The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink

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Fortune and Food & Wine teamed up for the second year to bring you the dynamos bringing fresh ideas to everything from clean water and home products to goat cheese and wine—in ways that benefit the broader world. —By Beth Kowitt, Christine Quinlan, Lucy Madison, and Shadia Alame
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Kathleen Ligocki

CEO, Harvest Power
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Photograph by Mark Arbeit for Fortune

What if a cast-off burrito could help power a car? That’s the audacious thinking behind Harvest Power, which uses cutting-edge technology to transform food waste into clean energy. Ligocki estimates that a year’s worth of trash for a single restaurant could create enough electricity to power a home for a decade. Keeping food waste out of landfills is also helpful: Organic waste can produce a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Since taking over as CEO last year, Ligocki has raised new funding toward the company’s efforts to produce renewable energy and nutrient-rich soils. She’s also leading an even more ambitious project, converting the gas produced by food waste into natural gas that would eventually power vehicles. For more on Ligocki, read “Could your child’s uneaten broccoli help provide electricity?

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