Tag Archives: Food waste

How to reduce food waste during the corona virus pandemic | Instant News

More than a third of the diet in the US lost or wasted – worth an estimated $ 161 billion annually – a problem that is only exacerbated by corona virus pandemic. Tuesday marks the first year International Awareness Day on Food Loss and WasteCreated last year by the United Nations, experts encourage people to adopt new habits to combat the problem.

Closure of farms and factories, labor shortages, closings of restaurants and hotels, social distancing and other security measures increased food production and distribution, creating a litany new food waste problem at the start of the pandemic. But the effects are still being felt – one in three families with children today experiencing food insecurity

Food waste not only contributes to the global hunger crisis, but also has a negative impact climate change. Food that ends up in landfills does not decompose properly, and this waste is responsible for nearly 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN

“Prior to COVID, the USDA estimated that each year, an average of four American families lost $ 1,500 to uneaten food,” said Jean Buzby, USDA Food and Garbage Liaison, in a statement. news release Tuesday. “Time will tell whether new food habits will persist,”

To help solve this problem, the government, too business, buy excess food and redistribute it to soup kitchens and other places where it is needed. In some areas, restaurants buy groceries in bulk, then sell them directly to customers.

But Americans can accept problems too food waste into their own hands. Here are some ways to combat the world’s problems.

  • Plan your meal. Fewer trips to the grocery store during the coronavirus lockdown mean that Americans need to be more careful plan ahead. It is important to check what you already have in the house before you go shopping and stick to your plan to eliminate impulsive purchases that can lead to waste.
  • Store food differently. Many Americans buy in bulk during this time to get rid of the excess of traveling outside the home. But buying in bulk can easily lead to waste if food is not stored properly in kitchens and refrigerators. It is very important to freeze perishable items to extend their life.
  • Understand date labels. According to Food and Drug Administration, confusion around food labels contributes to about 20 percent of food waste in homes. Foods labeled “Best by” or “Best if used by” can be eaten well past the date, say the experts, as long as it looks and smells good.
  • Donate. ReFed, a national non-profit organization working to reduce food waste, has developed a database for individuals to find non-profit and commercial organizations that will take unused food and distribute it to food banks, kitchens, food programs and more. Find your local food bank via Feed America to donate unused food. Enough Harvest, a national resource focused on eliminating food waste, can help backyard gardeners find local soup kitchens to carry their excess produce. Environmental Protection Agency has interactive map which finds potential industrial, commercial and institutional excess food recipients. Farmers can work together Farmlink project, founded this year by students, to donate surplus products to food banks.
  • Learn to make compost at home. Many municipal composting services were suspended due to the pandemic. It’s easier than ever compost at home to ensure less food ends up in landfills.
  • Get creative. With a little creativity, everything in your kitchen can have a purpose. That National Resources Defense Council has a kitchen handbook with special categories for leftovers, so you can make good use of potato skins and herb stalks.

Behind the “bad product” movement

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The campaign to cut food waste attracts promises from nearly 200 of the world’s largest food suppliers | Instant News

Nearly 200 food suppliers, including some of the world’s largest producers, have pledged to cut their food waste by half by 2030.

The company, which makes products such as Rice Krispies cereal, Hellmann mayonnaise and Spam, has joined the 10x20x30 initiative, a global effort to reduce the amount of food wasted annually, the World Resources Institute, which supports the program, announced Wednesday. Big food makers – a list that includes Unilever, PepsiCo and Nestle Global – are joining forces with some of the world’s biggest food retailers, who signed the campaign last year.

Companies will produce annual reports on the loss and waste of their food and will be encouraged to share information about them Food Waste Atlas, a searchable website. But how they meet their targets will vary, said an agency representative.

Deanna Bratter, head of sustainable development for Danone North America, whose portfolio includes Dannon and Activia yoghurts as well as a maker of silk creams, said her company was looking for options. In the low-sugar Two Good line, he said, such efforts may require the use of excess products in “limited batch” special flavors. Elsewhere, he said, companies are looking for ways to convert what was previously waste into animal food or compost.

