recovery Summit - Mindy Stinner, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Conservators Center in NC. Mindy Stinner“I've been to many conferences focusing on food waste reduction, recovery and recycling. I've never heard someone speak about feeding lions, tigers and other carnivore species by utilizing food that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill,” says Jenny Trent, agenda planning lead for the summit. “After speaking with Mindy, it was evident to me that her passion runs deep and that she isn't like some of the folks I've had discussion with about food waste. Mindy and her organization, the Conservators Center, are outstanding, thrilling, and innovative.”

Stinner’s professional background began after graduating from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill when she worked as an English teacher and began volunteering at a facility with a focus on carnivore species. Then in 1999, she co-founded the Conservators Center with Douglas Evans. They chose to found the Conservators Center with a mission to help the public learn about carnivore species in the most effective way, by ensuring a personal encounter and connection to the animals through individualized experiences in a way that differentiates the Center from other facilities.

During the Center’s early years, Mindy was the animal keeper, office manager, networker, construction worker and guiding force. Today, other than standard executive duties, Mindy’s role includes assessing and addressing proposed legislation and changes in regulatory policy that may impact the Center, and ensuring the Center’s compliance. She represents the Center at zoological industry conferences and emergency management planning and training sessions, and gives presentations to other organizations on topics including husbandry best practices, managing the media, and legislative/regulatory oversight in the zoological industry.

Outside the Center, Mindy serves as the Vice President of the Feline Conservation Federation, and the primary instructor and revisionist for the FCF Wild Felid Husbandry Course. She received a lifetime achievement award from the FCF in 2010. She also maintains professional memberships in several trade organizations.

Trent continues, “I'm really looking forward to hearing about how the Conservators Center was founded and how Mindy began feeding her animals by making connections with commercial entities to collect the food they normally throw away. Mindy is also interested in making connections with farmers to utilize expired animals as feed for the Conservators Center, which has many challenges and roadblocks to overcome. I'm so excited to hear Mindy's presentation - who can resist lions and tigers and binturongs?” Yes, binturongs.

Check out the Midwest Food Recovery Summit agenda to learn more about Mindy's presentation and see the speaker line-up. 

Midwest Food Recovery Summit Keynote Announcement

We are excited to announce the Thursday keynote speaker for September’s Midwest Food Recovery Summit - Mindy Stinner, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Conservators Center in NC. Mindy Stinner“I've been to many conferences focusing on food waste reduction, recovery and recycling. I've never heard someone speak about feeding lions, tigers and other carnivore species by utilizing food that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill,” says Jenny Trent, agenda planning lead for the summit. “After speaking with Mindy, it was evident to me that her passion runs deep and that she isn't like some of the folks I've had discussion with about food waste. Mindy and her organization, the Conservators Center, are outstanding, thrilling, and innovative.”

Stinner’s professional background began after graduating from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill when she worked as an English teacher and began volunteering at a facility with a focus on carnivore species. Then in 1999, she co-founded the Conservators Center with Douglas Evans. They chose to found the Conservators Center with a mission to help the public learn about carnivore species in the most effective way, by ensuring a personal encounter and connection to the animals through individualized experiences in a way that differentiates the Center from other facilities.

During the Center’s early years, Mindy was the animal keeper, office manager, networker, construction worker and guiding force. Today, other than standard executive duties, Mindy’s role includes assessing and addressing proposed legislation and changes in regulatory policy that may impact the Center, and ensuring the Center’s compliance. She represents the Center at zoological industry conferences and emergency management planning and training sessions, and gives presentations to other organizations on topics including husbandry best practices, managing the media, and legislative/regulatory oversight in the zoological industry.

Outside the Center, Mindy serves as the Vice President of the Feline Conservation Federation, and the primary instructor and revisionist for the FCF Wild Felid Husbandry Course. She received a lifetime achievement award from the FCF in 2010. She also maintains professional memberships in several trade organizations.

