Supermarkets throw away approximately 500-1500 lbs of food each day. If that’s not a problem, we don’t know what is!
Solution? California Safe Soil. CSS is collecting this fresh food waste from supermarkets daily and within three hours their patented technology turns the fresh food waste into a liquid fertilizer that the next day goes through farmers drip irrigation lines to grow the next organic crops.
Dan Morash, a former investment banker in the energy and infrastructure sector, came up with the idea for California Safe Soil after spending many years in the waste to energy sector. He and his team realized that the benefits of food were in their nutrients and our present process of burning food waste to create energy and or letting the food decompose was simply a waste of all of those nutrients and inputs that were used to create the food.
Justin Kamine, investor of CSS and current board member explains, “by focusing on “bio-mimicry” or the efficiencies we find in nature, we found that the human digestive process was actually one of the most efficient systems to break down food and digest the nutrients into a molecular level. Therefore, if our bodies could break down food efficiently in a timely manner, we were determined to create a technology and process to do the same while also creating a product that is able to be used in sustainable organic farming.”
California Safe Soil has had its fair share of accomplishments recently. As the winner of the Sustainability Award at last year’s Forbes AgTech Summit and having recently been featured in Entrepreneur.com, CSS is gaining visibility, and there are no shortages of reasons to see why.
We caught up with Justin to learn more about the process and Harvest to Harvest:
The California Safe Soil process collects all of the supermarket food waste (fruits, vegetables, meats and baked goods) and within three hours grinds the food, digests the food and breaks the food down into a liquid fertilizer. The product that is a result of our technology is called Harvest to Harvest and is able to go through farmers drip irrigation lines the next day to increase soil health, reduce chemical fertilizer and water usage and increase crop yield. In essence, we are now feeding our soil the nutrients that humans were relying upon to grow.
What’s been the hardest challenge you’ve faced & how have you overcome it?
Commercializing the technology was a major hurdle in the growth of the company. In order to warrant the additional cost of capital that it took to grow from pilot scale to commercial scale it meant we needed to drive up the demand for our product. We were able to successfully do that over a few years and are now at a point where our product has significant market acceptance and we were required to increase our production capacity to meet demand.
Where do you see your company in the future?
We are actively developing and deploying this revolutionary and patented technology across the U.S. and eventually the world. Food waste is a universal problem and so is the need to reduce our farmers usage of chemicals, water and increase their crop yields and soil health. This technology hits on all of that and will be critical in revolutionizing the food waste and food production methods of the future.
How are you using Ideator?
Ideator has been great in spreading the message of our company and in publicizing the inefficiencies of our present day food cycle. We as a society throw away 40% of what we grow and we need to all become conscious of that and realize that that must change!
We are actively looking for farmers to participate and utilize our product that has been thoroughly tested and proven with UC Davis and many of the top farmers in CA.