Tag Archives: Food waste

New Database Lists Solutions To Our Food Waste Problem | Instant News

The food waste problem has long challenged the US where as much as 40% of food is thrown in the trash, not to feed families. Now ReFED Insights Machine, a new online data center with detailed analysis of food waste (by sector, state, food type, cause, purpose and impact), hopes to provide solutions in front of investors, rather than sad statistics. This machine provides an in-depth overview of more than 40 solutions to reduce food waste, including extensive financial analysis.

In addition, ReFED, the national non-profit organization behind its new database, put out files Roadmap to 2030: Reduce US Food Waste by 50%. He argues that to accelerate efforts to reduce food waste over the next ten years, we must do so prevent (stop waste from happening in the first place), save (redistributing food to people at risk of being wasted), and recycle (disposing of waste as energy, agriculture, and other products) food is at risk of being wasted.

Dana Gunders, Executive Director of ReFED, provided more clarity about food waste in America and how ReFED is trying to build a movement for change.

Esha Chhabra: In 2019, a large 35% of all food in the United States was reported as unsold or uneaten. Where is most of this waste going?

Gunders Fund: This is wonderful! And it happens throughout the food system. Households still account for the largest share of food waste (37%), followed by consumer-related businesses such as restaurants and retailers (27%) and then agriculture at 21%. The reasons for food loss and waste differ at each stage of the supply chain – for example, a perfectly edible product is not harvested on the farm because of too tight buyer specifications or labor unavailability; food is thrown away in restaurants because the portion sizes are so large that customers can’t finish everything served – in fact, 70% of food left in restaurants is food that isn’t eaten on people’s plates; and many consumers are still not very good at managing their food, so much of what they bring home ends up being thrown into the trash.

The implications of wasting food are also enormous – including the greenhouse gases of 58 million cars and making food the number one product in our landfills.

Nonetheless, we saw some positive signs. The total amount of food waste has decreased over the past few years, and the amount of food waste per capita has actually decreased slightly. But we are still far from the national and international goals of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030.

Chhabra: What innovations have you seen in business to address this? Is there a success story you can share that really shows traction?

Gunders: We know food waste is a problem that can be solved, and the good news is that solutions to reduce it already exist. One promising solution is enhanced demand planning, which uses artificial intelligence to help food retailers better predict their supply needs. The stock of typical American groceries is 50,000 items, but until now we have relied on guesswork to determine how many specific products will sell during the week. Implementing AI helps grocery stores to see sales patterns, weather, day of week, etc. To estimate more precisely how much inventory is needed. Fresh Thyme Market, for example, there was a 25 percent reduction in production losses using this technology.

Other promising solutions that have emerged include flash sale applications that help wholesalers and restaurants sell food at the last minute before dumping it, distribution innovations that send products with reduced shelf life to closer destinations, and innovative product lines that “improve” a byproduct of manufacturing into a food product that can be sold.

Chhabra: Why did you decide to create this online portal?

Gunders: We want to move the food system from awareness about leftovers for action, and in order to do that, people need to find information that is relevant to their situation. By building ReFED Insights Machine, We can create dynamic tools that allow users to filter data and solutions relevant to them so they can understand where opportunities exist to reduce food waste and ultimately take action.

There is also tremendous momentum to reduce food waste right now, so the timing feels right. Project Drawdown for 2020 Withdrawal Reviews named reducing food waste as one of the top solutions for reducing greenhouse gases. The United Nations, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Environmental Protection Agency have aligned ambitious but achievable goals to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.We are starting to see more conversation around the impact of food waste on the environment, economies, and society on generally, however, to date there has not been a centralized center where players across the food system can access the information they need to implement food waste reduction solutions to drive meaningful change.

Chhabra: How difficult is it to get accurate data for all of this?

Gunders: Measuring food waste is much more complicated and less common than something like energy use. It takes a lot of work to collect and analyze data because everyone measures it differently – and many people don’t measure it at all, so you often fall behind on estimates from data collected for different purposes. That’s why we include data quality figures on all of our charts at Insights Engine. Engine Insights and Roadmap to 2030 is based on extensive analysis of public and proprietary data from the entire food system. Our analyzes come from more than 50 data sets and input from dozens of experts and practitioners from the food industry, trade professionals, solutions providers, academia and more. Even with the extent of our analysis, there is still much room for improvement and better data on this topic. There are also some interesting image recognition technologies emerging that could one day significantly increase the data in this space.

