Tom Colicchio's New Chicken Brand Is Repurposing Surplus Food

Over the past decade, the United Nations has reported an increase in the number of people globally suffering from food insecurity. Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, over 700 million global citizens faced hunger daily, up by 161 million in just a year. An additional 2.4 billion people, or a third of the world's population, in 2020 didn't have access to a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious food, an increase of 320 million people compared to 2019. Without a multi-tiered intervention, the UN predicts by 2030, a staggering 840 million people will suffer from hunger.

To reach the UN's goal of eradicating hunger by 2030, citizens, corporations, and politicians need to do their part, regardless of whether they see hunger in their community. Small changes, like supporting local farms, reducing food waste, and advocating for healthy food for all, can make a significant impact (per the UN).

As food experts, chefs advocate for a change in the current food system. José Andrés' World Central Kitchen is on the frontline serving communities facing humanitarian crises due to

war and natural disasters. Dan Barber is taking the farm-to-table concept to the next level by sharing his innovative farming practices to radically reshape the agricultural system and our relationship with food (per NYC Food Policy). And "Top Chef" host Tom Colicchio has been tirelessly influencing Washington to put nutrition and access to healthy food over corporate interests via Crafted Hospitality. Thanks to Colicchio, it's easier for us to do our part. 

Do Good Foods

Tom Colicchio is an investor and advisor to Do Good Foods, a company that uses food waste from the Philadelphia area, otherwise destined for landfills, to feed chicken later sold nationwide in supermarkets. The company currently collects 160 tons of unwanted food daily from grocery store donations, from "bagels to broccoli," and blends it with grain and veggies to make the pellets. According to the co-founder Justin Kamine, 40% of the food grown in the U.S. is thrown away, which according to Feeding America, equals 119 billion pounds of food. Households contribute 40% of the waste, while the remainder is commercial.

The company claims "one package of our chicken, stop[s] a pound of food from going to waste," which adds up. According to the USDA, Americans consume, on average, 98 pounds of chicken a year; you do the math. Since the surplus isn't certified organic food, the company cannot put "organic" on the packaging; however, Do Good chickens are free-range and raised without antibiotics or hormones.

Colicchio believes transitioning to this chicken brand will help "solve climate change." The chicken is available at select grocery stores nationwide, including Acme, Albertson's, Giant, Safeway, Shaw's, and Target, with plans to expand their locations and product line. Colicchio says their chicken tastes like other quality brands, and prices can differ regionally. A two-pound package of Do Good chicken is $7.99 per pound, a similar organic brand is $16.99, and the non-organic chicken is $5.99 (via Eat This).