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HEART BRAIN FARM - (Updated-Model making process- Red worm and SBF : 10.13.2016)

The main objective with Heart Brain Farm is the creation of a zero-waste community.

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
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Circular economy framework in food system design

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Deconstructing the current food system

Each of us must eat in order to survive. Food is one of our most fundamental biological needs. Humans are omnivorous and can obtain food from a variety of living systems.

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Before the Industrial Revolution, human beings adapted to nature, consuming what nature provided for them. With the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent emergence of larger cities and more advanced technologies that it enabled, human diets changed dramatically. Food has become more than just what we eat daily. Technological advances in agriculture, branding, media, advertising and pricing all influence contemporary human eating patterns. Pollan writes “The fact that we humans are indeed omnivorous is deeply inscribed in our bodies, which natural selection has equipped to handle a remarkably wide-range diet”. However, the biology of most of the food found in US supermarkets today is comprised of a very small number of plants, such as corn and soybeans. “For the past 50 years, U.S. farm policy has been increasingly directed toward driving down the price of farm commodities, including corn and soybeans.”

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In this millennium, the economy is driven by linear consumption culture. The business model is product and money-oriented and food has been commoditized along with other mass-produced goods. As in other industries, the linear culture (take-make-consume-throwaway) has penetrated the food market. “In the USA, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.” Such wasteful habits have devastating environmental effects. According to Georgia Griffin, all of this food waste is sent to landfills, where it then generates greenhouse gasses equal to produced by two million cars annually.

Furthermore, processed foods account for a major share of the food market and a full 70% of American’s diets; meanwhile, 85% of Americans cannot afford to buy vegetables or fruits. This reality helps explain “where man lost his way and ended up on a path to obesity, diabetes and heart illness.”

According to the organization State of Obesity, rates of these chronic diseases have doubled over the past twenty years. These diseases are associated with lower productivity in the community, job and school absences, and “42% more for direct healthcare cost.”

The commoditized linear food system does not sustain a balance or harmony between production, consumption, and nature.

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Slowly and surely we are killing ourselves and our planet. There is no away left!
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Circular economy framework

The circular economy framework is based on creating values. The business model is based on use and is result-oriented. Capitalist products play smaller roles and the values (sourcing, environmental, customer, information and labor values) are emphasized instead. Sharing experiences and services within the community is also a key element of this system. Harmony exists between nature, community, industry, economy, and (on a wider scale) humanity in general.


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Reconstructing the food system based on Circular economy framework- Heart Brain Farm:

Heart Brain Farm applies a circular economy framework to a food system. It is designed to transform the current food retail store (commodity-based) to operate on a circular pattern (community/service-based). With Heart Brain Farm, the consumer is directly involved in the production of food, and receives credits and discounts for her/his contributions to the system.

Heart Brain Farm’s users collaborate with local farmers by supplying them with organic, healthy, and free resources. This eliminates the need for costly fertilizers and other products that currently render organic produce impossibly expensive for many people.

The Organic fertilizers have a higher cost per unit of nutrient than synthetic fertilizer sources which make the crops price higher.  Synthetic fertilizer would be cheap but it has a long-term negative effect. It kills all the beneficial microorganism in the soil and “Nitrogen- and phosphate-based synthetic fertilizers leach into groundwater and increase its toxicity, causing water pollution.”

Furthermore, most farms add hormones to animal feed, which in turn creates health risks for people who eat the resulting meat products. The cost of organic food for these animals makes organic protein very expensive in the retail store.  

Heart Brain Farm User Experience

The main objective with Heart Brain Farm is the creation of a zero-waste community. In Heart Brain Farm’s food retail model, users’ purchases are placed in paper pulp shopping bags made from the community's paper waste. This shopping bag then turns into a garbage bucket for organic kitchen waste. The customer disposes of any leftover food in this bucket. The user then returns with the bucket to the retail store and donates the kitchen waste to the system. Heart Brain Farm then transfers this waste based on the

user’s wishes, which are articulated through a convenient application. This application is modeled on the Farmville computer game, which is currently the highest rated game of its type worldwide. People enjoy planting and growing food in this virtual environment. The Heart Brain Farm system allows users to “play” with their own kitchen waste and in turn, help to produce real food.