Trent continues, “I'm really looking forward to hearing about how the Conservators Center was founded and how Mindy began feeding her animals by making connections with commercial entities to collect the food they normally throw away. Mindy is also interested in making connections with farmers to utilize expired animals as feed for the Conservators Center, which has many challenges and roadblocks to overcome. I'm so excited to hear Mindy's presentation - who can resist lions and tigers and binturongs?” Yes, binturongs.

Check out the Midwest Food Recovery Summit agenda to learn more about Mindy's presentation and see the speaker line-up. 

June 2017

The deadline to take advantage of early bird registration discounts is ending soon!

motionmailapp.com countdown timer

June 30 is the cut-off date before registration prices increase for attendees and exhibitors for the Midwest Food Recovery Summit.

Hosted by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center along with partnership from BioCycle, the summit is taking place September 6-8 in Des Moines, IA. Accompanying Tom Vilsack* in the opening keynote presentation include a continually growing list of dynamic and innovative experts rounding out the breakout sessions for what will be an all-encompassing event bringing togTom Vilsacether food waste reduction and recovery individuals from many industries.

Whether you’re looking for ways to reduce food waste, networking opportunities with industry leaders, or want to see what is new and innovative throughout the industries joining us, you won’t want to miss the first ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit! For more information and to register, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.


*Update: Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, Mr. Vilsack will not be able to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. 

 

Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching for Midwest Food Recovery Summit

The deadline to take advantage of early bird registration discounts is ending soon!

motionmailapp.com countdown timer

June 30 is the cut-off date before registration prices increase for attendees and exhibitors for the Midwest Food Recovery Summit.

Hosted by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center along with partnership from BioCycle, the summit is taking place September 6-8 in Des Moines, IA. Accompanying Tom Vilsack* in the opening keynote presentation include a continually growing list of dynamic and innovative experts rounding out the breakout sessions for what will be an all-encompassing event bringing togTom Vilsacether food waste reduction and recovery individuals from many industries.

Whether you’re looking for ways to reduce food waste, networking opportunities with industry leaders, or want to see what is new and innovative throughout the industries joining us, you won’t want to miss the first ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit! For more information and to register, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.


*Update: Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, Mr. Vilsack will not be able to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. 

 

May 2017

We are nearing the 100 day mark until the Midwest Food Recovery Summit! We've already shared *Mr. Tom Vilsack as an opening keynote speaker but now we are excited to begin sharing the amazing line-up of speakers that will be joining us! Behind the scenes, the agenda committee has been talking to speakers from all over in order to bring you dynamic presentations and insightful panel discussion from experts throughout the entire food system.

As of today, we have speakers coming to us from 13 states, plus Canada. The first batch includes two speakers from right here in Iowa and each one will be bringing something different to the agenda. Keep reading to see who’s joining us and stay tuned as we share more speakers with you in the upcoming weeks.

  • Jen Jordan, City of Iowa City
  • Jay Kahn, Central Michigan University
  • Brenden McCrann, Future Point, LLC
  • Christina McDonough, Scott County Health Department
  • Rachel Morier, PAC Packaging Consortium
  • Andrea Northup, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Aleks Poldma, Enviro-Stewards
  • Brian Roe, Ohio State University
  • Bruce Taylor, Enviro-Stewards

We'll be adding more speakers to the list over the upcoming weeks and an agenda will be available soon but in the meantime head over to the Speaker page to learn more about each of the speakers you'll get to learn from at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit.


*Update: Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, Mr. Vilsack will not be able to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. 

 

Breakout Speakers Announced for Midwest Food Recovery Summit

We are nearing the 100 day mark until the Midwest Food Recovery Summit! We've already shared *Mr. Tom Vilsack as an opening keynote speaker but now we are excited to begin sharing the amazing line-up of speakers that will be joining us! Behind the scenes, the agenda committee has been talking to speakers from all over in order to bring you dynamic presentations and insightful panel discussion from experts throughout the entire food system.

As of today, we have speakers coming to us from 13 states, plus Canada. The first batch includes two speakers from right here in Iowa and each one will be bringing something different to the agenda. Keep reading to see who’s joining us and stay tuned as we share more speakers with you in the upcoming weeks.