Chhabra: Where do you think the greatest progress has been on this issue?

Gunders: One area where there’s been a bit of progress is standardizing date labels – you know, the “sold by” and “use by” dates you see. They don’t show that food is unsafe, but many people believe that they do and end up throwing food away prematurely. Their standardization is the first step to addressing this, and the food industry has set guidelines for it and is in the process of implementing it. Another area of ​​advancement has been with the cafe becoming “trayless”. Because people tend to take in more food when the tray is available in an all-you-can-eat situation, moving the tray can reduce waste. While not many of those situations are operational right now because of COVID, if and when they return, most major food service companies have removed trays at most institutions.

Chhabra: Where do we still need to continue working on food waste?

Gunders: It may sound cliché, but there is honestly a LOT of work to be done at every stage of the food system. Our analysis only achieves the goal of a 50% reduction if everyone adopts the solutions that are relevant to them. One of the things that underlies all of this is culture – I could walk down the street and throw half a sandwich right on the sidewalk and people would get mad because I littered, but if I dumped half of the same sandwich in the trash, they wouldn’t think as much. that. Until we fundamentally change our culture to make wasting food unacceptable, I don’t believe we’ll really make any progress.

Chhabra: Do you think this is an American problem or a global problem? Are other countries struggling with the same problem?

Gunders: Although ReFED’s work focuses on the US, food waste is a global challenge. The United Nations has explicit Sustainable Development Goals around this issue; countries in Europe, Africa and Asia are working on it; and global companies are also participating. We actually just heard from the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture that has used ReFED Roadmap to make their national plan! In addition, the world’s ten largest wholesalers have committed to the Champions 12.3 “10x20x30” initiative, in which they engage their 20 suppliers to reduce operational waste by 2030. We are pleased to see progress, but much more needs to be done.


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Connecticut Seems To Use Leftovers As Fuel | Instant News

In Connecticut, the expected closure of the Hartford waste-to-energy plant next year and the cost of sending waste out of state have lawmakers worried about what to do with all their trash.

There are now different attempts across the state to turn leftovers into fuel.

The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection launched the Organics Infrastructure Initiative last month to try to tackle Connecticut’s 2.5 million tonnes of annual waste.

This initiative will help communities build compost sites and food collection programs. However, DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said upgrading organic infrastructure in the state would require collaborative efforts from developers and community leaders to make it happen.

The state has only one anaerobic digestion facility that converts organic matter into fuel and fertilizer. Three other facilities have been permitted but not built. The Hartford plant, which burns all types of waste for energy, is expected to close next year.

The New York Times reports New York City recycles less than 20% of the more than 3 million tonnes of organic matter that its residents produce each year.


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Report: A leftovers digester project can be done at the Yahara Hills Golf Course | Local government | Instant News

“From a sustainability point of view, we can’t put 20% into landfills with limited space,” said Reece.

At the meeting, city recycling coordinator Bryan Johnson said the city collected about 45,000 tonnes of trash and about 10,000 tonnes of this was food waste. That means 10,000 tonnes of groceries “we could do better than just park them in landfills”.

Digesters can also combat the linear economic mindset of buying, using and disposing.

“It has to be circular,” said Reece.

Committee members received the report with the additional recommendation that the city develop a detailed model for applying the digester to the greater Madison area by a specific date to be determined.

The consultants completed an analysis of available raw materials, or raw materials that could be processed in a digester, in Dane County from sources such as waste carriers, food production facilities, and wholesalers.

Among other tasks, engineers provide a financial analysis of the project to determine its feasibility. To do that, they chose the Yahara Hills Golf Course, which is located across from the Dane County Sanitary Landfill, as a potential location for building a digester facility.


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Reduce Food Waste, Save Resources with SWACO | Instant News

If you are a resident of Central Ohio, chances are 86% of your population is concerned about the amount of local food being wasted. Each year, 160,000 acres of land are used to grow food thrown by the people of Central Ohio – about half the size of Franklin County.

