The Van Trump Report

“Climate Friendly” Chicken Coming in 2022

A company called Do Good Foods is turning food waste into animal feed by recycling about 160 tons of excess food from grocery stores. Its first product, Do Good Chicken, claims to be the “first domestic chicken brand actively combating climate change.” The company even received USDA clearance for special labels touting its food waste and greenhouse gas reduction efforts, which they are hoping will appeal to consumers worried about climate change. 

Personally, I think it’s great what Do Good Foods is doing in trying to help reduce food waste but psychologically it might take me some time to get my head around my chickens and livestock eating this as feed. Again this is just my two-cents, I suspect many consumers will be all about it.    

According to some estimates, as much as 40% of food produced in the U.S. never gets eaten by humans, with much of it ending up in landfills. That in turn produces greenhouse gases that are believed to contribute to climate change. Households are responsible for the majority of that waste but grocers also end up tossing an estimated 43 billion pounds of perishable food every year. Do Good aims to help cut that waste by collecting food destined for landfills from participating grocery stores and making it into animal feed, which is then used by contract chicken producers.

Do Good Foods launched in October of this year with a $169 million investment from asset-management company Nuveen. The company used the funding to build its first production facility in Pennsylvania, which can take in and convert 160 tons of surplus food from approximately 450 grocery stores into animal feed every day. The plant can make enough feed for 25 million chickens annually, with plans in the works to scale the model nationwide with 20 additional facilities by 2025.  

Do Good describes its product as “carbon-reduced” chicken. Special labels approved by the USDA will say that each chicken saves four pounds of food waste from going into the landfill, in turn eliminating three pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. The new Do Good Chicken line is set to hit stores and restaurants in early 2022. While details have yet to be released, chief strategy officer Sam Kass says the product will be priced “significantly” below organic chicken, though still more expensive than conventional chicken.

Do Good Foods was formed by Hal, Matt, and Justin Kamine, founders of Kamine Development Corp., which says it invests in technologies that have a social benefit. Over the past 40 years, KDC has developed, built, owned, operated, and financed over $3.5 billion in infrastructure across the nation, according to the company. It’s that background that made the founders believe they could create a scalable solution to eliminating food waste.

Justin Kamine says that Do Good Chicken, by design, meets consumers where they are, meaning it does not require them to change how or where they shop. “Consumers are raising their hands every day asking ‘what can I do to make a difference,’” says Justin.

According to a recent GreenPrint study, 77% of Americans are concerned about the environmental impact of products they buy and Google searches relating to sustainability grew by more than +70% over the last five years, according to a report published by the World Wildlife Fund. Additionally, in the United States, the report shows, online demand for sustainable goods quadrupled between 2016 and 2018. “When you think about the fact consumers eat, on average, over 90 pounds of chicken a year, the impact they can make simply by choosing Do Good Chicken is pretty amazing,” says Kamine. Learn more about Do Good Foods HERE. (Sources: GroceryDive, Bloomberg, FoodTank)

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