Composting Champion of the Week
31 August 2018
“The whole goal is to put produce at the center of the plate.” says Katie Aukerman, a front of house manager at Little Eater. “We are farm-to-table, so we’re trying to source locally as much as possible, support local farmers, and feature the seasonality of the produce they’re growing.”
Katie adds that Little Eater naturally prioritizes health too, seeking to “reintroduce people to vegetables” in a delicious and enjoyable way.
“We’re just all about produce and wholesome ingredients,” she says.
Much like Acre or Sweet Carrot, two restaurants which Innovative Organics Recycling also services, Little Eater produces an enormous amount of food scraps due to their veggie-based, from-scratch menu.
Katie understood from the beginning the importance of composting those food scraps, explaining, “We care about sustainability, I knew we had so much food waste that needed to be diverted.”
Little Eater’s previous location in Columbus’ North Market first tried partnering with a small urban farm to divert their food waste. Though the partnership didn’t work out, Katie discovered Innovative Organics Recycling through the farmer’s markets. Katie immediately initiated Little Eater’s composting program with Innovative Organics Recycling when opening their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in October of 2017.
Katie says it couldn’t have gone better, affirming, “we were able to work the logistics of composting into the plan as we opened.” Little Eater now composts an average of 400 pounds a week, diverting nearly 2,000 pounds in March alone with Innovative Organics Recycling.
Moving forward, Katie says she’d like to see compost as streamlined, accessible, and normal as recycling, expressing, “I would just love if people would be more open to it.” She is currently working with Little Eater’s neighbors on high street, encouraging them to begin a compost program as well.
“We want to see it everywhere,” she asserts, “I want Columbus to be a hub for sustainability, to be a beacon of hope in the Midwest. And I think we have the ability to do so.”