  • Jen Jordan, City of Iowa City
  • Jay Kahn, Central Michigan University
  • Brenden McCrann, Future Point, LLC
  • Christina McDonough, Scott County Health Department
  • Rachel Morier, PAC Packaging Consortium
  • Andrea Northup, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Aleks Poldma, Enviro-Stewards
  • Brian Roe, Ohio State University
  • Bruce Taylor, Enviro-Stewards

We'll be adding more speakers to the list over the upcoming weeks and an agenda will be available soon but in the meantime head over to the Speaker page to learn more about each of the speakers you'll get to learn from at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit.


*Update: Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, Mr. Vilsack will not be able to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. 

 

March 2017

Here at the IWRC, we are excited to announce the first speaker for the upcoming Midwest Food Recovery Summit. Mr. Tom Vilsack, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Iowa governor, will be opening up the summit on Wednesday, September 6. Here are some quick things you need to know about our first announced keynote.

Mr. Tom VilsackHe is the former United States Secretary of Agriculture.

Vilsack joined the U.S. Dairy Export Council in January 2017 after serving eight years as the nation’s 30th Secretary of Agriculture, where he worked to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the innovation of rural America. Vilsack was the longest-serving member of President Obama’s original Cabinet.

Under his leadership, food waste received a jumpstart at the federal level.

In 2015, the USDA and the EPA announced the first ever food waste reduction goal -- cutting our nation's food waste by 50% by the year 2030. The agencies devised a plan to create U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions which are businesses and organizations dedicated to reducing food waste. Since its launch, the USDA has been responsible for educating consumers about food loss and waste, providing information about on-farm storage as well as connecting fresh produce with charitable organizations. Did we mention the USDA headquarters even increased their composting efforts? Each action and commitment helped to normalize the issue of food waste with Americans.

He’s still working in the agriculture sector.

As president and CEO, Vilsack provides strategic leadership and oversight for the U.S. Dairy Export Council global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives. This includes working with industry leaders to develop a long-term vision for building sales and consumer trust in U.S. dairy.

He’s always been an Iowa advocate.

Although he was born in Pittsburg, Vilsack found a home in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He began his political career as the mayor of Mount Pleasant in 1987, continued as state senator, and eventually became governor of Iowa in 1999. Between 1999 and 2007, Vilsack worked alongside Iowans to enhance agriculture as well as invest in new technologies for the state.

We’re excited to welcome Mr. Vilsack back to Iowa in September as part of our summit. We hope you’ll join us and hundreds of food waste and food recovery advocates in Des Moines from September 6-8 to hear from Mr. Vilsack and many other leading industry experts. You can learn more about the summit and register online at https://iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.


 Update: Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, Mr. Vilsack will not be able to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. 


Mallory FeeneyAbout the Author
Mallory Feeney
PR and Communications Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

 

Midwest Food Recovery Summit Keynote Announced: Mr. Tom Vilsack

Here at the IWRC, we are excited to announce the first speaker for the upcoming Midwest Food Recovery Summit. Mr. Tom Vilsack, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Iowa governor, will be opening up the summit on Wednesday, September 6. Here are some quick things you need to know about our first announced keynote.

Mr. Tom VilsackHe is the former United States Secretary of Agriculture.

Vilsack joined the U.S. Dairy Export Council in January 2017 after serving eight years as the nation’s 30th Secretary of Agriculture, where he worked to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the innovation of rural America. Vilsack was the longest-serving member of President Obama’s original Cabinet.

Under his leadership, food waste received a jumpstart at the federal level.

In 2015, the USDA and the EPA announced the first ever food waste reduction goal -- cutting our nation's food waste by 50% by the year 2030. The agencies devised a plan to create U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions which are businesses and organizations dedicated to reducing food waste. Since its launch, the USDA has been responsible for educating consumers about food loss and waste, providing information about on-farm storage as well as connecting fresh produce with charitable organizations. Did we mention the USDA headquarters even increased their composting efforts? Each action and commitment helped to normalize the issue of food waste with Americans.

He’s still working in the agriculture sector.

