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“Smart Packaging” Helps Extend Food Shelf Life, Reduces Waste

A New Zealand university scientist who specializes in “smart packaging” says there are a number of viable solutions that can cut food waste. Each type of packaging acts differently depending on the food being protected. According to Dr. Jenneke Heising, “active packaging” extends shelf life by reducing negative factors, such as oxygen, that react with the food. Active packaging can also react to ethylene gas, slowing the ripening process of produce, and can also regulate the level of moisture, other gases, and temperature. Still another type of packaging uses antimicrobial materials to curb bacterial growth on fresh produce, reducing the need for preservatives.  [ Image credit: © Rabobank New Zealand  ]

"High-tech packaging means less food waste", Rabobank, April 19, 2018

Food Waste In The U.S. Exacts A Huge Environmental Toll

A new study by university and USDA researchers has found that about 25 percent of all food available to eat in the U.S. – one pound per person, or about 30 percent of available calories – is wasted each day. The environmental costs of such food waste are huge. About 30 million acres of cropland, 4.2 trillion gallons of water, and nearly two billion pounds of fertilizer are used to produce the wasted food. The most wasted foods – fruits and vegetables – are actually the healthiest: produce waste amounts to 39 percent of the food wasted by each person, according to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.  [ Image credit: © Wikepedia  ]

"The staggering environmental footprint of all the food that we just throw in the trash", The Washington Post, April 18, 2018

Retail Grocers Are Major Culprits In America’s Food Waste Problem

Supermarket chains in the U.S. are contributing significantly to the nation’s food waste problems, according to a new report. Nine of the ten largest grocery retailers – Ahold Delhaize is the exception – do not publicly report their total volume of food waste. The study, conducted by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign, listed five companies – Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, and Publix – who earned a “D” grade for efforts to reduce waste. Aldi flunked the evaluation, while Walmart earned a “B.” Food retailers generate 40 percent of the food waste in the U.S., more than restaurants or foodservice providers, the study noted. A CBD spokesperson said food waste squanders farmland and water ...  More

"Supermarkets don’t make grade in reducing food waste", Supermarket News, April 17, 2018

Banana Cleaners Make Peels Edible, Keep Them Out Of Landfills

A California-based company looking to reduce food waste has launched the “Save the Peels” campaign with a goal of redirecting 18 million pounds of banana peel waste from landfills. More than 3.2 billion pounds of bananas are eaten every year in the U.S., adding 780 million pounds of peels to landfills where they decompose, forming harmful methane gas. EatCleaner has developed cleaning solutions that allow peels to be cleaned of agricultural sprays, waxes, chemicals, and germ-laden debris. Ripe, clean peels can then be used to make smoothies, banana breads and muffins are rich in fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants.  [ Image credit: ©  EatCleaner  ]

"eatCleaner Launches an "a-peel-ing" Campaign to Minimize Food Waste and Boost Nutrition", PR Newswire , April 12, 2018

Technology Can Cut Down On Food Waste In Foodservice Kitchens

A Portland, Ore.-based foodservice technology company has developed a measurement system that helps restaurants and other establishments reduce overproduction – and waste – of food. LeanPath believes food waste can be prevented in the world’s kitchens through proper measurement using the company’s sophisticated, easy-to-use technologies like scales, cameras, and touchscreen devices that show what’s going into the landfill stream, the compost stream, and even the donation stream. The company last year tracked food waste in more than 1,200 foodservice kitchens in 20 countries. The data and imagery collected from the research revealed that overproduction is the main cause of food waste in foodservice. To solve the problem, kitchens need to: ...  More

"How Overproduction is Food Waste’s Biggest Culprit and Opportunity", Waste 360, April 10, 2018

The Many Possible Uses Of Coffee Grounds

British consumers are very much into coffee: 2.4 billion cups are consumed each year. But making that coffee creates 500,000 tons of grounds each year, most of it ending up in the landfill. Advocates of better use of coffee grounds have come up with a fairly long list of alternatives to simply trashing them. Among the creative options are using grounds in: making cocktails; insect repellant; skincare exfoliant; fueling vehicles; fertilizing gardens and deterring slugs; cooking; keeping shoes and refrigerators fresh; growing mushrooms; and making paint.  [ Image credit: © Wikimedia   ]

"From skincare to fertilizer and fuel: 10 ways to reuse coffee grounds ", telegraph.co.uk, April 10, 2018

U.K. Project Is Studying How Robotics Might Help Reduce Food Waste

Innovate U.K. has awarded $1.2 million to an industrial R&D project that will study the food waste problem to determine how robotics might reduce the inefficiencies that cause it. Roboticists engineers, computer scientists, and food specialists will work together to figure out how to eliminate the 51 percent of food waste that is avoidable. The goal of the two-year project is to remove the human error from the crucial early stages of handling, preparing and weighing raw ingredients. The project is led by Olympus Automation (OA), which will collaborate with the University of Lincoln's National Center for Food Manufacturing and supplier English Provender.  [ Image credit: ©  The Grocer  ]

"How robots can help reduce supply chain food waste", The Grocer UK, April 06, 2018

Hotels Benefit Financially From Spending On Food Waste Solutions

A review of 42 hotels in 15 countries by Champions 12.3 has found that on average facilities achieved a 21 percent reduction of kitchen food waste by weight in just one year. Within the first year, more than 70 percent recouped their investment. The average hotel saved $7 for every $1 invested in reducing kitchen food waste. Within two years, 95 percent had recouped their investment. Nine out of ten sites kept their total investment in food waste solutions below $20,000, less than one percent of sales on average. The data came from budget, mid-range, casino resort, and luxury market hotels. Champions 12.3 comprises 40 executives in government, business, and civil society dedicated to achieving Target 12.3 of the U.N.’s Sustainable ...  More

"Study quantifies cost savings of reducing food waste", Hotel Management, April 06, 2018

Food Waste Collaboration Connects Farmers And Consumers

A group of organizations and companies concerned about food loss in food production have banded together to create he “No Taste for Waste” campaign. The initiative includes an interactive website, “bookazine,”, and social media resources for farmers and ranchers trying to reduce food loss in the fields and for consumers who want to reduce household food waste. One goal of the campaign is to connect consumers with farmers and ranchers who are using sustainable practices in land stewardship while reducing food waste. Participants in the campaign are the American Farm Bureau Federation, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, Valent BioSciences Corporation, FLM Harvest, the CropLife Foundation, and Meredith Agrimedia.  [ Image credit: ©  Wikimedia  ]

"American Farm Bureau Federation Helps Launch ‘No Taste for Waste’ Campaign", News release, AFBF, April 03, 2018

 
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