Veneman, Kass, Colicchio endorse chickens fed grocery food waste
Ann Veneman, an Agriculture secretary in Geore W. Bush administration; Sam Kass, the chef to the Obama family and nutrition policy adviser to President Obama; and Tom Colicchio, a prominent chef and restaurant owner, have all become associated with Do Good Foods, a company that will sell chicken from animals fed food waste from grocery stores, and endorsed the product the company calls carbon-reduced chicken.
Do Good Foods was started by the Kamine family, founders of the Bedminster, N.J.-based Kamine Development Corporation, which has built, owned and operated more than $3.5 billion in infrastructure for over 35 years.
Do Good is collecting food waste from 450 supermarkets and turning it into feed that is being consumed by chickens in a facility in Pennsylvania.
The chickens will be sold in grocery stores and in restaurants, including Colicchio’s.
Veneman, Kass and Colicchio all appeared in a December 7 live online roundtable with Matthew and Justin Kamine, the founders and managers of the company. It was held in New York and moderated by Danielle Nierenberg, the CEO of the Food Tank.
During the roundtable, the Kamine brothers pointed out that each year approximately 40% of the food grown in the United States goes to landfills where it emits methane gas, making it one of the largest contributors to climate change.
Do Good Foods is “a closed-loop system that takes nutritious supermarket surplus such as fruits, vegetable and meat and upcycles them into high-quality animal feed,” the Kamine brothers said in a news release.
Veneman, who serves on the company’s advisory board, noted during the roundtable that the theme of the recent United Nations COP26 meeting in Scotland had been that there is too much talk and not enough action.
“With Do Good we are seeing the private sector step up and say we are going to figure out one of the solutions to food waste,” Veneman said. “This company is such a great example of stepping up and showing how it can be done.”
Kass, who serves as the company’s chief strategy officer, noted during the roundtable that the difference between Do Good, which is being run by a company with a history of business success, and other efforts to reduce food waste is “scaleability.”
“We see a clear path to solving the problem of retail food waste,” Kass said. “That is a big deal. We could really make a massive impact.”
Millenial and Generation Z consumers are “on fire” and are about half the food market, he said.
People don’t want to eat and drink without thinking about where the food came from and how it was raised, but they have busy lives and love what they eat, Kass said.
With Do Good, Kass said, the consumer can “buy a piece of chicken and have real impact.”
Colicchio said that he plans to serve Do Good chicken in his restaurants.
Noting that his grandparents “really valued food and didn’t throw away anything,” Colicchio said, “This is more than just a business. It is culturally important.”
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