Letting you in the Loop

February 7, 2022

Back early last year I saw a wonderful Instagramer in Alberta showing a “haul” of what looked like grocery items, all for her hobby farm animals. Interested, I researched and quickly fell in love with LOOP Resource.

If you have heard of them bare with me. But most that haven’t get ready to say to yourself “omg why aren’t more people doing this!!”

Loop is an organization that’s goal is to reduce valuable food waste from heading to a landfill or dump. They partners local farms with local grocers, having the grocers save the days items that would usually be thrown away. And having a farmer pick up those items every day. Generally they have a set amount of farms weekly or biweekly picking up products daily. Anywhere from a couple boxes to a whole transport truck trailer amount! All depending on the day and what didn’t sell.

Easy as that! They do all the training for free. The training for farms was a simple hour zoom meeting on the basic rules and protocols to get you started.

I signed up on their website back when I first learned about them. Thinking it would be an amazing opportunity for our farm. I never heard anything until late this past year when I got an email announcing the program was coming to a local grocery near me.

The excitement hit me and I immediately answered yes please to the email. Now it did take about 4 months from that email to get things really going. But the wait was beyond worth it.

Our first pick up was scheduled for a Sunday. We called 30 minutes before to let the store know we were coming. Pulling up to the loading dock it was quiet and clear for us to pull in. They had a skid of boxes neatly ready to help us load up. 16 boxes somehow crammed inside my husbands work vehicle and we were in and out within 15 minutes. 16 boxes since the last days pick up was taken. 16 that were going to all be sent to a landfill. My heart hurt a little as we drove away, knowing that all 4 grocery stores in this town are probably throwing out just as much each day.

A small drive home and the fun really began. Everything should be sorted into buckets and closed lid bins. An hour of sorting and 13 boxes of produce later. Here’s some example of things I received

  • 15 packs of strawberries
  • 5 bagged salads
  • 5 packs of micro greens
  • 5 packs of tomato
  • A banana box of lettuce
  • A banana box of cucumbers still in the packaging
  • Melon skins and strawberry tops
  • Bagged chicken tenders, deli meat ends, bagged cooked shredded chicken

This is nothing. I swear there were bits and pieces of every fruit and vegetables you could ever think of. Everything in pretty good condition, very little mould or things that can’t be fed to animals.

My first trip out to my animals they were thrilled beyond belief. My goats and sheep polished off a couple pounds of produce at least. This should hopefully cut down on some of the hay consumption plus in the winter it’s great for them to get their fruits and vegetables into their system!

What goes in must come out

With all the food going into the animals, gold is just coming out! My huge summer garden thrives from manure and compost so this food will be converted into something which in turn creates more food!

Eggs eggs EGGS

As for chickens, ducks and geese- they are just as happy as the large animals. All the food they will consume will be turned into manure as well but also eggs!! Through the winter they really miss fresh greens, grass and garden vegetables that they’re used to. Most weeks when I’m shopping I’ll stop at the reduced rack and buy them a head of lettuce if they’re lucky. But none of that anymore!

Did you know?

The most fruits and vegetables chickens eat, the darker and richer their yolk will become. Though most of their diets have to remain layer feed, they love a daily treat! The darker the yolk the better diet that chicken most likely has! Isn’t that amazing! Check that out the next time you have grocery store eggs.

Overall, the opportunity Loop has given us has been amazing. We are so lucky to be involved with their innovative and wonderful program. Even if it’s just a small amount of food not going to a landfill, it’s the little things that count. They add up, when something like this moves province to province, farm to farm, it will make a difference.

Here’s a link to check out:

http://loopresource.ca

If you have any questions please feel free ask!!

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