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Food and Beverages | Thursday, July 28, 2022

The existing disposal and improper management of agroindustrial food waste have detrimental effects on the environment and the social and economic sectors on a global scale.

FREMONT, CA: Food waste management is recovering or redirecting food and other agricultural products for human consumption, animal feed, industrial use, or environmental advantages. The process of food waste management involves the collection of edible food scraps and other food-related wastes from households, restaurants, institutions, and companies. Food waste can be repurposed for several applications, including compost production for agricultural and gardening reasons.

Food is wasted throughout the food supply chain, from agricultural production to retailers and consumers. Food waste may be caused by insects, fungi, climate change, improper cooking, etc. In contrast, food loss occurs before reaching consumers. Problems at several stages of food production, storage, processing, and distribution could lead to food loss.

A significant amount of food loss and waste is in landfills, where it rots and emits greenhouse gases. Food loss and waste are difficult to cure because they include harmful quantities of sodium and water. Restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, supermarkets, food processing firms, residential areas, etc., are the primary contributors to food waste.

Food waste disposal is a significant problem in the United States since over 35 million tons of food waste are tossed into landfills or incinerators annually, or almost 40 percent of all food consumed. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) releases food waste statistics that emphasize the problem of food waste. It is estimated that approximately 13 percent of all municipal solid waste in the United States consists of food leftovers.

Sustainable food waste management is the method for minimizing food waste throughout the food supply chain. Using inventory management software, retailers can assist restaurants and hotels reduce food loss. Reducing food waste involves implementing measures to lessen food loss and waste's environmental and financial consequences.

The food waste problem in the United States is growing. Over thirty percent of food in the United States is wasted annually, costing households $218 billion. Food discarded is not only a loss of money but also hazardous to the environment and wildlife because it contributes to global warming and accumulates waste in landfills.

Here are some ways one may help reduce food waste and contribute to environmental protection:

Matching Food Supply and Demand: People understand that food production comes before demand. There is a fundamental requirement to balance food production and consumption to reduce food waste. The first thing that can be done is to limit the number of natural resources used in the commercial production of food, which is necessary to produce food in hotels and restaurants. Restaurants, motels, and the food service industry can reduce food loss by utilizing inventory and risk management solutions. These instruments ensure optimal utilization of natural resources to balance food production and preparation with demand.

Food Recovery Efforts: Retail outlets and supermarkets can contribute to reducing food waste by employing innovative and individualized food waste prevention strategies. Customers can be encouraged to purchase blemished and imperfect fruits and vegetables by offering discounts and specials. Retailers can limit their bulk purchases of perishable foods to reduce their food footprint. On the other hand, consumers can reduce food waste by not favoring the highest quality food.

Consumers Refrain from Overbuying: To decrease food waste, consumers can plan their meals before purchasing food items. Planning facilitates financial and material savings. Buying in small quantities enables consumers to reduce food waste caused by perishable commodities exceeding their expiration dates.

Recycling of Food: Food waste prevention and recycling are excellent methods for minimizing food waste. Several strategies and technologies are utilized worldwide to reduce food waste. Food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can use inventory management software and other food waste management approaches to reduce food loss. Recycling food packaging materials helps reduce air and water pollution.

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