As president and CEO, Vilsack provides strategic leadership and oversight for the U.S. Dairy Export Council global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives. This includes working with industry leaders to develop a long-term vision for building sales and consumer trust in U.S. dairy.

He’s always been an Iowa advocate.

Although he was born in Pittsburg, Vilsack found a home in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He began his political career as the mayor of Mount Pleasant in 1987, continued as state senator, and eventually became governor of Iowa in 1999. Between 1999 and 2007, Vilsack worked alongside Iowans to enhance agriculture as well as invest in new technologies for the state.

We’re excited to welcome Mr. Vilsack back to Iowa in September as part of our summit. We hope you’ll join us and hundreds of food waste and food recovery advocates in Des Moines from September 6-8 to hear from Mr. Vilsack and many other leading industry experts. You can learn more about the summit and register online at https://iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.


 Update: Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, Mr. Vilsack will not be able to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. 


Mallory FeeneyAbout the Author
Mallory Feeney
PR and Communications Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

 

February 2017

BioCycle, the leading organics recycling authority, has become the first announced partner for the upcoming Midwest Food Recovery Summit, hosted by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at the University of Northern Iowa, taking place on September 6-8 in Des Moines, IA.

BioCycle"We're excited to have BioCycle on board as a partner for the summit. Their events are top notch in the industry and we look forward to having their insight and expertise to help us deliver a great event in the Midwest,” says Dan Nickey, Associate Director of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, host of the summit.

The two-and-a-half-day event aims to bring awareness and education about food waste reduction and recovery to the Midwest, an area that while being a leader in agriculture and food manufacturing, has not seen opportunities like this without traveling to the west or east coasts. With a structure to cover all levels of food recovery, BioCycle’s involvement brings an emphasis through their coverage on composting, organics recycling, anaerobic digestion, renewable energy and community sustainability.

“BioCycle is excited to partner with the Iowa Waste Reduction Center on the Midwest Food Recovery Summit, which is bringing together stakeholders from across the food supply chain — from farmers to distributors and retailers to consumers — to reduce food loss and waste, and ensure that edible food goes to people, and non-edible food gets recycled via animal feeding, composting and anaerobic digestion,” says Nora Goldstein, Editor of BioCycle. “The Summit will highlight how fully closing the loop from farm to people and back to the farm maximizes the value of food resources, and solves multiple challenges related to food access and food security, employment opportunities and soil health.”

Registration is now open for attendees and exhibitors, with sponsorship opportunities available as well. For more information about the Midwest Food Recovery Summit, click here.


Lea Hensel

About the Author
Lea Hensel
Marketing Coordinator
Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Business and Community Services

 

BioCycle Announced as First Partner for the Midwest Food Recovery Summit

BioCycle, the leading organics recycling authority, has become the first announced partner for the upcoming Midwest Food Recovery Summit, hosted by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at the University of Northern Iowa, taking place on September 6-8 in Des Moines, IA.

BioCycle"We're excited to have BioCycle on board as a partner for the summit. Their events are top notch in the industry and we look forward to having their insight and expertise to help us deliver a great event in the Midwest,” says Dan Nickey, Associate Director of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, host of the summit.

The two-and-a-half-day event aims to bring awareness and education about food waste reduction and recovery to the Midwest, an area that while being a leader in agriculture and food manufacturing, has not seen opportunities like this without traveling to the west or east coasts. With a structure to cover all levels of food recovery, BioCycle’s involvement brings an emphasis through their coverage on composting, organics recycling, anaerobic digestion, renewable energy and community sustainability.

“BioCycle is excited to partner with the Iowa Waste Reduction Center on the Midwest Food Recovery Summit, which is bringing together stakeholders from across the food supply chain — from farmers to distributors and retailers to consumers — to reduce food loss and waste, and ensure that edible food goes to people, and non-edible food gets recycled via animal feeding, composting and anaerobic digestion,” says Nora Goldstein, Editor of BioCycle. “The Summit will highlight how fully closing the loop from farm to people and back to the farm maximizes the value of food resources, and solves multiple challenges related to food access and food security, employment opportunities and soil health.”

