Anaerobic Digestion Solves Food Waste Challenges

By Aidan Kelly, Eco News Network, September 16, 2015


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Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the United States’ first-ever national food waste reduction goal, calling for a 50-percent reduction by 2030. As part of the effort, the federal government will lead a new partnership with charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments to reduce food loss and waste in order to improve overall food security and conserve our nation’s natural resources.

It’s good news that food waste in America continues to gain attention. A National Resources Defense Council 2012 study determined that while eighty percent of freshwater used in the US goes towards growing food, only sixty percent of that food is eaten. The other forty? That ends up in landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a greenhouse gas twenty-five times as potent as carbon dioxide. And that’s just part of the food waste story. It may be hard to believe, but nationwide, food leftovers are the single-largest component of the waste stream by weight. Food scraps make up 17 percent (29 million tons/year) of what we send to landfills, or enough to fill the Rose Bowl every three days!

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