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There are two main circle systems in the application: black flies and red worm circles.* Based on his/her diet, the customer can decide on the journey of the bucket.

  1. Black flies emerge, mate and die. Each time they go through this life cycle, they create 200-500 eggs in one bucket. These eggs then turn to larvae, which eat the kitchen waste and become mature. These larvae are wonderful protein sources for pigs, fish, and chickens. In the end of this circle, users are awarded credit or discounts for eggs, chickens, fish, or pork products.
  2. Red worms break down kitchen waste, transforming it to fertilizer. The fertilizer can then be transferred to local farms. In the end of this circle, users are awarded credit or discounts for vegetables, fruits, roots, or grains.


These 2 circles create resources for farmers while reducing prices on healthy food in the community. Using natural methods of transforming kitchen waste to food resources is slower than the technological methods applied by today’s commercial farmers, but red worms and black flies duplicate easily and can therefore be conceptualized as a sustainable resource. These two living species are also highly sensitive to chemical materials. They react and die if there is chemical contamination in the bucket. This helps to ensure that the farming materials that they produce are safe and will support the growth of healthy plants.

Heart Brain Farm supports the maintenance of a healthy community while reducing the price of organic food. This, in turn, helps to reduce the costs of healthcare. Moreover, everyone in the community would know where their food came from and because they are involved in the processes of production, the amount of wasted food would decrease.

Butterfly diagram


*Two main circle systems:

Black Soldier flies and Larvae

“Insects as food and feed emerge as an especially relevant issue in the twenty-first century due to the rising cost of animal protein, food and feed insecurity, environmental pressures, population growth and increasing demand for protein among the middle classes.” In most of the countries these edible insects are forbidden for human. “Recent high demand and consequent high prices for fishmeal/soy, together with increasing aquaculture production, is pushing new research into the development of insect protein aquaculture and poultry.”

Black Soldier Flies Larvae (BSFL) are best alternative for animal feeds, “fly larvae can convert low value organic materials into protein and fat.”  In 1959, three researchers, Furman, Young and Catts made the first contemporary studies about Hermetia Illucens or in another word Black Soldier Flies (BSF) and their larvae. They are from Stratiomyidae family and commonly found in tropical areas. “ As adults, the BSF does not possess a stinger, nor do they possess a mouthpart or digestive organs to allow them to consume waste( BSF main energy sources is the fat which remain from Larvae stage.); therefore, they do not bite either.” According to Sustainable department Ph.D candidate Shwe Sin Win in Rochester institute of Technology, this is one of the reasons BSF die in 5-8 days.  



Red worms

“As key representatives of the soil fauna, earthworms are essential in maintaining soil fertility through their burrowing, ingestion and excretion activities. There are over 8000 described species worldwide, existing every- where but in Polar and arid climates.”

The earthworms are working as a sensor to the ecosystem. “They are increasingly recognized as indicators of agroecosystem health and ecotoxicological sentinel species because they are constantly exposed to contaminants in soil.”

Eisenia fetida, well known as red wiggler or compost worm is a species of earthworms family. In most of the countries, these worms are sold commercially for composting and fish bait.  According to Jim Robbins, a writer in NY Times, Red Wigglers compost called black gold for growers.


Bibliography

  1. Michael, Pollan. The Omnivore’s Dilemma, n.d.
  2. Heather, Schoonover, and Muller Mark. “Food without Thought How U.S. Farm Policy Contributes to Obesity,” n.d.
  3. “United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office of North America.” Food Waste: The Facts, n.d. http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts.
  4. Georgia, Griffin. “Leftovers--Into the Trash or Kitchen Disposal? Essential Answer,” n.d. http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=46023.
  5. Kai, Ryssdal. “Processed Foods,” March 28, 2013. http://www.marketplace.org.
  6. Latetia, V. Moore, and E. Thompson Frances. “Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — United States, 2013,” n.d. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6426a1.htm.
  7. Michel, Montignac. “Montignac Method.” Official Web Site of the Montignac Method, n.d. http://www.montignac.com.
  8. “The Healthcare Costs of Obesity.” The State of Obesity, n.d. http://stateofobesity.org/healthcare-costs-obesity/.
  9. Natasha, Gilani, and Media Demand. “The Effects of Synthetic Fertilizers,” n.d. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/effects-synthetic-fertilizers-45466.html.
  10. Arnold, Huis, Itterbeeck Joost, Klunder Harmke, Mertens Esther, Halloran Afton, Muir Giulia, and Vantomme Paul. n.d. “Edible Insects Future Prospect for Food and Feed Security.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation.
  11. Gary, Burtle, Newton G.Larry, and Sheppard D.Craig. “Mass Production of Black Fly Pre Pupae for Aquaculture Diets.” University of Gorgia
  12. R, . Rozkosný. A Biosystematic Study of the European Stratiomyidae (Diptera). Vol. 2
  13. Haeree, Park. “Black Soldier Fly Larvae Manual.” University of Massachusetts- Amherst
  14. Mehdi, Pirooznia, and Gong Ping. “Cloning, Analysis and Functional Annotation of Expressed Sequence Tags from the Earthworm Eisenia Fetida.” BMC Bioinformatics, n.d.
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The challenge: How to change a community’s behavior

