Christy Cook recently joined the LeanPath team as an Account Director, where she is focused on delivering measurable food waste prevention for our strategic enterprise customers. Christy comes to LeanPath with a wealth of food waste and sustainability experience in the foodservice sector, and we recently sat down to ask her more about why this mission is so important to her.
Why did you decide to join the LeanPath team?
I worked with LeanPath in my previous job since 2010 and know from experience that LeanPath has been and continues to be at the forefront of food waste reduction innovation. Andrew Shakman and everyone at LeanPath has the highest integrity and passion for their work. When you consider those facts, there isn't a better place to be!
Why is working on food waste so important to you?
For me, there were times in my life when I was food insecure--I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from. With one in six Americans facing food insecurity, this is something that most people have either experienced or know someone who has.
Second, the topic of sustainability is so huge and complicated that people often feel they can’t do anything to make a positive impact. Reducing food waste is different. People can connect to food waste reduction because it's something they can relate to in their life and there are simple steps everyone can take to make a difference. And in most cases, you can also save money!
Working on food waste issues is important for me because it's impacted my life but I know that people want to and can take action. I can be the resource to help people understand how they can help and what they can do.
How do you think the sustainability and food waste landscape has changed in the last 5 years?
The food waste landscape has changed immensely in the last five years in many ways but if I focus on just one area that would be the increased general awareness of the topic. Hospitals, corporations, K-12 schools, universities and so many others have added food waste reduction or food donations as a top priority and many have demonstrated the importance of this through public commitments. We are also increasingly seeing government regulation. This means that people are exposed to the topic of food waste everywhere: In their workplace, homes and communities. As a result, there is increased awareness of the topic. It will be interesting to see the impact of that awareness over time.
What are you most excited about in your new role at LeanPath?LeanPath is the first company to address reducing food waste through data science. This is so important because data informs the impact of behaviors, identifies trends, and guides people to take action. I am most excited about combining my skills from previous food waste reduction work while leveraging LeanPath data to make a huge impact to food waste reduction.
Do you have any tips for avoiding food waste at home?
The best practice I use at home is to review the contents of my refrigerator every Sunday. I make a list of all leftovers or ingredients that will spoil over the course of the upcoming week. I use that information to menu plan meals for the week using all of the available ingredients. If I can’t use the ingredients, I freeze them for later or gift to a friend.
I also believe there is one simple behavior we can change that will make a huge impact. Often, when thinking of our next meal, we ask ourselves "what do I want to eat" instead of looking in our own refrigerators and pantries to use what we have on hand. With so many fast food restaurants and grocery stores easily accessible for many people, the easy choice of picking something up can lead to increased food waste by not using what you have while also spending more money.
Contact Christy Cook