The Growing Problem of Food Waste

Chuck Zimmerman

Food waste is a growing problem. That was the message from Kai Robertson, Director, Food, Beverage & Agriculture Practice, BSR, during the Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum. I visited with Kai right after her presentation. She startled many of us attending when she presented a statistic from EPA (estimate) that more than 67 billion pounds of food end up in a land fill each year. To put that into perspective, that’s enough food to feed four meals a day to all the 47 million people in the United States at or below poverty level for a year! Clearly there’s a need to do something about it.

Kai says there are a number of things we can do and pointed to the EPA “Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy” which can be thought of as the 3-R’s of food, “Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.” She says consumers can be more cognizant of what they do with food leftovers. In the food distribution chain there needs to be a system to collect perfectly edible food that’s leftover. She says it would also be helpful to have some regulatory policies set to address this situation.

You can listen to my interview with Kai here: Interview with Kai Robertson

2012 Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, Food

Comments 3

  1. A system to collect the “perfectly edible food that’s leftover” as mention would likely cost more than the value of the food collected. Refrigerated trucks frequently making stops to collect a few leftovers would use huge amounts of fuel. It would be much more cost effective to collect waist food that is and is not edible. Let’s say at the land fills. Then use this food waists to produce Biofuels like Ethanol. Ethanol could be used to produce more crops at a lower cost than petroleum based fuels used now.

  2. A system to collect the “perfectly edible food that’s leftover” as mention would likely cost more than the value of the food collected. Refrigerated trucks frequently making stops to collect a few leftovers would use huge amounts of fuel. It would be much more cost effective to collect waist food that is and is not edible. Let’s say at the land fills. Then use this food waists to produce Biofuels like Ethanol. Ethanol could be used to produce more crops at a lower cost than petroleum based fuels used now.

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