Duncan Burns

VeggiDome: Simple Tool, Like a Hammer : )

VeggiDome

The reason I've brought up VeggiDome being a simple tool, like a hammer, is that Anything can be made complicated! Some people make a career of making things complicated. 

You wash the vegetables, trim them, and put them into the VeggiDome. Then you eat them. When you eat at least two veggies from it per day, it helps the atmosphere inside, and it helps you. Simple. Like a hammer is, simple. 

But I say that with a smile, because all tools demand consideration. A hammer can hit your thumb, bend the nail, dent the wood, get lost in the tool-shed, etc. But you don't throw it away if you have trouble with it ...you consider how to use it best.

Same with the VeggiDome. Example: If you normally juice a lot of kale, then put a bunch of kale in. It's great to just grab clean veggies and toss'em in the blender! But be considerate, because big kale leaves that are older when picked will begin to yellow after 3 days (like it's growing on the plant still,) so consider piling in as much kale as you might juice up during the next 2 or 3 days.

People like to request a competition between the refrigerator and the VeggiDome. But that's not the point. You don't toss out one tool, just because you have a new one. It's better to keep your fresh vegetables by using a combination of these tools.  I don't want to state the obvious, but the VeggiDome and fridge are different.  Just like your hammer and a door knocker are different.  They both bang, but you don't stop using the door knocker just because you now own a hammer!

The VeggiDome is for cleaned, trimmed, ready to eat vegetables to be out on your table, where they'll get eaten. The fridge? That's where you've got the rest of the veggies, waiting to get into the Dome! 

Starting With Your New VeggiDome

VeggiDome

I know this picture has a lot of veggies in it, I couldn't resist! Really, it's recommended that you start out simple for the first batch in your VeggiDome.

Six celery sticks, rinsed and cut on the ends.

Six carrots whole, rinsed and cut on the ends.

Six leaves of lettuces broken off or still on the head if it's small enough, rinsed.

The maybe put one or two choice vegetables you might have on hand.  

The important next step is to eat them.  Don't treat it as a still life.  Eating at least two veggies out of a VeggiDome per day makes for the best atmosphere/operating conditions. Then week after week see if you can get the Zero waste balance going. If you end up having too many carrots in there for the week, then only put in four or five next time!  Eating is personal.  Tastes change. Seasons definitely change.  Eventually, when you understand your rhythms with veggies better, put in a sample from every vegetable from the fridge, except for food you may only cook, like eggplant or potatoes. It's so cool to see your selections of veggies, every time you walk by the kitchen. Beautiful food? Go ahead, give in to healthy temptation!

VeggiDome: The Inventor’s Story

VeggiDome

As a father, I’m interested in ways to help my two children stay healthy.  One day, 11 years ago, I was getting lunch ready in the kitchen and I thought I’d wash a whole bunch of fresh vegetables at once, to see how many and which one would get eaten. “What the heck”, I boldly piled a large assortment of carrots, celery sticks, green beans, radishes, etc. onto a large plate. The kids smiled at this sight, and over the course of the meal ate one or two pieces and scattered off.

Then I did something that changed the entire kitchen for years. Instead of scooping the fresh vegetables into a plastic bag and tossing them into the fridge, I covered the pile with a clear glass-mixing bowl. A couple hours later, I lifted the bowl off again for dinner. I was amazed how well this simple idea had worked. My family kept it on the table throughout the week, adding a variety of vegetables.  Seeing that they were fresh, the kids kept eating them up!

The glass device stayed on the table for years, as I experimented with it and tried to solve some of the problems, like vegetables sticking out the bottom, kids not replacing the cover, etc. The idea was working pretty well, but it wasn't until recently that I cut a hole in the top glass and I put a special lid on it, like a cookie jar top. This was a great improvement! Not only could the children serve themselves more easily, but I found that I was able to drop new vegetables in without veggies spilling out of the bottom and I could put in more food because I could fill it up to the top.  But the real surprise came when I brought the new design to U.C.L.A. to have it looked at.