One of the challenges in this project is changing people’s behavior, routines, and norms. A linear system has penetrated almost every part of modern life. This linear system introduced convenience culture, which generates enormous amounts of waste and ruins our natural resources. Drawing from the theory of change, new and more sustainable approaches can be used to improve human behavior.
The system of change has several different levels: personal, social, and political. My plan is first to change the individual’s behavior and norms. After that, social change will follow, as behavioral change is contagious. The behavioral changes of individuals and communities will change demands, ultimately forcing companies and distributors to respond.


I use different methodologies to address this challenge:

1) I use the Consequence Model of creating change (Heath and Heath 2010, 153). This approach means that if people know about the benefits of change, they will gain satisfaction through the pursuit of change in their lives.

2) I also draw upon Gamification and Game Theory methodologies (Acaroglu 2016). By developing a smartphone application, people can be encouraged to play with their kitchen waste as a way to maximize the effectiveness of their participation and to enhance the experiences of the wider community. Gamification creates motivation, enhances pleasure, and increases success, and at the end of the game individuals (and the wider community) will be rewarded with a discount on healthy foods.

3) I lastly apply Slow Education to the educational toolkit I am designing with two different target groups: First, the toolkit helps designers to apply a circular economy approach during their design thinking process in order to maximize the value of the materials and resources that they use, and also to encourage them to think about the bigger system rather than just the individual products. Second, the toolkit helps families to adopt the circular system in their daily lives to minimize their carbon/slave/waste footprints. The Slow Education will help to educate both the community and designers and to lead them to deeper learning.  

  1. Heath and Heath. 2010. Switch. New York, NY: Broadway Books.
  2. Acaroglu. 2016. UnSchool Disruptive Design Workshop, 15-18 July. New York, NY.
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Field survey

I made a trip to a red worm farm in Upstate New York to find out more about how these farms are working. The farm, called WORM POWER, is in the college town of Geneseo, NY. Ted Miller gave us a tour of the farm. He started the tour by explaining the raw materials used for red worm compost. He mentioned that the waste of cow manure in a farm close to their facility is roughly the same amount as that of the town of Brighton, NY per year. They use three different materials in the first phase of compost making. Cow manure, which they buy from a neighboring farm, corn plant waste, and worm compost (worm compost behaves like a yeast in bread). They mix these three materials together and leave them in big reservoirs. Then they add air and heat for couple months to get rid of CO2 and bacteria. They give this mix to worms to add their waste to it. He mentioned the nutrients content amount in the mix before redworm is half of the nutrients content after worms in the same mix! The consistency of the quality of output in this facility is very important for them.

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I highlighted a few "AHA!" moments during this trip:

  1. During our conversation related to the three materials that are mixed, he mentioned corn. Corn, again, is in the cycle of organic compost. I asked him if they used organic compost to grow this corn. The answer was that the organic compost was prohibitively expensive for farmers. They generally sell it to golf clubs or organic berry farms. For growing corn they use chemical fertilizer. This means thet they are adding chemicals to the soil in order to produce corn to turn it to organic fertilizer!
  2. He also mentioned they send their fertilizer to Los Angeles and Seattle. Their organic fertilizer is expensive to beging with and shipping costs further raise the price. However, organic producers in different places do not care that much about these costs because organic food is pricy
  3. He mentioned that the grocery chain Wegmans offered to donate their food leftovers for compost production. The facility did not accept it because of two reasons: 1) Different fruits in different seasons create different qualities in the compost, which would mean that there would be no consistency in the outcome, which would go against their policy. And, 2) They would need to get a permit from a waste institution which is very long and complicated process.
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Feedback


Claudia Kessler

Lives in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul

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Dear Claudia,

The paper pulp shopping bag is designed from the community's leftover paper and the detail on the edges of bag helps the user flip the edges to close it. This prevents the smell from coming out of the bag. Here are some photos demonstrating how the paper pulp shopping bag works.

