Interview Series: food waste

Films Prolong Produce Life Span

Films prolong produce lifespan

Films prolong produce lifespan

One reason that about a third of food goes to waste is that it rots before it can be eaten. According to Ozy, researchers at Apeel Sciences have developed all-natural films for produce that prolongs its life—up to 200% in some cases—and reduces the need for pesticides. The films are made by extracting specific molecules

Waste not, want not

Waste not, want not

Approximately one-third of food produced annually around the world is lost or wasted from grower to consumer. Food loss occurs during production and processing while food waste occurs at the retail and consumer stages. National Geographic reports that the amount of lost or wasted food totals 2.8 trillion pounds—enough to feed three billion people. There

Innovative technology for global food waste solutions

From simple sun drying systems for produce to home appliances networked with food distributors, food scientist John Floros sees a major role for technology in reducing worldwide food waste.

Ending food waste in the developed world

UK activist Tristram Stuart believes in grass-roots campaigns that help stop food waste from the ground up.

Interview Series: Food Waste

Reducing the world’s 1.3 billion tons of wasted food every year may hold the key to sustainably feeding 9 billion people by 2050, according to new interviews from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)-sponsored FutureFood 2050 initiative.

One-third of the food produced for human consumption around the world gets lost or wasted each year, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Those 1.3 billion tons of wasted food could feed 1.25 billion people on the planet per year —a staggering number at a time when global food security concerns are rampant. IFT developed an infographic that shows the enormity of the issue in the United States.

“So much attention is paid to increasing global food supplies over the next several decades,” said Tristram Stuart, a world-renowned food waste activist who is profiled in FutureFood 2050’s latest interviews. “But we waste a third of the world’s food supply already, so one way of tackling food security and the environmental impact of food production is to implement the many ways to more efficiently use the food that we already produce.”

Recently the alarming numbers behind this worldwide dilemma have become frequent headlines in media and food circles. But far less attention has been devoted to exploring the solutions that can transform the issue of food waste from statistics to success stories.

The food waste trailblazers profiled for FutureFood 2050 this month include:

  • Doug Rauch: The former president of Trader Joe’s has turned one of the most fundamental (and wasteful) principles of retail—always in-stock, cosmetically desirable food—on its head by selling imperfect and past-its-labeled-prime food in a grand supermarket experiment.
  • John Floros: A leading academic at one of the United States’ preeminent agricultural colleges has launched a new international food waste innovation center that invests in solutions spanning small village fields to mega-city tables.
  • Elsje Pieterse: A South African scientist is “farming” a renewable and completely unexpected resource, fly larvae, as a virtually no-waste source of animal feed.
  • Tristram Stuart: A leading food waste activist who advocates a multi-pronged approach to addressing the issue, which includes everything from changing the ways that companies feed pigs to digging in supermarket dumpsters for still-edible food.
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