02 August 2012

The Blue Economy

In 2010 I started an artisanal food business called mo foods. We took surplus fruit from neighbor's backyards and turned it into value-added products. Our first sales at the local underground market consisted of Preserved Meyer Lemons, Meyer Lemon Marmalade, Lemon Flavored Kombucha, Meyer Lemon Sabayon w/Santa Rosa Plum Chunks, Nasturtium Pesto, and Hand-Squeezed Sparkling Lemonade. We sold out. And not only that, but our mailing list became overrun with people begging for us to come pick their fruit. We would bring finished products to trade, but it mostly didn't matter. They just hated to see the fruit go to waste and were eager for us to use it.

The second time we sold at market, we used meyer lemon rinds to make Limoncello, then took those vodka-soaked rinds out and made Limoncello Marmalade. The peeled lemons became lemonade, and finally, we composted whatever was left into our back garden, home to the Santa Rosa plums.

This ultra-efficient cycle of using pre-existing resources and being particularly creative about it, is behind the Blue Economy. I was introduced to this concept by Vivian Wang of TrustCloud, at a Shareable meeting - and apparently Gunter Pauli and ZERI are working hard to encourage innovation more sophisticated than my little food business.

In my mind, anything that switches us from a mindset of scarcity over to abundance, is worth paying attention to.

Here's a short video explaining the concept.


I look forward to seeing what comes out of it, and when the rest of the world embraces this idea too.