Fixing Food Waste to Fix the Planet and the People
The issue of food waste is pressing and often overlooked when we’re looking at the waste and climate crisis.
Food waste is rampant in developed nations and contributes significantly to climate change and global warming. The food industry as a whole has a massive carbon footprint and severe impacts on the environment in many ways.
When food is wasted, we’re wasting all the resources that went into putting that food in front of us. When we throw food out, we’re creating a whole new set of impacts, including severely damaging greenhouse gasses from huge volumes of food rotting in landfills.
So, what are we doing about this?
Here are just a few cool things happening in the food waste fight:
Too Good to Go – A Food Waste App Saving Food, People and the Planet
The Too Good To Go App was developed in Denmark but now connects people to surplus food supplies from nearby stores in 15 different countries, including the US. The app allows users to find food near them that is perfectly good but headed for the trash anyway – at a great price. Aside from keeping perfectly good food from going to waste, Too Good To Go also tackles issues like food scarcity and food policy, working with organizations like food banks. This makes them a great company for the planet, and for the people (for more apps to combat food waste, check out this article by Well + Good).
Funding Boosts for Anaerobic Digestion for Clean Energy Production
Anaerobic digestion is a process where organic matter such as animal waste, food waste, agricultural crop waste, and solids from waste treatment plants are placed in a chamber called a reactor and mixed with microbes and bacteria, which ‘eat’ the waste and produce gas and solid and liquid by-products. The gas is then used for energy generation and the by-products are used for agricultural fertilizer. This technology is not new but it hasn’t scaled the same way solar and other renewables have. To combat this, the US government is following the lead of European countries and giving valuable funding to boost the sector. This is one of the EPA’s initiatives aimed at reducing food waste by 50% by 2030.
Building with Edible Compost Blocks
Composting is generally considered the best way to deal with food waste. However, a team from Tokyo University in Japan has developed a new use for food waste – edible building materials! The material is made from heat-compressed food waste and rivals concrete in terms of strength and durability. It is also edible! The technology is not available for general use yet but the possibilities are endless!
What to do about your personal food waste:
Food waste is an issue we all need to take personal action to combat at home, as well as at restaurants and retailers.
Mindful purchasing, purchasing only as much as you need, and making sure to reuse your leftovers and use as much as possible of every ingredient you buy are ways to reduce waste from your kitchen.
When you’re buying foods that you know you will use quickly, choose items close to their expiration date. Download apps that will help you find great deals on food that are going to go to waste otherwise.
Here are some useful resources to help you:
That’s it for today.
Are you cutting your food waste? 😊 Share your experiences with us by replying to this email – we love hearing from you!
Liza and Johanna