“Food waste has always been a sore point for industry,” he said.

The idea behind 10x20x30 is to ask 10 major retailers – a group that ultimately includes Walmart, Kroger and parent of Giant Foods – to make similar promises, and then each ask their 20 suppliers to commit, too, in hopes of meeting the goals set in 2015 United Nations General Assembly to halve the world’s food waste.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, about 30 percent of the world’s food is not harvested or thrown away at various points in the supply chain. And all of these losses are a major contributor to climate change, accounting for 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. An often-quoted analogy states that if food waste were its own country, then its contribution to global warming would only follow the United States and China.

Food manufacturers are only part of the equation. Most food waste – about 80 percent – occurs in homes and businesses that deal with consumers, such as grocery stores and restaurants. according to a report by the nonprofit ReFED. Food producers account for only 2 percent of the problem, while consumers are responsible for 43 percent, according to the report.

Brian Roe, a professor in the department of agricultural economics, environment and development at Ohio State University, says producers can do more – not only to eliminate food waste in their operations, but ultimately help keep consumers from promoting too much. “Maybe there ssystem that helps consumers to reduce food waste, so it’s not just a matter of consumers acting badly, “he said. That may include proper packaging and labeling, better instructions, or smaller serving sizes, he notes.

Roe said the willingness of major manufacturers to sign off on such initiatives was very encouraging, but he hopes the collaboration will lead to transparency and better data sharing. That way, the company will know what works and what doesn’t. Now, he said, it may not be clear that actions taken at one step in the supply chain actually get more food out of landfills at the end.

For example, if a farmer has a tomato crop in one year, it might seem good to save him. But, says Roe, it might not be a good idea if the tomatoes make it through the supply chain – where they may have been transported and used other resources along the way – and still end up being dumped. “Any data to help connect the dots can help develop a system-level view of the problem, “he said.

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Food waste is increasing in the UK because of easy coronavirus restrictions Living environment | Instant News

Household food waste in the UK has increased by almost a third because the restriction on locking of coronavirus has been abated and could increase further, new research warns.

The government’s waste advisory agency, Wrap, said self-reported food waste rose 30%, reversing the progress made at the start of the pandemic as consumers dumped less food while confined to their homes.

While worries about go to the shops and running out of food motivates people to reduce waste in April, their determination seems to be weakening because restrictions have been lifted.

Wrap does two phases of research during lockdown. In the first phase in April, consumers report a reduction in food wasted compared to before it was locked. However, June update revealed that the level of wasted food had begun to recover, with the average self-reported amount across bread, milk, potatoes and chicken currently at 18%, up from 14% in April. Still below pre-lock level; in November 2019, people reported disposing of nearly a quarter of this staple item.

That the latest official figures which includes pre-locking, published in January, shows that British households throw away 4.5 million tons of edible food per year, worth £ 14 billion – or £ 700 per year for the average family with children.

Next month, Wrap will launch a new campaign called Keep Crushing It, which aims to motivate people to maintain the positive actions they take during locking, including checking the temperature of their refrigerators, freezing more food and making shopping lists. Planning before shopping is a behavior that people are likely to continue after being locked up, the study found.

Peter Maddox, director of Wrap UK, said: “We have seen clearly how effective it is Love Food Hate Waste messages and tools – we need to reach more people to expand our impact. The more new and innovative ways we have found to engage with new audiences about this, the greater our chance of meeting important targets halve food that is wasted in 2030

The campaign will also highlight the environmental benefits of reducing food waste. For example, if Britain stops wasting uneaten bread, the equivalent amount of CO2 saved each year will equal more than half a million round-trip flights from London to New York.

Concerns that waves are entering frantically buying and hoarding before locking will cause an increase in the level of food waste does not materialize, according to a separate study covering that phase. Environmental charity Hubbub revealed that almost half of the people (48%) said they threw away less food and only 5% threw away more.