I was able to show the VeggiDome to Ann Hirsch, Ph.D., May Wang Ph.D. and William McCarthy, Ph.D., all who gave me positive remarks and were happy to see a device that could display vegetables on the table, helping people eat more healthy food. I agreed to try for a series of tests, when I could get enough units to them. Dr. McCarthy emailed me: “I continue to recognize the value that the dish set would have …in households with young children.” The remarkable part was when Dr. McCarthy began speaking of Ethylene gas (which I’d never heard of!) coming off of the cut produce.  It seems that some fresh veggies emit this hormone as a gas that triggers the cells to “ripen” faster, maybe for survival, as buds open, seeds sprout, and leaves age and droop.  Well, the professor said that (compared to the tight confines of a plastic bag with twister in your fridge,) my VeggiDome bowl not only allows a mixture air that dilutes the gas effect, but my new lid let the gas escape, including through normal use when the children grabbed a snack!

My understanding of vegetables has changed.  

When I walk through my kitchen I see vegetables, always visible, ready to eat.

I see plants that are “drinking” from air in the glass dome, thriving.

Campaign Success! Now We're Looking to Make a Manufacturing Run

VeggiDome

The beginning of this blog is written by the sage master Brian McMahon of Expert Dojo in Santa monica, then he passes the story to us:

When Duncan and Eddie walked in the door of Expert DOJO I saw the potential for a product which the world sorely needs.  Their dream at the time was a special container for vegetables, which remarkably keeps them fresh for 4-6 days. This would solve the worlds biggest food waste problem - we throw out 30%+ of all the vegetables we buy and that adds up to 40 billion dollars of waste a year.  The problem is even bigger when you look at increasing obesity rates and a danger level increase in diabetes.  Enter the Veggidome, a cookie jar for the kitchen table, which keeps vegetables fresh, right in front of your nose.

The plan to start a crowdfunding campaign was an easy one but the logisitcs, platform and strategy was not.  Neither founder had been in this industry for long, so their social influence was small, the veggidome was relatively new as a product and the vegan and vegatarian marketplace was not that easy to enter.  What they did in the next 3 months though will blow your mind and help you build your roadmap to success.  I will let Duncan take it from here..

Our crowd funding campaign started months before the launch date we began by contacting our closest friends or family about the start date and how we needed them to act on the first day plus tell their friends about it. Then we contacted close friends, then folks we hadn't talked to in a while, then people we hadn't talked to for a decade... You get the point!  But you can't just sell to your friends, especially a product you hope could help change the world.

 

Importantly, we reached out to people who are passionate about their plant-based diet, about being healthy, and about not wasting resources on the planet. These are the people that understood quickly the usefulness of the VeggiDome. We worked harder on this crowd funding campaign than any effort in our lives. Think about a college final exam week that lasts 45 days! During that time we contacted influential people and shuttled working VeggiDomes to their homes. We sponsored an evening of celebration for Green-conscious and sustainable businesses, which allowed us to learn much and network more. One thing that rang true: only personal contact and direct letters will make the difference, a lot of them!

 

Now that the Indiegogo campaign has been successful: 1. We are continuing with their InDemand format and offering more, so we can fund high quality VeggiDomes.  2.  We need to spend the money wisely and deliver hundreds of the VeggiDome's to households across the USA. A daunting task, but there's nothing we would rather do in the world!

Recap on The VeggiDome Health and Happiness Celebration in Santa Monica, CA.

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Steve Glenn of LivingHomes introduced each panelist in Santa Monica’s Expert Dojo evening discussion. Speakers described current developments in sustainable business, and visions for a healthy planet, into the future:                               (from left to right)

Molly Lavik – Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles

Abigail Steinberg – Author of Recipe For Success: An Insider’s Guide to Bringing Your Natural Food to Market

Robin Shank – Operations Manager of Green Business Networking/ Green Economy Think Tank

Dorit D. – Founder of Green Lifestyles Network, & Serenity Spaces/Serenity Foods & Author of Celebrating Our Raw Nature.

