Monthly Archives: January 2007

Corn in Our Sides

It’s time to discuss using food for fuel. Let’s talk ethanol. In recent speeches, President Bush lauded ethanol as the way forward. This is certainly a big step for our President, albeit a false one. For starters, ethanol isn’t that green. First, one must factor in the pesticide and petro-chemical fertilizer runoff that’s a biproduct of growing corn. Second, ethanol’s relative inefficiency [...]

January 31, 2007 | Posted in Farm | Comments closed

The Old College Try

As I mentioned before, I’ve been researching food diversion. This basically means diverting food scraps from landfills, where they only contribute to the harmful methane emissions. This facet of wasted food is a bit of a tangent for me, as I’m most interested in the edible food that is squandered. But it’s interesting nonetheless. While we don’t think of food as [...]

January 30, 2007 | Posted in School | Comments closed

Mass. Improvements

New England Patriots fans like myself are pretty distraught this week. But cheer up, Massachusetts, things aren’t all bad. There’s some pretty neat stuff happening with wasted food in the state. Most significantly, Bay State supermarkets are slashing the amount of food waste being sent to landfills. More than 60 stores are participating in the Supermarket [...]

January 25, 2007 | Posted in Supermarket | Comments closed

The task (force) begins

This past week marked the beginning of a new venture: the first meeting of the tentatively-named North Carolina Food Waste Task Force. The group stemmed from a food waste seminar organized by some folks at the N.C. Dept of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance and the Carolina Composting Council. We met last Tuesday at the Inter-Faith [...]

January 22, 2007 | Posted in General, Household, Restaurant, Supermarket | Comments closed

Weather to Waste?

If a cold spell kills a crop, is it food waste? Spurred by the California orange freeze, someone asked me that question this week. I’ve been pondering this “If a tree falls”-type puzzler ever since. First, let me say that I’m focusing on food that is squandered due to human decisions. Nevertheless, it’s hard to [...]

January 17, 2007 | Posted in Farm | Comments closed

We’re Not Alone

A friend in London just sent me this link to a column in The Observer of London on sell-by dates. It seems we’re not the only ones chucking plenty of good food, nor am I the only one badgering folks about it. It’s interesting to read about parallel food waste awareness across the pond. Plus you get [...]

January 11, 2007 | Posted in Food Safety, International | Comments closed

A Different Food Pyramid

Before this blog delves too far into specifics, we should talk about general guidelines on what to do with existing food waste. The EPA has set a nice standard with its Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy. As seen in the snazzy pyramid graphic below, here’s how they propose handling excess food (in order of preference): Source Reduction – Reduce [...]

January 9, 2007 | Posted in General, Restaurant | Comments closed

Sell-by Stuff II

Wasted Food reader Ed was curious about sell-by dates, so let’s talk a bit more about them. While it varies by store, most supermarkets pull items the night before or on the morning of the sell-by date. Lance Parchment, Whole Foods’ Southeast region prepared foods assistant coordinator told me they cull products the night before [...]

January 4, 2007 | Posted in Food Safety, Household, Supermarket | Comments closed

Sell-by Stuff

Wasted Food reader Brian raises an interesting question: Is there a rule-of-thumb estimate for how long past the sell-by date items stay good? After looking through my interview with Angela Fraser, a food safety expert at N.C. State University, I can generalize that most foods are fine one week past the sell-by date.  Of course, this [...]

January 2, 2007 | Posted in Food Safety, Household, Supermarket | Comments closed

Trimming Our Wastes

Happy New Year! With New Year’s resolutions flying left and right, the first of the year seems like an appropriate time to urge you to limit your household food waste. There’s plenty of room for improvement, about 25 percent of the food that enters our homes is thrown away uneaten (William Rathje, whose Garbage Project tallied Tucson trash, measured [...]

January 1, 2007 | Posted in Household, Stats | Comments closed
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