“Throwing away less food doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming,” said Helen White, special advisor at Wrap on household food waste. “This can be as simple as leaving the skin when you make a mash, or freezing more food before it’s past the ‘used by’ date.”


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Piedmont Environmental Alliance Launches New Program to Reduce Food Waste and Provide Products for Local Families | Food Beverage | Instant News

The PEA Giving Gardens Program mobilizes home gardeners and community gardens to donate hundreds of pounds of products to families who face food insecurity locally.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Winston-Salem-based non-profit Piedmont Environmental Alliance (PEA) is working with other local non-profit groups to reduce food waste and deliver fresh produce from local gardens to families in need throughout the region.

TOP PHOTOS – PEA volunteer Emily Gregg sent 10 pounds of products from the PEA Giving Gardens team to HOPE of Winston-Salem. Photo provided by Emily Gregg.

Since its launch in July, the PEA Giving Gardens program has mobilized more than 15 environmental volunteer teams to collect and donate more than 600 pounds of fresh produce to HOPE Winston-Salem and other local food pantries in response to increasing food insecurity in our city. by COVID-19. Thanks, in part to Giving Gardens, the products shipped by HOPE are now more than 30% locally sourced.

HOPE received 190 pounds of products from Old Salem Victory Gardens, which was connected to the organization through Giving Gardens. Photo provided by HOPE Winston-Salem.

In Forsyth County today, 13.8% of people, including 18.8% of children, live with food insecurity, face hunger and are at high risk for chronic health conditions. Pantri local food does not accept enough fresh products to be included in donated food, and products from grocery stores are often less suitable for distribution in such organizations because the spoils are much faster than products that are grown and harvested locally.


PEA Board Deputy Chair, Rajesh Kapileshwari, considers a large plum donation from his Giving Gardens team to HOPE Photo provided by Rajesh Kapileshwari.

Meanwhile, more people than ever were involved in gardening at home or in the community, often producing more food than can be eaten. Food waste – the production of food that is not eaten – is a significant contributor to climate change, responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That is why PEA and a group of more than 70 motivated volunteers launched Giving Gardens to reduce food waste and give back to the community with fresh produce sent to residents in Forsyth County.

Giving Gardens unites neighbors throughout the city to make donations and drop-offs without contact to HOPE Winston-Salem, where the product is distributed weekly to families who need it. Community Gardens also joined the program as part of a partnership with the NC Cooperative Extension of Forsyth County, with PEA mobilizing volunteers to learn key gardening skills and use them in community gardens that donate products to one or more organizations that provide food for residents in need. .

Jamie Maier, PEA Executive Director, noted, “PEA was invested in building a more environmentally friendly, fair and resilient community during these difficult times. Providing Gardens meets critical community needs, while connecting neighbors, supporting gardening, and reducing local food waste. “

Scott Best, Executive Director of HOPE, said that this program, “will have a major impact on our mission, because we strive to provide access to fresh produce to many areas in Winston-Salem. This connection to hyper-local fruits and vegetables will improve health, reduce food waste, and strengthen the food ecosystem in our big city. ”

Home gardeners or individuals and groups interested in joining the program as volunteers can register at www.peanc.org/giving-gardens.


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50% of Food Grown Globally Wasted. Can AI fix it? | Instant News

We spend 1.6 billion tons of food every year while 25 million are hungry and one billion are malnourished.

Can AI fix it?

If a startup in Berlin succeeds, it’s possible.

The global food supply chain is very confusing. Tens of millions of farms feed millions of shops and restaurants, which in turn supply nearly eight billion people their daily food. Plus of course there are transportation companies, wholesalers, distributors, processors, and shipping companies. Put it all together, and you have a large network of producers and consumers who are joined by everyone in between who literally covers every human being on the planet.

And they all, of course, deal with perishable products.

