Have you ever reached for a bright yellow bunch of bananas over bruised ones? Or perhaps you’ve tossed a half-full packet of spinach into the trash to free up fridge space. Chances are at some point in your life, you’ve contributed to the global food wastage problem. And you’re not alone.
In Australia, around 7.6 million tonnes of food is wasted every year – seventy per cent of which is perfectly edible. It’s a world-wide problem that Bond University student Lachlan Creese is tackling one dehydrated lime at a time.
In his final year studying a Bachelor of Property at Bond University, Mr Creese launched Dehydrated Co, a business which transforms fruit bound for the bin into a dried garnish with a long shelf life.
“Most weekends, I approach farmers at the local markets and purchase their fruit seconds,” explains Mr Creese.
“There’s nothing wrong with this fruit, it’s completely edible, but it might be an odd shape or colour which can stop people from purchasing it.
“I turn this imperfect fruit into something that is stylish and delicious and can be celebrated in the kitchen.”
What’s not so peachy is that fresh produce is often rejected from supermarket shelves because customers are picky. We want the ripest, most unspoilt, and prettiest produce available.
This has a devastating impact on our frontline farmers, costing them upwards of $2.48 billion a year.
Lachlan’s sub-lime business concept is simple and sustainable and it’s putting a smile on the faces of farmers from the Tweed Valley through to the Sunshine Coast.
“The best thing about dehydrated fruit is that it doesn’t matter what it looks like on the outside,” says Mr Creese.
“We’ve developed the product range to incorporate the entire fruit, so there is zero waste.
“Everything is natural, locally sourced, waste-free, and recyclable.”
Mr Creese says his eco-conscious upbringing in Tasmania played an important role in how he lives his everyday life.
“Our scraps always went to the compost and then later to the chickens,” he says.
“We grew up learning not to waste much which led to me being an environmentally conscious adult.
“Now there’s such a profound reality check playing out before our eyes all around the world as the climate changes, so it’s hard not do something about it.”
Dehydrated Co received a welcome boost of $2000 when it was named winner of the Transformer entrepreneurship competition, run by Bond University’s Transformer Program.