Diana Chapman, Director of Sustainability, PCC Natural Markets, discusses the ways that PCC is working to manage waste in house and in the community.
According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), each year an estimated one third of all food produced ends up spoiling in the bins of consumers, retailers, farmers and transporters. Together, this spoiled food totals 1.3 billion tonnes and is worth an estimated $1 trillion every year.
It’s the 21st Century and one would think that by now human beings would have figured out creative and efficient ways to produce sufficient healthy and nutritious (good) food to feed us all and to eliminate costly and destructive food waste. It turns out that we not only haven’t figured it out; the whole process is getting more and more problematic and the amount of food waste – at least in the United States and other developed countries – is increasing.
In Washington’s King County most of that waste ends up heading to one of two Cedar Grove Composting facilities where it is mixed with grass clippings, yard waste, and other wood scrap. A visit to Cedar Grove is a fascinating and educational view into the use of unique technology to turn dross into gold.
Can you name all the ways food is wasted especially by consumers? Hint: the problem is systemic.
Sue Brown, cheese maker, goat herder, and owner with her husband Mel of Amaltheia Dairy in Belgrade MT, describes how her farm and dairy are “closing the circle” by finding ways to profit from waste products like whey and manure. Sue answers the “unspoken” question: What to do with those male baby goats since they aren’t likely to earn their keep?
Exactly how much food does the average American waste? While inefficient harvesting, transport, storage and packing can contribute a large portion to that waste, in developed countries like ours there are significant losses – and waste – in food processing, wholesale and retail distribution, and households, restaurants, and food services where food is consumed.
If you’ve been in a restaurant kitchen, you’ve seen how much food, water and energy can be wasted there. Chef Arthur Potts-Dawson shares his very personal vision for drastically reducing restaurant, and supermarket, waste — creating recycling, composting, sustainable engines for good (and good food).