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Jim Kuras

Lives in Rochester, NY, USA

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Dear Jim,

Your feedback was definitely helpful for thinking about the behind-the-scenes parts of the project. I have to think about how all participants in the system interact, such as communication between farmers and sellers. I have to think about how to convince sellers to buy from farmers who are working with soldier back flies and red worms. 
Also, what is the best way to bring kitchen waste from a kitchen waste collection center to the farm? 


Gurpreet Minhas

Lives in Gurgaon, Haryana

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Dear Gurpreet,
Thank you very much for your feedback! Comparing Western and Eastern cultures is a productive and helpful way for me to conceptualize the system from a different perspective. Heart Brain Farm is not only useful for Western cultures to repair their broken food systems but may also be useful for countries in the Global South that seek ways to cultivate cheaper and healthier foods. I have researched many examples of worm farm in Africa which help families create rich soil for agriculture. These were family-scale examples which helped maintain organic and fresh diets for family members. My goal is to expand this approach to something sustainable at a community level. 




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What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I have already been experimenting with this idea. Over the past several months, I have kept a red worm bucket in my apartment for composting kitchen waste. I use the compost in my university-provided garden plot and during the summer I harvested vegetables from it to donate to homeless shelters. Now, my family members are also using red worms at home. Furthermore, RIT's Sustainability department has started to feed the kitchen waste of our university to black soldier fly larvae in their lab.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Collaboration with the OpenIDEO team would help me to reach more people and to educate them about circular economy on a community scale. Also, collaborative design thinking with the OpenIDEO team would help me to identify gaps or shortcomings in my system design.

Tell us about your work experience:

I recently started my own design thinking group, which is called Heart Brain System. The group focuses on designing with a deep awareness and understanding of our own biases. We emphasize empathy as the core value of all of our design solutions. We apply the theory of change and circular systems thinking to our work. I am the creative director of RIT's Title IX-sponsored Yes Means Yes campaign. I have also worked as an industrial designer since 2008.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

How far along is your idea?

  • It was in the works before this challenge – it’s existed for 2-6 months

How would you describe this idea to your grandmother?

Hi, Grandma. The circular system is inspired by living systems in nature. Every system's end is another system's beginning. I am trying to apply this natural harmony to our food system. Our food leftovers can be used as food for redworms. The result of their waste products can be used to improve the soil that we grow our food in. There is no beginning and no end, just a cycle.

How is your idea unique to the space?

Heart Brain Farm is the first circular, playful, interactive, incentive-based, and transparent community food system. The system promotes healthier living while demonstrating the sources of food to the community. The simplicity and transparency of each step of the system helps the participants, both consumers and producers alike, to maximize interactivity during the process.

Who needs to play a role in your idea in order to make it successful?

1) Software engineer to design the application and create the connections between the app, farmers, producers, distributors, and customers 2) Red worm and soldier black fly farming expert 3) Agricultural engineering expert 4) Paper pulp manufacturing expert 5) Sustainability scientist to measure the impact of the system 6) Sociologist to measure the impact of the system on communities 7) Farmers 8) Accountants and lawyers 9) Community-based users

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

I will collaborate with scientists working at RIT's Sustainability department to learn how much nutrition can be created by kitchen waste. I will work with sociologists to determine the rates at which a community improves its diet by using Heart Brain Farm. I will measure how much the donation of kitchen waste to the system reduces farmers’ production costs for organic food.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

I plan to first apply this idea on a small scale in my community. I am working to create toolkits for communities and designers to apply a circular system approach toward food and other elements of daily life. I am also planning to present my design ideas to Wegmans, the largest grocery retailer in the Rochester, NY area.
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Team (5)

Mehrafza's profile
Mert's profile
Mert yıldız

Role added on team:

"I know Mert from my Undergraduate degree university and he is very eager to work on "Design for social change" and I think this is a great project to collaborate with him."

