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London Restaurant Chain Tests Produce Preservation Technology

A new technology that could cut down on food waste is being tested in a small chain of London restaurants. The innovation is essentially a small rectangular filter sheet that is placed on or next to fresh fruit and vegetables to absorb ethylene gas produced by ripening produce. (Ethylene is also used commercially to speed the ripening of green tomatoes, bananas, etc.) Canteen restaurants hopes the technology will extend the shelf-life of its produce and reduce the amount that is routinely tossed away after over-ripening. [ Image credit: © It's Fresh ]

"London Restaurant Canteen Trials New Food Waste Technology to Keep Food Fresher for Longer", Evening Standard, January 25, 2017

App Helps Volunteers Find, Deliver Salvageable Food Donations

Add to the list of technologies created to help reduce food waste an Uber-like app from a Pittsburgh, Pa.- based nonprofit known as 412 Food Rescue. Food Rescue Hero, available free on iTunes and Google Play, helps its 1,000 volunteer drivers (or walkers or cyclists) find salvage food considered unmarketable and deliver it to shelters and charities. Hero lists salvage opportunities at grocery stores and restaurants and the target charities who distribute the food, provides details on the donations, and lets volunteers pick the donation that works best for them. There is even a navigation system that guides volunteers to the pick-up locations and destinations.  [ Image credit: ©  ]

"412 Food Rescue Mobilizes Volunteers with Uber-Like App", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 25, 2017

Grocery Chain Partners With Company That Sells “Wonky” Produce

A Midwestern grocery chain has decided its customers are ready for “ugly” – and cheaper – fruits and vegetables. All 242 stores in the Hy-Vee Inc. family have begun to sell what is sometimes called “wonky” produce that is usually discarded because it is misshapen. Hy-Vee is working with large produce company Robinson Fresh and will offer Robinson’s Misfits line of imperfect produce. Misfits produce is sold at a lower price, benefiting customers while helping to reduce produce waste. [ Image credit: © Hy-Vee Inc.  ]

"Hy-Vee introduces 'ugly' produce to fight food waste", News release, Hy-Vee , January 18, 2017

Europe’s Lawmakers Back Aggressive Approach To Recycling, Landfilling, Food Waste

The environmental panel of the European Parliament amended a draft legislative “waste package” to raise waste recycling from 44 percent to 70 percent and reduce landfilling to five percent. The Environment Committee also voted to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Forty-two organizations in 15 countries support the aggressive new proposals; 47,000 people have signed petitions backing them.  The new targets would be legally binding among member countries. The committee’s package will be put to a vote by the full House at the March 13-16 plenary session in Strasbourg.  [ European Parliament; image credit: © Rama  ]

"Campaigners Call on EU to Halve Food Waste by 2030", The Guardian, January 18, 2017

Startup Turns Unsold Fruits, Vegetable Into Hummus

A food waste-focused start-up is transforming leftover fruit and vegetables into a variety of flavored hummus products, and is using crowdfunding to pay for expansion into new markets. Hannah McCollum’s idea came when she noticed that current hummus products were bland and unhealthy, and tons of food was being wasted in the foodservice industry and in homes. She launched ChicP, which produces flavored dips using ugly or unmarketable vegetables rejected by supermarkets. The company offers several flavors, including banana and cocoa; beetroot, horseradish and sage; and carrot, ginger and turmeric. ChicP is using U.K. retailer Tesco's crowdfunding website to raise money to reach more retailers and suppliers in Europe and overseas. [ Hummus ...  More

"Waste Not, Want Not: UK Start-Up Turns Leftover Food into Hummus",, January 11, 2017

Indian Restaurant In Scotland Charges Fee For Wasted Buffet Food

New environmental rules in Scotland require food waste from large restaurants to be recycled. Private refuse services charge fees for emptying recycling bins. To keep the fees manageable, a Dundee Indian restaurant has begun charging customers who leave too much food on their plates after the all-you-can-eat buffet. The £2 per person fee is addded to the £14.99 price of the meal. Management of Taza Indian Buffet realized it was tossing away about 600 kg of uneaten food every week. Now, when customers are seated, they are given a menu and a measuring card with a four-inch square cut out of the middle to measure leftovers. The card explains that the £2 fee will be charged if leftovers don’t fit within the square.  [ Image credit: © Taza ...  More

"Eat Up or Face a Fine! All-You-Can-Eat Indian Restaurant Starts Imposing Penalties on Diners Who Leave Too Much after Growing Tired of Throwing Away 600kgs of Leftovers a Week", Mail Online, January 11, 2017

Starbucks Puts Food Waste To Good Use In New Line Of Lattes

Starbucks has introduced a new latte line that not only tastes good but is eco-friendly. The new espressos are flavored with a syrup made from the husks of coffee cherries that are normally discarded when the beans are harvested. The company uses the syrup to flavor the Cascara line – the Spanish word means “husk” or “shell” – that is subtly sweet with hints of maple and brown sugar without being fruity.  [ Coffee cherries; image credit: © Jonathan Wilkins  ]

"Good to the Last Drop! Starbucks Unveils New Latte Made with the WASTE of a Coffee Plant - and It's Surprisingly Delicious", Mail Escapes, January 06, 2017

Produce Distributor Renames Its Vegetable Trimmings And Sells Them As “SparCs”

A Canadian company believes that renaming the edible trimmings of vegetable processing – carrot tops, snapped-off green bean stems, etc. – transforms them from trash to saleable food. In much the same way that slimehead fish were renamed orange roughy, vegetable trim was renamed “SparCs” (pronounced sparks), which is actually scraps spelled backwards with a little stylization. Produce and specialty foods distributor Baldor says its Fresh Cuts program offers pre-sliced, diced or otherwise prepared vegetable trimmings – branded as SparCs – that it has saved for human or animal consumption, and kept from the landfill.  [ Image credit: © Tim Jewett ]

"How One Company Eliminated Food Waste: The ‘Landfill can no Longer be an Option.’", The Washington Post, January 05, 2017

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