In This Issue

Improving Food Waste is a Top Contender for Improving Sustainability

Floor Care – Green to Sustainable

Sustainability Principles Applied to Boiler Water Treatment: Part One

VOCs and Cleaning Products

Letter from the Editor

Sustainability Resources Sustainability Tips

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Volume 20   |   Issue 1   |   March 2018

Improving Food Waste is a Top Contender for Improving Sustainability

By Lauri Calarco

It’s astounding when reading about the level of food waste around the world. Improving food waste is a top contender for improving sustainability, among so many other things.  I have continually come across shocking data on food waste and decided to focus on the enormity of this problem and its link to sustainability, in this quarter’s news.  Below are various links to this data along with a focus on the not-for-profit organization of Feeding America.

USA Today’s article by Sean Rossman dated 5/16/17 is titled “Here's how many people America's wasted food could feed”Mr. Rossman begins the article by saying “A federal government push to cut in half the nation's food waste is adding pressure to a myriad of approaches to tackle this burgeoning problem. Almost half of food produced in the U.S. is destined for landfills.  Americans throw away billions of pounds of food each year, worth billions of dollars and enough to feed millions of people.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/05/16/food-waste-america-throwing-away-food-too-soon/320035001/

The New York Times featured an article by Somini Sengupta dated 12/12/17 titled “How much food do we waste? Probably more than you think.”  The article starts with “Globally, we throw out about 1.3 billion tons of food a year, or a third of all the food that we grow.  That’s important for at least two reasons. The less the world wastes, the easier it will be to meet the food needs of the global population in coming years. Second, cutting back on waste could go a long way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” This article also highlights waste across countries.  View the link to see the graph and the rest of the article.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/climate/food-waste-emissions.html

In 2017, the Tribeca Film Festival even debuted a Documentary called “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”.  The description from their site reads “Every year 80% of the world’s water, 40% of the world’s land, and 10% of the world’s energy is dedicated to growing the food we eat, yet in the same year 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown out. That’s a third of all food grown around the world being wasted before it even reaches a plate. WASTED! The Story of Food Waste sheds a light on the pressing issue of food waste. Executive Produced by author and chef Anthony Bourdain, the film doesn’t simply focus on the problem, but offers solutions like reorienting consumer perspectives on the food that is normally cast aside, and what changes we can make to our food production chain to create a more sustainable food system.” https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/wasted-the-story-of-food-waste-2017

Food Processing Magazine ran an article in December 2017 titled “Time to Remember Feeding America” by Dave Fusaro, Editor-in-Chief which further articulates this enormous problem but highlights that the organization Feeding America (www.feedingamerica.org) is a solution.  Feeding America is the leading domestic hunger-relief charity, and the article states that many large food processors are already linked to it, but there is still enormous opportunity with others.  Link: https://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2017/time-to-remember-feeding-america

There are articles upon articles that can be found on this enormous problem.   We all can spend time researching, educating ourselves, thinking about changes, and acting on our findings.  Here’s to a more sustainable future where hunger is wiped out and the cost and by-product of food waste is eliminated.