Aslıcan's profile
Aslıcan Aydın

Role added on team:

"Aslican helped me to see the business side of this project with her comment. I started to work on the business plan of Heart brain Farm after her feedback."

SHWE SIN's profile
SHWE SIN Win

Role added on team:

"I know SHWE SIN Win through my experiences with Soldier Black flies and Larvae. She is Ph.D. candidate at sustainability department at RIT. She is mentoring me during this project."

Serpil's profile
Serpil Karaoğlu

Role added on team:

"Serpil is a very good friend and designer who is an expert on User experience Design."

37 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Dimitri
Team

Hi Mehrafza,

Great idea to reduce food waste with intriguing pictures/animations. I'm wishing you all the best for this idea!!

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Hi Dimitri,
Thank you very much for supporting Heart Brain Farm. 

Photo of Sofia Midenge
Team

This is an interesting idea that deserves more attention. I understand that it is like a bio-shredder. I think, after a couple of iterations, this could turn into a great product people would like to have for themselves. I, for myself, would definitely try it out for my garden and see its effects on soil productivity. To that end, I think, Mehrafza you must not ignore the potential for a successful product. You could build a business around it. 

Photo of Ramtin
Team

Hi mehrafza,
it's a perfect idea and i like soooo much, wish lots of success for you!!! 

Photo of Lara Goulart
Team

Great idea, wonderful project and presentation!! 
All the information is very detailed and the illustrations help us to understand easily.
Congrats! Keep doing your best, our world appreciates that!

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Hi Lara,
I really appreciate your support and your time. 

Photo of laleh
Team

Likeeeeeeee

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Thank you Laleh!

Photo of Zari Jamali
Team

HI , dear Mehrafza , 
you did  a good job . All the phases has a good survey , mainly the deconstruction and reconstruction ones. The red worms , those hard workers, do their best to creat your mentioned  good system .in fact , when I saw those worms for the first time it was hard for me to believe such high responsibility through them, but after two months taking care of them it became an undiniable fact. 
Yes , after  being witness for two mounts , I am honor of saying  that :
you are in right path, those RED WORMS  are able not only to feed by garbage also to minimize the use of plastic garbage bags.
thank you for all your efforts on this project.
wish a green and peaceful life for everyone all around the world

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Thank you Zari,
I am very glad you had a positive experience with red worms and composting process. It was an amazing observation experience for me too, and I am glad to see the possibility of behavioral change by practicing.  

Photo of SHWE SIN Win
Team

Excellence ideas and this could be one of the solutions to address the growing problem of food waste across the global food supply chain at every stage, from "farm-to-fork" in community/local level. 

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

HAH! I really like this term : "farm-to-fork"!
Thank you SHWE SIN Win.

Photo of Serpil Karaoğlu
Team

The philosophy behind this well thought out project is very very valuable. The proposed system encourages people to do something right and healthy. Also gives us the chance to show our respect to nature. We know making compost is quite important for sustainability.  People learn how to do it from permaculture educations or different resources.  Its not very difficult but needs some efforts. Hence most of us give up after few trial. Thanks to this solution i can be involved in the process just donating my left overs and can follow whole process through app (seems more easy and applicable for majority). Maybe in time, the ones who are more into this, can get some tips and motivation from app and even start to do their own compost and donate compost directly. 
I believe that Heart Brain Farm System has the potential to create the change!
Looking forward to see the online app soon.
Congratulations Mehrafza :)

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Hi Serpil,
Thank you very much for the encouraging and positive feedback. I really like the idea of SELF TRYING process which I did for past few months in my apartment and donate my compost to the community garden at RIT to produce food for homeless shelters.
But I think self-composting donation would create some problems at consistency and quality of the compost and timing. 

