Studies show that food waste releases 11% of the world's total greenhouse gases. Also, as food sits decaying in landfills, it creates nitrogen pollution, which produces algae blooms and dead zones. For FedUp Foods co-CEO Zane Adams, working to shift these alarming statistics are just a tiny part of the work he is doing in the regenerative food space.
"I’ve been able to combine my passion for people and the planet with my business background and foster different partnerships and collaborations in sustainable ways," Adams says. "I previously worked in restoring buildings, and prior to that I worked in the entertainment space. Overall, I am motivated by a desire to understand our human story, our ancestral history and connection to each other."
EBONY caught up with Adams—a sustainability power player, in our book—to get a better understanding of the work that he's doing in the space.
EBONY: Why is sustainability important to you? How does this reflect in your work at FedUp Foods?
Zane Adams: Sustainability and regeneration is so vital. Life is about the process of how we as people collaborate and co-create our existence, and it’s impossible to do that without a planet and without feeling a connection to the Earth. As part of the team at FedUp foods, we say we are united in purpose to craft delicious, high-quality, nutrient-dense fermented products; invest in the regeneration of the planet and use business as a conduit for positive social impact. Empowering communities and places that are food insecure to not only survive but thrive is one of the greatest things we can do and a big part of our values.
Beyond the work mentioned, how do you like to ground in nature?
Aside from growing and cooking fresh food, one of the simplest things I like to do is walk barefoot outside and take a few deep breaths to connect to the planet. It offers a little pause in the daily mundane and allows one to step into what that means to be human for a moment. When we created our kombucha brand, Buchi, we included a similar suggestion on the bottle. It invited you to take off your shoes and walk outside, place your feet in front of you, drop your hands and just breathe in and breathe out. From this simple practice, it was amazing the responses we received. People felt excited about just this simple activity of connecting to the earth and others.
How can we, too, become more eco-friendly?
Think about how you use carbon and create waste. I am lucky enough to live in an off-grid home, but some smaller ways that you could save power and reduce your carbon footprint would be to turn off lights when you leave a room, think about the things you leave plugged in and charging all the time. Also, composting is a wonderful way to reduce your waste and create amazing high quality soil which you can use to grow your own food. You can start by composting. Collecti your food scraps and put them in buckets, cutting some air holes in them. Then place a little bit of organic debris on it like fallen leaves, it will break down into the most beautiful soil for growing resilient plants. Both of these things don’t cost anything and they allow you to have agency in the future of the planet.
I would also invite others to think about resilience versus sustainability. The difference is that resilience allows for adaptability and flexibility versus reactiveness. If you can cultivate a mentality where choices are not just made for momentary satisfaction but from a really cool connected sense of who do I want to be, and what do I want to experience. It allows buying decisions to be thought about from a perspective of will this thing enable me to be less dependent on material things and more empowered to live a life of freedom.
Tell us your all-time favorite sustainable product or gadget?
I love lamps that you can recharge in the sun and use without power to really create beautiful lighting and an ambience in a room. I also love seeds and my pour over coffee maker.