Eat Food Waste: Helping Businesses Cut Back

Published on February 4th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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Food Waste: Businesses Helping Businesses

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Food Waste: Businesses Helping Businesses

There’s really only so much that we can do as individuals to curb our food waste. Businesses need to step up, and they need help.

We waste around 40 percent of the food that we produce, and there’s really only so much that we can do as individuals to curb that food waste. Sure, we can prioritize food in our pantries that’s getting ready to spoil and store our food in our fridge the right way, but the reality is that individuals are only part of the food waste puzzle.

Food Waste: A Holistic Solution

The serious culprits when it comes to food waste are businesses: farms, restaurants, catering companies. Anyone in the business of growing, moving, preparing, serving, or storing food has a hand in our food waste problem. And the more food a business handles, the more potential there is for waste.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t still waste as little as possible as individuals. I’m saying that companies at every stage of food production need to work on reducing their waste as well. We all have our parts to play.

That’s why I was thrilled to see the article below – originally published on our sister site Sustainablog – covering some companies aimed at helping food-related businesses reduce waste across the board.

{Image Credit: Compost photo via Shutterstock}

11 Businesses & Initiatives Launched to Address Food Waste [Video] (via sustainablog)

As we’ve noted many, many times before, we waste an awful lot of food: in fact, it’s the biggest component of the US’ solid waste stream. As we’ve also noted many, many times before, challenges like these inspire creative thinking. This past…



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About the Author

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://EndGroceryWaste.com Rod Averbuch

    The large amount of food waste is a lose-lose situation for the environment, the struggling families in today’s tough economy and for the food retailers. We should address the food waste problem in every link in our food supply chain. For example, the excess inventory of perishable food items close to their expiration on supermarket shelves causes waste.
    The consumer “Last In First Out” shopping behavior might be one of the weakest links of the fresh food supply chain.
    Why not encourage efficient consumer shopping by offering him automatic and dynamic purchasing incentives for perishables approaching their expiration dates before they end up in a landfill?
    The new open GS1 DataBar standard enables automatic applications that offer dynamic incentives for perishables approaching their expiration dates.
    The “End Grocery Waste” application, which is based on the open GS1 DataBar standard, encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that maximizes grocery retailer revenue, makes fresh food affordable for all families and effectively reduces the global carbon footprint. You can look this application up at EndGroceryWaste site.

    Rod,
    Chicago, IL

  • HeatherTwist

    On one TED talk, the speaker figured that we only use 1/4 of the food that is produced. We have a huge amount of waste. That on top of the fact most of us eat way more calories than we need.

    Now, I knew one guy who went through college by visiting restaurants and hauling away their table scraps, feeding them to pigs. Then he sold the pigs! I suspect this was before they had strict feed laws. But in our city, some home chicken-farmers are picking up scraps from restaurants and grocery stores, and feeding them to their flocks. I can say first-hand that chickens just LOVE leftovers and they thrive on them. If bacteria are an issue, the leftovers can be heated to remove microbes.

    My little flock eats the food waste from two families … and provides two families with eggs. The chickens are certainly happy enough and the eggs are the best I’ve ever had.

    Animals, plants, and humans are ideally part of a cycle. Ruminants keep grasslands from turning into deserts (look for a TED talk by “Savory” … what a great name!). Pigs and chickens dispose of food waste and provide manure for crops. Worms are part of our cycle too: the worms get the chicken poop and cycle it into amazing compost. Some people are doing the same now, with fish (Aquaponics).

    I’ve also collected leftovers for food banks. The grocery stores tell me they are quite happy to give away the less-great vegies and “best by” groceries to food banks, if someone will arrive on a regular schedule to haul them away. It costs them money to haul the extras away. There are other things that are tossed out in huge quantities too … like 1/4 rolls of toilet paper from big office buildings.

    Now, Starbucks leaves their coffee grounds in a bucket, but people fight over them for their gardens. The zoo has “zoo poo” … but they run a lottery because the demand for it is so big.

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