On Food Waste

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Oriental Persimmon by Rodrigo Argenton. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

We’ve featured food waste here many times before, since it’s such a global and upsetting problem–an issue that one could call a “wicked problem” for its difficulty in solving, its myriad causes, and its changing nature. Several of our shared stories in just the last year, however, have offered some hope: a food truck chef in Denmark showed that expired or just-expiring products can still be consumed;  another foodtrucker in the US helped develop a software to create a more sustainable kitchen by modeling what products are being over- or under-ordered; and two startups worked on different ways of drying food that would otherwise spoil, one because the fruit would go bad but could be dried and powdered, and the other because developing countries don’t always have appropriate storage or energy to refrigerate food, so they came up with a solar food-drier.

The common theme in these posts is the reiterated phrase: approximately one-third of all food produced around the world is wasted, representing about $1 trillion in losses every year. This week, two of our favorite magazines, Conservation (by University of Washington) and GreenBiz repeated these statistics and shared pieces of their own.

One is about biogas from rotting food produced in Norway, and the other is about a meeting in Switzerland among many giant companies such as Nestlé, Unilever and Tesco as well as the World Resources Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation. Read about Norway’s food waste recycling program and biogas here; and about the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030 here.

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