Registration is now open for attendees and exhibitors, with sponsorship opportunities available as well. For more information about the Midwest Food Recovery Summit, click here.


Lea Hensel

About the Author
Lea Hensel
Marketing Coordinator
Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Business and Community Services

 

January 2017

With the arrival of the New Year, we’re getting pretty excited for the Midwest Food Recovery Summit taking place in September. It’s our chance to offer Midwesterners with the education, insight and connections needed to help ensure food is used as it's meant to be - as a resource. From keynote speakers to interactive workshops, the summit will focus on all facets of food waste and its uses including source reduction, non-profit donation, feeding animals, industrial uses and compost.

So looking forward, I asked members of the event's planning committee which parts of the Midwest Food Recovery Summit they are most looking forward to and here’s what stood out:

Jennifer Trent, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Networking and Learning from Those that Are Already Reducing Food Waste

“I am most looking forward to networking and meeting people who have implemented strategies that have worked in reducing food waste. The Midwest Food Recovery Summit will be the first of it's kind; a conference focusing on food waste in the midwest. The Midwest is known for its fertile productive soils and farming that produces food including corn, soybeans, livestock, vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, berries, and meat. With such a focus on agriculture and food production, the Midwest is a crucial region to promote and implement initiatives that will reduce food headed to landfills.” - Jenny Trent, Environmental Specialist and IWRC’s Food Waste and Composting Expert

Dan Nickey, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Motivation to Make a Difference

“I’m really most looking forward to the Midwest Food Recovery Summit inspiring people throughout the Midwest. Overall the issues surrounding food waste really have not been talked about enough in the Midwest. I’m hoping that this event will provide the opportunity for people to understand the scale of the issue and then get motivated to make a difference throughout their local communities in and around the Midwest.” - Dan Nickey, Associate Director

Joe Bolick, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Future Initiatives Sparked by the Summit

“To be honest, the most exciting part of this thing is not the three days in Des Moines, although it is going to be an absolutely phenomenal event with what we are planning. For me, I am most excited for the change that we are going to see in the weeks, months and years ahead that will be sparked by our summit.” - Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager

Lea Hensel, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Enhancing Networks for Attendees and Exhibitors

I'm really excited to provide an opportunity for everyone in the Midwest involved in the food system to have the opportunity to share what works for them and learn from others about what we can do to reduce food waste. I'm already trying to figure out how I can help manage the summit and attend as many breakout sessions as possible! Plus, as someone who has exhibited at a lot of conferences and has had less than pleasant experiences, I'm excited to develop a trade show that is very exhibitor-friendly, providing ample opportunities for networking with attendees and showcasing their services and products. - Lea Hensel, Marketing Coordinator

Jen Wittenburg, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Unique and Memorable Experience

“I am looking forward to creating a unique and memorable experience for attendees. The summit is an awesome opportunity for us to motivate and educate Midwesterners about food waste. Not just the waste itself, but the varying means of reduction. I think that will open the eyes of many attendees and spark more food waste conversations.” - Jen Wittenburg, Program Manager for the Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program 

Registration opens this month and whether you're interested in attending, exhibiting, sponsoring or just finding out more information check out Midwest Food Recovery Summit.


 

Mallory FeeneyAbout the Author
Mallory Feeney
PR and Communications Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

What We’re Looking Forward to at the Midwest Food Recovery Summit

With the arrival of the New Year, we’re getting pretty excited for the Midwest Food Recovery Summit taking place in September. It’s our chance to offer Midwesterners with the education, insight and connections needed to help ensure food is used as it's meant to be - as a resource. From keynote speakers to interactive workshops, the summit will focus on all facets of food waste and its uses including source reduction, non-profit donation, feeding animals, industrial uses and compost.