Photo of Aslıcan Aydın
Team

First of all congrats for your environmentally sensitive and creative thinking. I really like the communications materials, they are very understandable and appealing. However I have concerns about the economical sustainability of the project. In your research you also mentioned that production with organic fertilizers is more expensive than using chemical fertilizers. Is giving organic home waste to farmers enough to close the price gap between organic and non-organic production? I guess the production with organic fertilizers is also a slower process than the commercialized way. Is the how many times you can harvest the same for both types of production? In the end what I want to say is: Is it profitable enough for small local farmers to abondon their ways and adopt the circular system. 
Another difficulty might be about the infrastructure. I am guessing that there will be one type of supermarket who will accept the organic waste and will also purchase from those farmers. Will it make farmers dependent to one single buyer? However having more buyers might make the system more profitable: let's say the farmer can sell the half of what he produced to the heart brain market with lower prices thanks to their fertilizer contribution, and sell half of the production to other organic good markets for the average market prices. That way it might become a more profitable business model.
Another concern for the infrastructure would be the storage of the compost. The supermarket will take them and store them somewhere for a while. There is a danger of spillage even if the bag itself is sealed. Especially when the supermarket needs to store them on top of each other. That would release the worms and flies into the supermarket which the customers won't be to happy about. But of course this is something rather easy to avoid, not a huge problem. 
I am sorry if I was too money focused but I believe for a system to work, it should work money wise first. Because it is how the system actors makes their life. If there is no gain for the, there is no reason to be involved. This can work for volunteering based small community gardens but to scale up an economical gain is needed. Maybe I was too exposed to start-up pitches and lost my my thinking that puts sustainability first.
I wish lots of luck and success for you! Looking forward to hear more about heart brain farm :)

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Hi Aslican,
Thank you very much for wonderful feedback! You asked me great questions related to the business model of circular economy. Opposite of a linear system, in which the only concern is money, a circular system's first concerns are values, such as environmental and social values. At the end, participants benefit from the advantages of this value-based system, with money being only one of many benefits. Local and micro-businesses are players in this circular business model and, as you mentioned, circular economy can be profitable for them. I approach your question, "Is giving organic home waste to farmers enough to close the price gap between organic and non-organic production?" on a very small scale. I collected my own kitchen waste for several months last winter and added redworms to it. By the beginning of the spring, my fertilizer was ready to use. I added it to my 3m*3m community garden plot. The fertilizer was not enough because the soil was very dry and overused, so I needed to also add cow manure (during my recent visit to a worm farm, I learned that the company also adds cow manure to other materials to make their fertilizer richer). I understand this process as related to price as the costs associated with inorganic fertilizers, which damage soil and water systems, are greater on a long term basis. The organic approach does not require investments in repairing damaged growing infrastructure over time. "I guess the production with organic fertilizers is also a slower process than the commercialized way. Is the how many times you can harvest the same for both types of production?” The process is slower than commercialized fertilizer, but the quality is greater: 1-3 months is enough time for harvesting fertilizer in red worm farm and 7 days is enough for soldier black flies. I want to respond to your concern that "There is a danger of spillage even if the bag itself is sealed. Especially when the supermarket needs to store them on top of each other. That would release the worms and flies into the supermarket which the customers won't be to happy about.” While the redworms and blackflies are used to produce the fertilizer, they are not adding to the bucket in the supermarket. There are separate centers for these farms and the customers do not see this process. After donating their waste, they see only the final products as fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. in the supermarket. After making their donations, customers decide about the journey of the waste with the help of the application. Meaning, they see red worms and black flies only as illustrations on their touch screens.

Photo of Mert yıldız
Team

As a 4th year Industrial Design student, I believe change in human minds and perspectives and I am very happy to support such a project like HEART BRAIN FARM. I hope to see positive results of this project.

Btw: I think illustrations are very clear and explain project perfect.

Thank you.

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Mehrafza! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 09/28" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Thank you very much for Tip. 

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Mehrafza, we updated the link to the Refinement Toolkit. Please use this new link instead! https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/bda1f109-0466-4f8e-9699-1359e406df56.pdf

Photo of Amber Matthews
Team

Does the flies and earthworms create any problems with smell?

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Hi Amber,
I kept 500 redworms in a bucket in my small apartment for 8 months. They don't have any smell.
In my university's sustainability lab we have Soldier Black Flies Larvae and they consume meat based food leftover and there is bad smell after we open their container's cap. 
At Heart Brain System, the customer disposes of any leftover food in the paper pulp bucket. The user then returns with the bucket to the retail store and donates the kitchen waste to the system. Heart Brain Farm takes care of this waste based on the user’s wishes, which are articulated through a convenient application to Redworm or Soldier Black Flies farm. 
I hope this helps to answer your questions. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Mehrafza

Photo of Amber Matthews
Team

Ahh, I got it. So they don't do it at home, but send it to you. That's awesome.

