Students and research chefs cook up solutions to waste at university food lab
Grid Magazine » Compost
by Bernard Brown
9M ago
Jonathan Deutsch, the head of Drexel University’s Food Lab, likes to challenge his culinary arts students with cauliflower stems and other trimmings they too-hastily discard. “I’ll pull things out of the compost bin and I’ll say, ‘Look at this. What could we do with this?’” Deutsch asks the students what they could make with the rescued cauliflower bits. Could they be stir fried? Could they be puréed to form the base of a soup? Avoiding food waste doesn’t come naturally to most Americans; since 2015, the food lab has been working to change that. The lab’s work on the waste problem started as a ..read more
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Editor’s Notes: A Proud Partnership
Grid Magazine » Compost
by Alex Mulcahy
9M ago
Full disclosure: I am a business partner in Bennett Compost and have been for over 10 years. Like the guy who claimed he liked his electric shaver so much that he bought the company, so too was I drawn to this business from the get-go. It was just an irresistible idea. Tim Bennett, ever smiling and ready for a laugh, was equally charming. He will tell you that I warned him to never take a partner, but that advice was ignored by both of us. Tim and I would become friends and business partners. Grid has covered Bennett Compost a few times over the years, and always with the disclosure of my inv ..read more
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Bennett Compost has scaled up its bicycle usage—and created good jobs in the process
Grid Magazine » Compost
by Patrick Kerr
9M ago
In a former municipal building on Rising Sun Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, cycling enthusiast Rudi Saldia is doing something he never imagined: working at a desk. It was a long and winding road—well, often a straight road on a grid—that led him to Bennett Compost’s Lawncrest headquarters. Before the days of DoorDash and Grubhub, he was doing deliveries for restaurants. He was a messenger and courier with Sparrow Cycling. He even rode a pedicab for a while. “Working on my bicycle has always been a passion of mine,” says Saldia. When he was recruited by Bennett Compost to pick up organic wa ..read more
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Profile: King of Compost
Grid Magazine » Compost
by Lee Stabert
9M ago
Urban farmer and MacArthur Grant recipient Will Allen on the importance of greens, worms and more by Lee Stabert Everything about Will Allen is big. The pro basketball player turned urban agriculture iconoclast has hands like baseball mitts, and arms like tree trunks. His normal uniform—jeans, baseball hat, hooded sweatshirt with the sleeves removed—only serves to emphasize the power of his gentle, hulking presence. In 1993, after leaving a job in the corporate world, Allen purchased the scant two acres in northwest Milwaukee that would become Growing Power, his urban farm. He immediately st ..read more
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Local Business: Black Gold
Grid Magazine » Compost
by Lee Stabert
9M ago
A local company helps Philly businesses jump on the composting bandwagon  by Lee Stabert There is one word showing up left and right on the lips of top urban sustainability and food access experts: compost. To hear them speak of it, the stuff is magic—now it’s just a matter of getting the rest of society on board. Philly Compost, a year-old company based in Northwest Philadelphia, is doing their part to bring the city’s businesses into the fold.   Philly Compost was founded by Lee Meinicke and Meenal Raval. A longtime recycling advocate, Raval had been a backyard composter for years ..read more
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Gardening Issue: Popular Mechanics
Grid Magazine » Compost
by Ariela Rose
9M ago
by Alli Katz A local company forsakes peat All gardeners use potting soil,” says mark Highland, president of Organic Mechanics. “Why not use a local product?” Founded in 2006, the company, located just outside of Coatesville, makes a variety of soils for every level of planter—from large organic farms to botanical gardens to recreational gardeners.  Most commercial potting soil uses a large amount of peat, an accumulation of nutrient-rich, partially decayed organic material. Most peat used in the United States has to be imported. “Peat is a natural resource harvested by ..read more
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