Filling Up on Food Waste: A Shocking Realization
February 24, 2010
This is a link to a great blog on food waste from the Jewish Chronicle. It’s good to remember that companies like Harvest Power aren’t building organic waste processing plants simply to create energy. Food waste is an important natural hazard, just like oil spills or carbon monoxide.
First off, why is there so much food waste in America? According to the Food Loss project, which was sponsored by the U.S.D.A., Americans throw away 25.9 million tons of food every year. That’s more than 25% of all the food that we produce and sell in America. Some scientists even believe that’s a low estimate. A study from the University of Arizona says Americans throw out almost 50% of our domestic food production annually. How much do we spend on wasted food? How does $43 billion sound to you? Take a look at your fridge. Almost 15% of what’s in there right now won’t be eaten.
What’s the big deal? Well, when we throw out that food, it goes to a landfill. Once it starts breaking down, your rotting eggplants and creamer cartons release methane, which clogs up the atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide…that’s bad news, right? Well, methane is 23 times as potent as carbon dioxide, when we’re talking about the atmosphere and global warming. 1/3 of the methane in the atmosphere comes from a landfill….comes from our fridges and pantries and supermarkets.
What can be done? Feeding the poor with food we normally toss out is a great cause, and some radicals even practice “freeganism,” more commonly known as “dumpster diving.” The blog offers this comment:
“Some communities now pick up and centrally compost food waste from commercial and residential buildings and put the resulting nutrient-rich soil to use in municipal projects or for sale to the public. And a few enterprising cities now have waste-to-energy technologies that extract methane from landfills for use as fuel.”
Thanks to companies like Harvest Power, we now have the technology to combine both of those steps into one facility, and to produce compost and energy on a commercial scale. FInd out more about our technologies here.
- dumpster – Filling Up On Food Waste: A Shocking Realization - [...] harvestpower.design-sherpa.com/events-happenings/filling-up-on-food-waste-a-shocking-realization/ [...]