Photo of Mustafa Akkoc
Team

I endorse this idea

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Thank you Mustafa.

Photo of Mustafa Akkoc
Team

To OpenIDEO team , please add linkedin share icon as well to share with professionals

Photo of Hooman Yavi
Team

Hi Mehrafza Mirzazad 

The Heart Brain Farm is very cool, and I love the concept + design.
Someone recently told me that most "circular economy" companies are not actually "circular" per se, but rather extractive (or linear as you call it). Instead of making the circulation of food sustainable, most try to extract as much resources from the food as possible before composting it or wasting it. I think with the Heart Brain  Farm, you are actually creating a truly circular system, and educating your users and customers about sustainability.

Btw, those videos are amazing!

-Hooman

Photo of Mehrafza Mirzazad
Team

Hi Hooman Yavi,
I really appreciate your feedback about Heart Brain Farm's concept and design.
I have been researching a circular economy system for the last two years. Planned obsolescence and an emphasis on profits only (and at any cost) in the linear system have driven humans to exhaust and destroy our planet's resources. We all need to change our perspective and to see the picture with wider lenses. As part of my work for the Heart Brain Farm project, I am designing some toolkits for designers and communities to help them to apply the theories of circular system,  empathy, and change in their daily lives. Please let me know if you have any questions about this. 
All the best,
Mehrafza

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Thanks for the reply, I'm looking forwards to seeing more from the Heart Brain Farm.
I thought you might also be interested in this article:
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-iran-drought-snap-story.html

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Congratulations on being one of the forty ideas in the refinement phase. 

Who do you think would be one of the early adopters in the zero waste community? Are there some supermarkets that you think would be more susceptible to adopting/allowing Heart Brain Farm than others?

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Thank you, Kate. These are really good questions. 
I am working on an educational kit to help a community learn how to adopt a circular system to daily life.  I think community members would be the early adopters. Individuals can create change in their daily lives easier and faster than big companies and institutions can. I believe the change must start in the microcosm and expand to the macrocosm. 

When the demands of the community change, companies, producers, and distributors will be forced to change their linear system business model and adopt the circular model.

I think local farms, supermarkets, and public markets would be the next adopters to follow social demand for change. Some larger scale companies which already pay attention to communities' needs, such as Wegmans (which is a popular grocer in my community that sells local produce and is a highly rated employer), could also be potential early adopters.

I hope this helps to answer your questions. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
  

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I recently watched a video/documentary (Of course, can't remember what it was) I think in Denmark where they had community homes. These homes were almost like a dorm-style housing for families, elderly or singles. They had a community garden and they each took turns making food for the entire community (50ish people). They ended up only having to cook like once a month (in bulk) and they seemed to not mind it at all.

This would be great if it was applied to one of these community homes. They could be self-sustaining! 

I think it was called cohousing. I'll let you know if I think of it or find it!

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Hi Ange,
That sounds great. I applied this idea in my University community garden and every week we send our harvest to the homeless shelters which are not eligible for free food from the government. All during the summer, it worked and I hope we can bring it to the next step. Thank you very much for the information about this community houses. 

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Mehrafza:


My son, Weston, bought worm soil from a local bait retail developer in Hamburg, NY for his raised bed garden. What I’m wondering is- cringe factor aside- is if the worms can survive on nothing but waste? It seems they must need the microorganisms in the soil as much as we do. When they are grown indoors without sunlight aren’t they deficient?


If you take this to concept to other experimental settings, and I think there are many avenues to query: Co-ops, Farmer’s Markets, Local Farms, and the worm farm, etc.. I would like to assist you.


Have you seen this similar concept from Toronto? https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/ecoisland Please read the comments because Angel Landeros has a great link to an IKEA concept kitchen study.

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Dear Evelyn,
Thank you very much to direct me to Angel Landeros' Link. That was a great resource. We love to take this idea to the next phase and educate the local community about their kitchen waste and it's value. I  am also working with  a Ph.D. candidate at Rochester Institute of Technology-NY to develop the idea of Soldier Black Flies and their Larvae as a food resource for animals too.   I will be glad to collaborate with you. Please keep in touch. Good luck...

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Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

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Thank you...