Full Circle Feed: Sustainable Dog Treats
From trash to treats, Full Circle Feed has repurposed food leftovers to make dog cookies for your furry friends.
Michael Amadori, a young entrepreneur in Syracuse, built Full Circle Feed from his master’s thesis for ecological engineering at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The process made use of the food leftovers from the campus dining hall.
“The fish were grown in an aquaponic system where the tank water provides nutrients, and it’s cleaned by a gravel bed growing vegetable crops,” Amadori said.
The hybrid processing facility creates fish, vegetable crops and feed pellets, which developed as a perfect recycling loop system.
But, Amadori realized that the market of feed pellets for fish or chicken is saturated, and there are no advantages to compete with the mass manufacture companies, no matter the costing or the scale of the business model.
Incidentally, Amadori found that his pug dog Scooter loves the fish feed he brought home, and it works great as training treats. He then decided to switch to producing dog treats through the recycling loop system. With the practical idea, he took part in Student Business Competitions. Through the help from the Tech Garden and Syracuse Student Sandbox, Amadori started his own business.
According to a study of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the efficiency losses in the U.S. Food Supply System ranges from farming, processing, distribution, retail, food service to disposal.
“The society has ignored the value of billions of tons of wasted food from which the energy and nutrients can be reused,” Amadori said.
The dog treats of Full Circle Feed are made with vegetables, meats, fruits, and breads from casino buffets. The food they used as raw materials were prepared but not served rather than the food scraps after the meals.
Currently, Full Circle Feed bakery produces about 400 boxes of dog treats a week, and they’re trying to grow the capacity. Amadori’s vision is to land his dog treats bakeries in multiple factories and many cities.
“Instead of having one big factory and shipping the products, we want to have little factories producing the food. In that way, the money that people are spending on the treats are back to their community to support their manufacture and economy. So even their dollars become a full circle,” Amadori smiles. “We take the food from that city, reuse it, and turn it into dog treats. Eventually, to make the people and dogs in that city, nice and happy.”
Want some crunchy biscotti sticks or square cookies for your dog? Go to the farmers market on Saturday, and these dog treats are available at Natur-Tyme, Syracuse Real Food Co-op, The Barking Orange, and here.