When you think about climate change, food waste might not be the first issue that comes to mind. But over two-thirds of household food is lost or wasted — a staggering amount — and approximately 8% of global human-caused greenhouse gas emissions result from food loss and waste. Those emissions enter the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise and drive climatic changes across the globe such as more frequent heat waves, stronger hurricanes, and rising sea levels.
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Landfills are releasing far more planet-warming methane into the atmosphere from the decomposition of waste than previously thought, a study suggests.
Scientists used satellite data from four major cities worldwide — Delhi and Mumbai in India, Lahore in Pakistan and Buenos Aires in Argentina — and found that emissions from landfills in 2018 and 2019 were 1.4 to 2.6 times higher than earlier estimates.
Every year, $400 billion ends up in dumpsters, and because it cuts into corporate profits, companies can treat it as tax deductible.
As discussed in the first part of this two-part series on food waste solutions, food waste has consequences for all populations, from economic to social and environmental. Because there are many ways in which food waste occurs, we need a wide range of solutions and array of technologies to make an impact. In part two, we focus on prevention and recovery solutions that can stem the flow of food waste before it gets thrown out.
Food waste happens at every stage of the supply chain, with inclement weather, overproduction, distribution and processing issues, and uncertain markets leading to losses even before the food arrives at retail locations, while overstocking, overbuying, and confusion over labels result in food waste in stores and homes. The source of the most significant loss differs worldwide. More than 40 percent of food loss in developing countries occurs at the post-harvest and processing stages, while in industrialized countries, more than 40 percent of such waste occurs at the retail and consumer level. In the U.S., our modern supply chain, which prioritizes efficiency and variety, exacerbated the issue over the last half-century resulting in the amount of food ending up in landfills nearly tripling between 1960 and 2020.
Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR), the world’s leading company turning food waste into sustainable products and producer of renewable energy, today announced Chick-fil-A, Inc. has chosen Darling Ingredients to convert its used cooking oil into cleaner burning renewable transportation fuel. Darling Ingredients’ service brand DAR PRO Solutions, will collect used cooking oil from all Chick-fil-A restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.
Search engine giant Google announced plans to reduce food waste at its facilities earlier this week spanning the entire lifecycle of food served at Google, from where it’s produced to how it’s consumed and what is done with leftovers.
Food loss and waste is estimated to be roughly one third of the food intended for human consumption in the United States. When food is discarded, all inputs used in producing, processing, transporting, preparing, and storing discarded food are also wasted. Food loss and waste also exacerbates the climate change crisis with its significant greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint. Production, transportation, and handling of food generate significant Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions and when food ends up in landfills, it generates methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas.
Brewers turn stale bread into beer. Chefs turn surplus restaurant food into meals for hungry families. A company raises $169 million to turn grocery store scraps into chicken feed. Efforts like these—which redirect existing waste from the landfill to other parts of the supply chain—have been the subject of many flashy headlines in recent years. But the U.S. needs to focus on preventing waste before it happens if it wants to significantly reduce its environmental impacts.