When residents of Central Ohio throw away uneaten or old food, they may think all they are throwing away is leftovers. But what many people don’t realize is that they also waste all the resources that go into growing, harvesting and transporting food.

It may not seem like much, but when it all adds up, nearly a million pounds of food waste are dumped in Franklin County every day. And across the country, nearly 40% of the food that is produced goes to waste.

That’s why the Solid Waste Authority in Central Ohio, or SWACO, started the Save More Than Food campaign, to educate community members about the impact of food waste in Central Ohio, and provide simple tips every day on how to be more sustainable.

We all have a role to play in reducing food waste. In fact, a lot of food waste occurs at the household level, in our own refrigerators. When you make small decisions such as thinking about what foods to buy and taking the time to store food properly, You can make a difference.

Want to get involved, but not sure where to start? Check out the resources below.

  • Reducing food waste is more than just composting leftovers. Learn about other ways to reduce food waste, such as saving food before it becomes waste to feed our communities or protecting our environment and natural resources by preventing food waste.
  • Think you know food waste? Put your knowledge to the test with the Save More Than Food Quiz and learn how you can make a difference. Post your results on social media and compare your scores with friends.
  • Sign up for the Save More Than Food Quarterly Newsletter to stay abreast of the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative’s latest food waste reduction efforts and learn more about seasonal tips, tricks and ways to make a difference.

Visit the Save More Than Food website to learn more about how to make a difference by reducing food waste at home, in school, working, and enter food business.


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Garbage New Life Food | Instant News

World renowned chef Thomas Keller once said, “Respecting food is respecting life, for who we are and what we do.” But, at the moment 40% of the country’s food is not eaten – over 66 million tons a year – and the results are widespread, from starvation to taxes on the environment and the economy.

Growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of uneaten food in the United States is expensive. Nationally, this translates to an estimated annual price of $ 218 billion, at the cost of a house of four an average of $ 1,800 a year. Apart from that, needy wasted food more than 20% of national landfills, where it produces methane, a greenhouse gas up to 86 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

Now, a team from the University of California, Riverside (UCR), has found a way to keep unused food out of landfills and use it for more beneficial uses.

What the researchers found in their studies Citrus plants, published in the journal Frontier in Sustainable Food Systems, show that fermented food waste can actually increase bacteria which – in addition to increasing plant growth – can make plants more resistant to pathogens and reduce carbon emissions from agriculture.

“The beneficial microbes increase dramatically when we add fermented food waste to plant growth systems,” says UCR microbiologist Deborah Pagliaccia, who led the research. “When there are sufficient numbers of these good bacteria, they produce antimicrobial compounds and metabolites that help plants grow better and faster.”

To help combat some of the environmental damage caused by food waste, the UCR research team set out to find alternative uses other than bins. For their research, they examined the byproducts of two types of waste available in Southern California: beer collision – a byproduct of beer production – and mixed food waste dumped by grocery stores.

After the waste is fermented, it is added to the citrus irrigation system in greenhouses. Within a day, the average population of beneficial bacteria has doubled to two to three times greater than that of untreated plants. This trend continues whenever researchers add treatments.

The end result is the same as optimal production for crops as well as reduced costs for farmers. “If the waste byproducts can increase the carbon to nitrogen ratio in the plant, we can leverage this information to optimize the production system,” says Pagliaccia.

The study suggests the use of the food waste byproducts under study could also complement the use of synthetic chemical additives by manufacturers – in some cases eliminating the use of those additives altogether. Plants will, in turn, become cheaper.

“There is an urgent need to develop new agricultural practices,” said UCR plant pathologist and study co-author Georgios Vidalakis. “California oranges, in particular, face historical challenges such as Huanglongbing’s bacterial disease and limited water availability.”

Pagliaccia also emphasized that new methods must be developed. “We have to transition from a linear ‘take-make-consume-waste’ economy to a circular economy where we use something and then find new purposes for it. This process is critical to protecting our planet from depletion of natural resources and the threat of greenhouse gases. That’s the story of this project. “


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