So looking forward, I asked members of the event's planning committee which parts of the Midwest Food Recovery Summit they are most looking forward to and here’s what stood out:

Jennifer Trent, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Networking and Learning from Those that Are Already Reducing Food Waste

“I am most looking forward to networking and meeting people who have implemented strategies that have worked in reducing food waste. The Midwest Food Recovery Summit will be the first of it's kind; a conference focusing on food waste in the midwest. The Midwest is known for its fertile productive soils and farming that produces food including corn, soybeans, livestock, vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, berries, and meat. With such a focus on agriculture and food production, the Midwest is a crucial region to promote and implement initiatives that will reduce food headed to landfills.” - Jenny Trent, Environmental Specialist and IWRC’s Food Waste and Composting Expert

Dan Nickey, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Motivation to Make a Difference

“I’m really most looking forward to the Midwest Food Recovery Summit inspiring people throughout the Midwest. Overall the issues surrounding food waste really have not been talked about enough in the Midwest. I’m hoping that this event will provide the opportunity for people to understand the scale of the issue and then get motivated to make a difference throughout their local communities in and around the Midwest.” - Dan Nickey, Associate Director

Joe Bolick, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Future Initiatives Sparked by the Summit

“To be honest, the most exciting part of this thing is not the three days in Des Moines, although it is going to be an absolutely phenomenal event with what we are planning. For me, I am most excited for the change that we are going to see in the weeks, months and years ahead that will be sparked by our summit.” - Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager

Lea Hensel, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Enhancing Networks for Attendees and Exhibitors

I'm really excited to provide an opportunity for everyone in the Midwest involved in the food system to have the opportunity to share what works for them and learn from others about what we can do to reduce food waste. I'm already trying to figure out how I can help manage the summit and attend as many breakout sessions as possible! Plus, as someone who has exhibited at a lot of conferences and has had less than pleasant experiences, I'm excited to develop a trade show that is very exhibitor-friendly, providing ample opportunities for networking with attendees and showcasing their services and products. - Lea Hensel, Marketing Coordinator

Jen Wittenburg, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Unique and Memorable Experience

“I am looking forward to creating a unique and memorable experience for attendees. The summit is an awesome opportunity for us to motivate and educate Midwesterners about food waste. Not just the waste itself, but the varying means of reduction. I think that will open the eyes of many attendees and spark more food waste conversations.” - Jen Wittenburg, Program Manager for the Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program 

Registration opens this month and whether you're interested in attending, exhibiting, sponsoring or just finding out more information check out Midwest Food Recovery Summit.


 

Mallory FeeneyAbout the Author
Mallory Feeney
PR and Communications Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

Welcome to 2017! As 2016 came to a close, upcoming 2017 trends list kept popping up in my inbox and I was especially excited to see a common trend included in almost all the food and drink lists I came across - food waste.

2017 Food TrendHere at the IWRC, we've been focused on food waste for a handful of years now. Starting with market research to understand the problem, research studies to document food waste throughout Iowa, educational workshops, and targeted grant-funded projects to help businesses and organizations throughout Iowa reduce the amount of food being wasted and sent to our landfills. I've noticed more and more organizations working towards reducing food waste, apps being created to help restaurants donate more food to non-profit hunger relief agencies, increases in industry conferences focusing sessions on the topic, and even more mainstream media networks talking about it.

The more we talk about it, the greater progress we'll make which is why I was so excited to see food waste on the main trends lists. Here are a few that stood out.

National Restaurant Association - What's Hot Culinary Forecast

Food waste reduction comes in at the #7 spot on the National Restaurant Association's Top 10 Concept Trends for the year. No movement from 2016 when it was also in the #7 spot but I have definitely noticed more and more news about restaurants doing more to keep food from being thrown away, whether that's repurposing meals or donating to a local non-profit hunger relief agency.

What's On the Menu in 2017: Global Food and Beverage Trends

Edelman Insights (particularly the Global Food and Beverage Sector) ranks the 15 food finds they envision for 2017 and on that list at #6 - War Against Waste. The big take away from them - focusing on reducing food waste is no longer just wishful thinking, it's a wise business move. 

Whole Foods Market serves up top 10 trends for 2017

Whole Foods Market looks at the consumer side of trends and I was excited to see food waste reduction still made the list. While the earlier parts of the food supply (agricultural, production, manufacturing) play a significant role in the amount of food we're throwing away, we are also throwing away a lot of food in our kitchens. Their last trend, Mindful Meal Prep, looks at how people can reduce food waste, which at a residential level means throwing away less money too.

