Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Feed Earth Now
Chicago, IL
Nominated by GreenChoice Bank

Congratulations to Spring 2014
People & Planet Award winner Feed Earth Now!

Feed Earth Now has solutions for two of the planet's biggest challenges: toxic landfills and safe organic food production.  Our business utilizes an innovative technology that rapidly converts large volumes of food scraps into a nutrient rich, all natural, pathogen free “microbial cocktail” for the soil. Supporting sustainable farming practices and minimizing dependence on petro-derived fertilizers, we’re bridging the growing food waste recovery industry with the organic agriculture market.  A women-owned, sustainable start-up, Feed Earth Now was a Cleantech Open Semi-Finalist in both 2011 and 2012. We manufacture our own proprietary blend of microbial inoculants.

Feed Earth Now’s trademarked Terreplenish™ is a complex blend of free-living bacteria that absorbs readily available nitrogen from the air and delivers it to the soil at the roots of the plant, accelerating nutrient availability, water-holding capacity and suppressing soil-borne pathogens like powdery mildew. Plant maturity has been shown to be more uniform, larger by weight, and more flavorful.

An analogy I like to use is that what probiotics do for performance in the human body, Terreplenish does for the soil.

Terreplenish™ is OMRI Listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute.  For the last three years, we’ve explored various market pathways and crop-specific value propositions with farm trials throughout varied US regions.  This has prompted us to initially narrow our focus to provide this value-added product for key growers of organic fruits and vegetables as these alone are more than one million acres in the US, as we begin with targeting 1-2% of market share. We’ll then advance into conventional farming focusing on Terreplenish™ as a clean, environmentally safe, chemical-free substitute for chemical nitrogen.

Feed Earth Now derives revenue from each ton of food waste processed.  Our model leverages localized waste transfer stations that are already taking in food scraps and have the ability to sort inorganic waste out, utilizing our progressive food waste recycling system on their site. Our process eliminates 70% of the water weight of the food scraps close to points of generation, reducing transport costs and the disposal tipping charge by 70%.  The leftover solid residue can easily be composted with other material such as landscape waste to produce superior nutrient-rich compost, thus eliminating the need to use a landfill. Feed Earth Now is a zero-waste business that focuses on replenishing and rebuilding soil across the globe. Soil is the Skin of our Planet.

“When I was a child, my parents drove through the farmlands of the Midwest and we would shop at popular roadside farm stands. This was a time I’ll never forget," says Feed Earth Now founder Cathy Scratch.  "The tasty rich colors and giant size of shapely fruits and vegetables all lined up so perfectly. a generation later there aren’t as many farm stands around and the produce at grocery stores looks modified. There have been great strides in todays organic agriculture but not enough to feed 10 billion people in 20 years safe organic food.”


Facility
Cathy Scratch and Terreplenish™.
Crops

Turnip

Field