The complexity and chaos is the startup company SPRK.global, is trying to fix it. The company is one of them eight winners of 2,400 participants in “the world’s largest beginner competition for entrepreneurs overcoming global challenges,” Extreme Tech Challenge.

The goal: use AI to understand food flow and reduce waste. That should cause less hunger and overproduction.

“Half of the food produced will be wasted sooner or later,” CEO Alexander Piutti told me recently on the TechFirst podcast. “Once you start to understand patterns – why there are cases of food waste – you understand these patterns and see them appear regularly … we can switch from reactive to proactive, anticipate, to predict with certain probabilities.”

Food waste is an ecological problem and also a human problem. Overproduction uses resources such as fuel, water, fertilizer, increasing greenhouse gas emissions in the process. And when food is wasted, you need landfill space and there is more CO2 production.

“Food waste is one of the biggest emitters of CO2,” Piutti said.

The question is: can AI solve it?

But before AI enters, the system needs to understand the supply chain and the economy. For example, if there is an oversupply in one area, that does not mean that the store or distributor with too much wants to give it to competitors with too little. On the other hand, they tend to give it to food banks and other NGOs that can give it to those who need it and will not be able to afford it. So SPRK needs rules like this to function in the real world from actual economic conflicts.

“Once we have these rules, we can inject them into technology,” Piutti said. “This technology is taking over … and matching between oversupply and demand … getting smarter over time.”

In a way it’s similar to Google’s Loon Project, where Self-regulated internet balloons provide cellular connectivity and web access in rural Kenya. Where they drift in different winds set at different heights, and machine learning algorithms that deploy balloons have learned over time – and are still learning – how to navigate to maximize the range of territory needed.

One place to start is the food bank.

They usually operate with telephones and perhaps spreadsheets, but software attacks as a service that takes over so many industries, basically, software that operates businesses has not touched food banks or similar NGOs. So SPRK is building software that they can use to manage their own operations and collaborate: one has too much, the other is too little. Sharing will now be replied in the future.

In addition, said Piutti, the software will give them a better way to access food at lower prices.

“They buy food in a very normal way, they don’t get a discount,” he told me. “If we can connect the dots conceptually and say like, what if we distribute this excess supply of food to people who need it … they become volume partners.”

In other words, most NGOs who distribute food buy it on the open market. If the distributor has too much, SPRK can access it – with the condition that it will not re-enter the commercial market – and give it to food banks and others at a much lower price. That saves NGOs around 50%, reduces food waste, and provides operational income for SPRK.

“So, win, win, win the situation,” said Piutti, who worked for Yahoo at the time and gave advice to many other startups. “This is how we think of solutions, you know, without generating channel conflicts, to be transparent to our supplier partners, because they have to agree.”

The goal is not to reinvent the wheel: just to use what is a little smarter.

While SPRK began in Berlin, the company has global aspirations from the US to Asia, which could eventually become a large cloud-based platform for fair, efficient and effective food distribution. At least, excess food.

“It’s like a big platform, just call it ‘Amazon of Food Oversupply’ if you like,” Piutti said.

This is a big vision and there are many things that must be built before it’s reality. Over time, if SPRK succeeds, it is likely to surpass distributors and NGOs to producers and consumers, inject intelligence and predictions into agriculture and predictions, and distribution and delivery. This is a big job, and not just about how various agents and businesses in the industry interact with each other. It’s also about how businesses operate internally, where there is also a lot of waste.

SPRK software can also help them, said Piutti.

“If you are … a large food retailer and you have hundreds of supermarkets that you send, they even have the means to understand who is oversupplied, who is lacking.

This is not the first startup that focuses on global food. The previous startup, named Sharecy, still looks active Join LinkedIn and access Piutti’s full profile, have the same big goal:

“Our vision is a world without food waste where everyone – including future generations – has enough food and thrives.”

SPRK is now the second kick on the tin. Putting aside business results, if no one is starving, and we stop letting half of global food production rot, Piutti will know he has achieved his goal.

Get the full transcript of our conversation here.


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