5 Global Food Trends to Watch in 2017

National Geographic predicts advocates will place a lot of significance on making reducing food waste reduction as automatic as recycling. One thing I like about their focus on food waste is that they also highlight that when we waste food, we waste the water and land that was used to grow and produce that food. In the video that accompanies the article, Tristram Stewart, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, explains that because food has become cheaper, people have become more affluent, and unfortunately over time the result is that food became a disposable commodity.

So what now? Food waste is on the trend lists but what does that mean? Well, there is a lot of work to be done to quit wasting 40% of our food but continued education and awareness are strong catalysts towards change. I'm excited about the IWRC's efforts we're taking this year - a project focused on helping Iowa rural communities reduce food waste and the first-of-its-kind event in the Midwest being hosted in September, the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. We're bringing hundreds of people together for two and a half days to talk about, learn about, and develop strategies towards food waste recovery.

It's only the start of 2017 but I think by the end of the year, we'll see food waste as a much more common trend until hopefully one day we don't have to worry about it and food will remain as it's meant to be - as a resource.


Lea HenselAbout the Author
Lea Hensel
Marketing Coordinator
Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Business and Community Services 


 

The 2017 Food Trend We're Most Excited About

Welcome to 2017! As 2016 came to a close, upcoming 2017 trends list kept popping up in my inbox and I was especially excited to see a common trend included in almost all the food and drink lists I came across - food waste.

2017 Food TrendHere at the IWRC, we've been focused on food waste for a handful of years now. Starting with market research to understand the problem, research studies to document food waste throughout Iowa, educational workshops, and targeted grant-funded projects to help businesses and organizations throughout Iowa reduce the amount of food being wasted and sent to our landfills. I've noticed more and more organizations working towards reducing food waste, apps being created to help restaurants donate more food to non-profit hunger relief agencies, increases in industry conferences focusing sessions on the topic, and even more mainstream media networks talking about it.

The more we talk about it, the greater progress we'll make which is why I was so excited to see food waste on the main trends lists. Here are a few that stood out.

National Restaurant Association - What's Hot Culinary Forecast

Food waste reduction comes in at the #7 spot on the National Restaurant Association's Top 10 Concept Trends for the year. No movement from 2016 when it was also in the #7 spot but I have definitely noticed more and more news about restaurants doing more to keep food from being thrown away, whether that's repurposing meals or donating to a local non-profit hunger relief agency.

What's On the Menu in 2017: Global Food and Beverage Trends

Edelman Insights (particularly the Global Food and Beverage Sector) ranks the 15 food finds they envision for 2017 and on that list at #6 - War Against Waste. The big take away from them - focusing on reducing food waste is no longer just wishful thinking, it's a wise business move. 

Whole Foods Market serves up top 10 trends for 2017

Whole Foods Market looks at the consumer side of trends and I was excited to see food waste reduction still made the list. While the earlier parts of the food supply (agricultural, production, manufacturing) play a significant role in the amount of food we're throwing away, we are also throwing away a lot of food in our kitchens. Their last trend, Mindful Meal Prep, looks at how people can reduce food waste, which at a residential level means throwing away less money too.

5 Global Food Trends to Watch in 2017

National Geographic predicts advocates will place a lot of significance on making reducing food waste reduction as automatic as recycling. One thing I like about their focus on food waste is that they also highlight that when we waste food, we waste the water and land that was used to grow and produce that food. In the video that accompanies the article, Tristram Stewart, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, explains that because food has become cheaper, people have become more affluent, and unfortunately over time the result is that food became a disposable commodity.

So what now? Food waste is on the trend lists but what does that mean? Well, there is a lot of work to be done to quit wasting 40% of our food but continued education and awareness are strong catalysts towards change. I'm excited about the IWRC's efforts we're taking this year - a project focused on helping Iowa rural communities reduce food waste and the first-of-its-kind event in the Midwest being hosted in September, the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. We're bringing hundreds of people together for two and a half days to talk about, learn about, and develop strategies towards food waste recovery.

