Curiosity. Wonder. Awe. That’s where I like to dwell. For many Americans we’ve become so detached from our food sources that we’re not always aware of what we’re eating or how it got to our plate. And for me, a self described zero waste junkie, I am both fascinated and frustrated by how much garbage we produce. Why are we throwing so much away?
This curiosity has ignited my passion for finding homes and uses for resources that traditionally get discarded. But the inspiration for PestoGrino goes further. I’ve been following this spiraling inquiry for years, and have discovered how our economic system incentivizes the rapid consumption of resources, thus producing tons of trash. It is literally our global economic engine.
These systems don’t just run themselves, there’s a heck of a lot of social conditioning that goes on to keep them in place. Take for instance the 20%-40% of produce that never makes it to market because of our cosmetic expectations for fruits and vegetables. 40% of food grown in this country never makes it into someone’s hungry belly?! So you can imagine that given my passion for turning waste streams into supply streams, this ignited something within me.
I realized that I can help solve this problem by bolstering local economies as a root solution for this current economic model. I could help disrupt the multinational corporation model that’s designed to naturally extract resources from communities for the benefit of a few at the top. I could create a regenerative business that puts attention and purchase decisions in the favor of local businesses to keep wealth circulating in our local communities longer.
And what better local economy to disrupt than our food system? – ground zero for a sustainable, resilient society.
So Why Pesto?
From what I’ve been told Pesto originated in Italy centuries ago and is traditionally made with basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, cheese, and salt & pepper. I had been working on my recipe for years, never knowing that I might try to sell it one day.
And then one day in grad school, it hit me. I can be a part of reclaiming our food supply while also challenging corporate dominance by starting a local food business. Making pesto has always been a fun, intuitive process for me. I delight in creating something so tasty and nourishing that requires no cooking. “Fresh. Vibrant. Goodness.” as the tagline goes.
The aspirations for this social enterprise go beyond pesto though; there’s a broader mission of a food company with an approach that makes creative, delicious use of every part of the vegetable. Working with local farmers to create gourmet specialty foods from rescued fruits and vegetables. And the highest purpose this little sauce company can serve, is as a living wage job creator where people know they can bring their whole selves to work.
How can we build a better food system that makes the old one obsolete?
I believe that we as humans can actually do a lot better than the modest goal of trying to live more sustainably. I believe we have an imperative as cohabitants on this Earth to create regenerative ways of producing and consuming.
How can we leave this place better than we found it?
I stand by my theory that the world would be a much better place if we all got a little more curious about where our food is coming from.
Curiosity. Wonder. Awe. That’s where I like to dwell. I’m staying open to the pesto-bilities. I’m just getting started, and the road to alignment with my soul purpose is an ever-winding one.