Posted tagged ‘Waste’

Falcon System Closes Gap Between “Waste Problem” & “Feed Solution”

February 22, 2013

Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.”

– Thomas Edison

I’ve been thinking a lot about waste lately. As the world wonders how it will feed a human population fast approaching 9 billion, the waste hard-wired into the global food-production and distribution system has been well documented. From imperfect produce left to rot in the field, to supermarket policies that mandate extreme overstocking, to statutes that prohibit restaurants from donating unused inventory to food banks, unconscionable waste appears to be a feature of the global food system, not a bug.

In nature, there is no such thing as waste – one natural system’s byproduct is another system’s feedstock. Waste exists in man-made systems because, for too long, we have been able to hide or pass along to those yet unborn the cost of managing the inconvenient outputs of our production processes.

On my way to the World Aquaculture Society conference in Nashville this week, I had the opportunity to check out Falcon Protein Products’ Agricultural By-Product Value Recovery System at a catfish farm in Greensboro, Ala. The ABVRS system processes animal offal and other agricultural byproducts into value-added meals, oils, and other commercial products in a manner that is environmentally safe and virtually odor free.

The most striking thing to me about the ABVRS system (check out the video below) is that, for all it does, it is incredibly straightforward in design and operation. It closes the gap between “waste problem” and “feed solution” with the sort of elegant simplicity that makes you ask, “Why did no one think of this sooner?”

What other examples of ruthlessly simple problem solving are out there, hiding in plain sight? The aquaculture industry needs to know. 


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