 

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Molly Lavik spoke of the advantages of working within a coalition of other like-minded individuals, excited for your cause. She added that now there has been an increase in the use of an “advisory board.” This is where you reach out to various groups or individuals, who share your goals and you help each other, in achieving these shared goals.

Abigail Steinberg described the rise in number of natural products being brought to market by individual entrepreneurs.  She added that, given the proper preparation and process, these small companies may well find success, because natural products are in an increasing demand.

Robin Shank described the progress that has been made through organizing aligned causes and groups such as the Green Business Network, the Sustainable Business Council, Green Drinks, and many more.

Dorit D. explained that she founded Green Lifestyles Network and now has left it in capable hands to pursue Serenity Spaces.  Her current effort focuses on the understanding that people can change their lifestyles progressively, yet need to mindful that the lifestyles themselves, need to be sustainable.

VeggiDome

Then a Q and A segment began as the audience spontaneously began asking a variety of questions to VeggiDome inventor, CEO Duncan Burns.

VeggiDome

The status of VeggiDome Patents was inquired about. The audience learned that a series of three Design Patents have been filed. In addition, a Utility Patent has been filed which is in “Patent Pending” stature. One gentleman remarked “Good Luck!” Duncan responded that he knew that copy-cats may begin to follow a VeggiDome success, but stated “We are going to stay ahead of the game by developing a progression of designs. But I really think that the more plant-based food that is not being thrown away, and the more people that are going to walk into their kitchens and grabbing vegetables, the better!”

All photos credit: California Mermaid Photography

All photos credit: California Mermaid Photography

 

 

Added shots from the VeggiDome Health and Happiness Celebration in Santa Monica, CA

Duncan Burns, was happy to see Eric Brent Co-Founder of Happy Cow, who remarked that he and his wife Diana are enjoying the advantages of a VeggiDome in their kitchen. They want to keep trying different veggies and are enthusiastic about keeping it.

Duncan Burns, was happy to see Eric Brent Co-Founder of Happy Cow, who remarked that he and his wife Diana are enjoying the advantages of a VeggiDome in their kitchen. They want to keep trying different veggies and are enthusiastic about keeping it.

VeggiDome Partner Eddie Haddad played the live music, at his own event(!) with percussionist Sean Moriarty.  The band, Varna, continued throughout the evening, joined by singer, Tiana Woods.  

VeggiDome Partner Eddie Haddad played the live music, at his own event(!) with percussionist Sean Moriarty.  The band, Varna, continued throughout the evening, joined by singer, Tiana Woods.

 

The Arrival of the VeggiDome Advantage

Hi All,

Duncan here, I'm so happy that VeggiDomes are being recognized by the green and sustainable communities for our method to cut food waste. At the same time, we have received kudos for providing a kitchen device that will help children eat more fresh vegetables. It's been an amazing journey, from trying to have vegetables for my children to grab from the table, to becoming part of two huge movements:

1. The passionate Plant-based Vegan/Vegetarian movement, paired with the growing number of Doctors who are promoting plant-based diets. 

2. The surging End Food Waste or Zero Food Waste movements that are joining international memberships, making political strides forward, and changing laws to place less burden on our shared resources. I'm hoping that VeggiDome can make a difference on the home front.

It's heartening to see the positive trends.  We have a long way to climb, but with the goal of health for others and health for our planet, the solutions will be in hand.  Just keep eating your vegetables, you'll need them!

 

The Rhythm For No Vegetable Waste

VeggiDome

 

I had to write this as I come in from the grocery store so I could follow my method.  
1. Empty the grocery bags, take all the vegetable bundles out. 
2. I take the veggies out of their bags one at a time, then wash and peel off outer leaves. The outer leaves are older, but just from the store these are tasty.  If you eat or put them in the VeggiDome first, then they won't be found spoiled later in the fridge!  
3.I like to wash and put in a healthy sample of each veggie.  Like 6 or 7 stalks of celery, 5 carrots, you get the idea.
By putting outer layers or older parts in the Dome 1st, then they are seen, eaten, go into the salad right away or get chopped to size for being cooked. Turned into veggie something.
Trying one day at a time: approaching Zero Waste.