It's only the start of 2017 but I think by the end of the year, we'll see food waste as a much more common trend until hopefully one day we don't have to worry about it and food will remain as it's meant to be - as a resource.


Lea HenselAbout the Author
Lea Hensel
Marketing Coordinator
Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Business and Community Services 


 

November 2016

We are so excited to share this bit of news with you! We've been planning this internally and talking with many interested entities over the last few months but for the first time, the IWRC is officially announcing the Midwest Food Recovery Summit!

Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Taking place in Des Moines, Iowa in September 2017, the summit aims to provide you with the education, insight and connections needed to help ensure food is used as it's meant to be - as a resource. Focusing on all sources and all uses from source reduction and donation to feeding animals, industrial uses and compost. Speakers from all over the country will showcase what's working and what still needs work. 

The Basics

Who

We are expecting a wide range of speakers, exhibitors and attendees from all sides of the food sector - food establishments, food rescue organizations, equipment manufacturers, regulatory entities, biodigestors, composting facilities, haulers, retail food stores, etc.

What

A 2 1/2 day summit with keynotes, breakout sessions, panel discussions, workgroups, an exhibit, plus numerous networking opportunities.

When

Wednesday, September 6 - Friday, September 8, 2017

Where

Why

Because food waste is a problem. Of all the food grown, processed and transported in the United States, we're throwing away 40% of it. Over 33,000,000 tons of food end up in the landfill each year in our country and only 3% of food waste is recovered or recycled. It uses 10% of the total U.S. energy budget, 50% of our land and 80% of all consumed freshwater. And we throw all that away while 1 in 8 people are food insecure.

Our staff has attended and been involved in numerous food waste recovery conferences and meetings throughout the country but never here in the Midwest. And typically the events are focused on one industry sector or one recovery option. The Midwest Food Recovery Summit not only brings this type of event to our area for the first time, but it focuses on the entire food recovery hierarchy.

So join us for inspiring keynotes, educational breakout sessions, networking opportunities, workshops throughout the entire summit. For more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.

Registration opens in January. We'll see you in September!


Lea HenselAbout the Author
Lea Hensel
Marketing Coordinator
Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Business and Community Services

Midwest Food Recovery Summit Announced

We are so excited to share this bit of news with you! We've been planning this internally and talking with many interested entities over the last few months but for the first time, the IWRC is officially announcing the Midwest Food Recovery Summit!

Midwest Food Recovery Summit

Taking place in Des Moines, Iowa in September 2017, the summit aims to provide you with the education, insight and connections needed to help ensure food is used as it's meant to be - as a resource. Focusing on all sources and all uses from source reduction and donation to feeding animals, industrial uses and compost. Speakers from all over the country will showcase what's working and what still needs work. 

The Basics

Who

We are expecting a wide range of speakers, exhibitors and attendees from all sides of the food sector - food establishments, food rescue organizations, equipment manufacturers, regulatory entities, biodigestors, composting facilities, haulers, retail food stores, etc.

What

A 2 1/2 day summit with keynotes, breakout sessions, panel discussions, workgroups, an exhibit, plus numerous networking opportunities.

When

Wednesday, September 6 - Friday, September 8, 2017

Where

Why

Because food waste is a problem. Of all the food grown, processed and transported in the United States, we're throwing away 40% of it. Over 33,000,000 tons of food end up in the landfill each year in our country and only 3% of food waste is recovered or recycled. It uses 10% of the total U.S. energy budget, 50% of our land and 80% of all consumed freshwater. And we throw all that away while 1 in 8 people are food insecure.

Our staff has attended and been involved in numerous food waste recovery conferences and meetings throughout the country but never here in the Midwest. And typically the events are focused on one industry sector or one recovery option. The Midwest Food Recovery Summit not only brings this type of event to our area for the first time, but it focuses on the entire food recovery hierarchy.

So join us for inspiring keynotes, educational breakout sessions, networking opportunities, workshops throughout the entire summit. For more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.

Registration opens in January. We'll see you in September!


Lea HenselAbout the Author
Lea Hensel
Marketing Coordinator
Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Business and Community Services