Our weekly roundup of good food news to get you through the week:
Feds Introduce Plans to Reduce Food Waste by 2030.
From farm to fork, we’re losing 40% of food in America. With the energy that goes into producing, packaging, and transporting every morsel, we’re losing a lot more than just produce. But soon that will all change. The federal government is getting serious about reducing food waste. The EPA and USDA are challenging Americans to cut food waste by 50% by the year 2030, establishing the nation’s first food waste reduction target.
Major Food Retailer in California Doesn’t Judge Fruit by its Skin.
6 billion pounds of “aesthetically challenged” produce never make it off of farms each year, despite the 49 million food insecure Americans who are going hungry. Raley’s, a supermarket chain with over 130 locations nationwide, is partnering with a homegrown California startup to offer ugly fruits and vegetables at a discounted price. We’re hoping more major supermarkets start to follow suit by joining in the fight against food waste.
Wasted Food Could be the Newest Form of Green Energy.
If food waste were a physical country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (behind the U.S. and China). But what if, instead of producing nitrous oxide and methane–two highly potent greenhouse gases–food waste produced energy we could actually use? Many airlines are transforming that vision into a reality. United, FedEx, and Southwest airlines have all started partnerships with renewable jet fuel producers, purchasing millions of gallons of fuel made from wasted food, household garbage, and animal fat. Besides fighting food waste, these fuels produce as much as 80% less greenhouse gases than traditional jet fuel.
Composting in New York Just Got a Lot Easier.
Joining the fight to keep food waste out of landfills, GrowNYC began collecting organic waste at Greenmarkets across the city four years ago. Now, partnering with the New York Department of Sanitation, compost collection at apartments is catching on and GrowNYC has big plans to make curbside pickups accessible to every New Yorker by 2018. Given that 31% of New York City’s waste-stream is compostable, any efforts to repurpose food scraps can drastically reduce methane emissions that are largely contributing to climate change.
Expired Produce May be the Answer to Ending World Hunger.
Two major causes of food waste stem simply from mindless consumption: we buy more than we need, and we forget to use food before it expires. A new company, FoPo Food Powder, is working to overcome those obstacles by spray-drying nearly expired food into a food powder. FoPo Food Powder’s process actually extends a product’s shelf life by two years while helping food to retain 30-80% of its nutritional value. FoPo has big plans to address world hunger, starting with selling its powder to grocery stores, big food manufacturers, and NGOs.