With Vancouver set to ban food waste from landfills in 2015, local group FarmFolk CityFolk sponsored a 10-week Foodprint Challenge. The pilot program run in conjunction with local retailer Choices Markets sheds light on household food waste.
Britain’s National Pig Association started a ‘pig push‘ to overturn the EU swill-feeding ban. Naturally, this initiative is prompted by and embodies…the Pig Idea, whose feast is coming soon to a Trafalgar Square near you.
It’s always nice to see the food industry pay more attention to food waste. Or at least say that the deserves more attention. Italics aside, that’s especially heartening coming from the produce industry.
Covanta has a deal to build a food waste recycling plant in Connecticut. This Anaerobic digester won’t be online for some time, but it seems like a byproduct of the Nutmeg State’s banning food waste from landfills.
Not to be outdone, the Potawatomi tribe of Wisconsin have a deal to build an AD plant near the tribe’s Milwaukee’s casino. Perfect for the inedible casino buffet remains…
Pumpkins are a kind of squash, and as such, they can be used in an array of delicious dishes. And what better way to cut through that Halloween hangover (candy or otherwise) than by cooking a healthy (or at least tasty) waste-avoiding dish?
Smaller pie pumpkins are the best–but not the only–kind for cooking. Yet, whatever kind of pumpkin you have, here are some handy pumpkin recipe ideas from our friends at Love Food Hate Waste. If you haven’t carved into your pumpkin(s), get cracking!
If you have carved your pumpkin(s), it’s probably too late to cook them because the rotting process will have started (unless it has been cold enough–mostly below 40 degrees F). I’m all for making Jack O’ Lanterns, but the desire to have a pumpkin with a face that’s edible pumpkin may point to painting pumpkins.
Anyway, for those set on eating their whole or carved pumpkin in pie form, here’s a step-by-step guide. Finally–and it almost goes without saying–don’t forget to roast those delicious seeds!
November 1, 2013 | Posted in Household|Comments closed
Visitors could look in the window to see sprouting onions, rotting strawberries and browning bananas. Brilliantly, the store displayed the amount of food that the average Australian household wastes annually.
Like most art installations, this one was ephemeral. But its impact hopefully lives on in visitors’ minds. And it does seem like an easily replicated idea (hint, hint).
In the meantime, here are more pics celebrating this wonderful bit of concept art:
October 30, 2013 | Posted in Events|Comments closed
WRI, a DC-based think tank, is creating this set of guidelines to help countries and companies measure and monitor food waste/loss. The GFLWP, which could stand a catchier acronym, will create a standard way to measure food wastage. For instance, what to measure, how to do it and what units of measure to use.
Once the Protocol exists, that kind of consistent measurement will ultimately allow better comparisons across boundaries. And that ability to make global comparisons has been sorely lacking.
Another main goal, according to a WRI blog post, is that by effectively measuring waste, companies and countries can then determine how best to combat it. It’s like that old maxim ‘what gets measured gets managed.’
This protocol could truly be a game-changer. Now it’s just a matter of creating the thing. WRI is just now at the beginning of the process that will involve experts and stakeholders. Goldie and I will both be waiting with baited breath.
Today is World Food Day, and this year’s theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.” That’s not quite the same thing as food waste, but it’s really close.
It’s a good opportunity to think about how fortunate most of us are to have regular access to food and to try to make our food choices as sustainable as possible. On that note, here’s a recent study on our foodprint (PDF) from the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition. And if you’re looking for World Food Day events near you (in the US), look no further.
But in many cities across Europe and Canada, the Disco Soup(e) movement is kicking in with World Disco Anti Food Waste Day. These events bring together volunteers to prepare rescued food for a communal feast all the while enjoying some peppy tunes.
Here’s a bit more on these events, which make yours truly wish he was on the Continent, or at least in Montreal. Wherever you are, enjoy the day!
Most of us hold a vague (or fervent) view that the less packaging the better. When it comes to food, though, it’s not as simple as that.
On the one hand, packaged food prevents choice in the amount we buy, which can prompt overbuying (and waste). Then again, packaging can keep food fresher longer and protect it from damaging. And the UK packaging group INCPEN stresses the latter argument with a neat campaign: The Good, the Bad and the Spudly.
The campaign comes in conjunction with INCPEN’s study Checking Out Food Waste, which examines in transit food waste. There are findings by financial value and weight, with chicken, bananas and bread leading the way for the latter. Depending on your view, the study could provide support for the theory that more packaging means less waste.
More certain, though, is the energy embedded in packaging vs. food. According to the study (page 5), the primary and transport packaging represent 10% of the energy for one person’s weekly food consumption. That’s less than the 14% of energy used in cooking and 17% in refrigeration. And it’s far below the 51% for producing our food.
It’s unclear whether or not that figure includes the energy used to grow wasted food. Yet, even using the most conservative estimate–accounting for our home wastage of 25%–food’s energy usage exceeds that of packaging. And that’s one of INCPEN’s major points.
Canadian-based, though North American in scope, The Packaging Association (PAC) announced plans on Monday to seek food waste solutions through packaging. Citing the global scope of waste (1/3 of global food wasted), PAC’s board of directors will launch the PAC Food Waste Initiative.
Here’s PAC Chairman Bruce Smith, of Molson Coors:
There are opportunities to reduce food waste through packaging improvements throughout the supply chain. PAC wants to investigate the causes, identify opportunities for innovation, extend product shelf life, and inform and educate to the broader community.
The initiative will launch despite that slight sustainability tension between food packaging and food waste. Minimizing packaging and damaged food are usually at odds, but I’m hopeful some potential double solutions will arise.
Regardless, the initiative will likely support research on waste, publish findings and distribute suggested solutions. PAC hopes interested parties from all parts of the food chain will participate in the program, which launches at PAC’s November 14th meeting.
I was pleasantly surprised to bump into this Panera Bread ad touting their donation program. As you can see, through a Feeding America partnership, Panera will now donate the remaining bread at the end of every day to those in need.
Now, this won’t be easy to pull off, given the uniqueness of every market and the detail that many Paneras are run by franchisees. But that’s where the Feeding America network of food banks will hopefully come in handy. And even if it doesn’t work perfectly, the increased donations and attention to excess is still quite helpful.
One final thought: It’s great to see someone take credit for their food donations. Too often, retailers and restaurants are leery of publicizing their actions, meaning the donor and the practice of food recovery miss out on some well-earned and much-needed publicity.
On Friday, Copenhagen will be…United Against Food Waste. The day will be a first: industry, government and consumers joining in a public event to tackle food waste.
Even more encouraging, stakeholders from various stages of the food chain will speak at the event, which falls under the EU FUSIONS umbrella. In addition to the speeches, the day will feature design contest winners and, of course, music by DJ Master Fatman.
Event organizers (led by the Danish non-profit Stop Wasting Food) will serve free food made from items that would otherwise have been thrown out. Organizers will divert any remaining food at the end of the event to Copenhagen’s hungry. And the organic waste will be collected and converted into biogas
United Against Food Waste follows successful Feeding the 5000 and New York City events as indication that the world is waking up on the food waste issue. And not a moment too soon!