Food processing

How to brew beer better: Less water, less energy, more innovation

In the latest P2 Impact column for GreenBiz, Paula Del Giudice highlights the changes that breweries are making to reduce their environmental footprint.

You can view previous P2 Impact columns here.


Ford, Heinz Working To Make Car Parts From Tomatoes

Read the full story in the Consumerist.

The last thing you want when you buy a car is a lemon. But the folks at Ford and Heinz think you may someday want a tomato; or at least a car made with tomato-based parts.

Unlikely collaborators Ford Motor Company and H.J. Heinz Company announced Tuesday they are exploring the use of tomato fibers in developing sustainable, composite materials for vehicle manufacturing, while also reducing the overall environmental impact of automobiles.

Innovation nets a greener future for undervalued fish

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Talking trash on the docks is nothing new. But talk of how to turn “trash fish” — netted fish that is in less demand — into treasured bounty is a different story. And the idea offers hope for creating new markets that can benefit both fishers and fish.

The fact is, a lot of fish goes to waste in the world. According to a recent Oceana report, U.S. fisheries discard an astounding 2 billion pounds per year. Most of that is due to bycatch — unintentionally caught species, including endangered mammals, sea turtles, sharks and seabirds, which are then tossed back into the water. But a lot of bycatch is perfectly edible fish, discarded simply because the fish don’t garner enough value to merit space on the boat. And therein lies the opportunity: creating demand for those fish offers a way to reduce food waste and help fishers.


Read the full post from the National Park Service.

Impending climate change impacts spur action across both the public and private sector. Regulations, best practices, and efficiency regimes challenge past ideals on chemical usage, and support the use of cleaner, greener alternatives. It is common knowledge today that refrigerant and aerosol emissions damage the ozone layer, resulting in a vulnerability to climate change effects. More than 35,000 retail food establishments (including supermarkets, grocery stores or wholesale clubs) in the U.S. use HCFC-22 as their primary refrigerant. HCFC-22 is an acknowledged ozone-depleting substance, and is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, which is the international treaty to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. EPA has been phasing out refrigerants cited by the Montreal Protocol since 2003, and by January 1, 2020, all production and import of virgin HCFC-22 will be banned. To reach this goal, EPA has partnered with GreenChill.

GreenChill is an EPA partnership with food retailers that aims to reduce refrigerant emissions, and consequently decrease their detrimental impacts on the ozone layer that affect climate change. The program works with food retailers to help them transition to using environmentally friendlier refrigerants, reducing refrigerant charge sizes, eliminating leaks, and adopting green refrigeration technologies and best environmental practices. Advanced refrigeration includes multiple systems that reduce refrigerant emissions, including Centralized DX Systems, Distributed Systems, Secondary Loop Systems, Cascade Systems and Low GWP Refrigerants.

The partnership has three main programs that assist food retailers in reducing refrigerant emissions:

        1. The Food Retailer Corporate Emissions Reduction Program;
        2. The Store Certification Program for Advanced Refrigeration; and
        3. The Advanced Refrigeration Promotion Program.

Video: Protect Paradise: An Animation about Palm Oil

Watch the video.

Palm oil is an ingredient in thousands of products we use every day. But palm oil has a dirty secret: forest destruction. Every year, thousands of hectares of Indonesian rainforest and peatlands – some of the most biodiverse regions on the planet – are being destroyed to make way for new palm oil plantations. We don’t have to clear forests for palm oil – solutions exist and some companies are on track to supply clean, responsible palm oil. But we need to take urgent action.

We are calling on companies to guarantee their products are free from forest destruction. Clean, responsible palm oil is possible. Join the movement now, and help to Protect Paradise.

Webinar: How to Reduce Wasted Food: EPA’s Food Waste Reduction Tools for Food Services & Restaurants

May 15, 2014, noon-1:30 pm CDT
Register at

The Guide to Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment provides step-by-step instructions to conducting a one-time assessment of the food waste thrown in garbage bins. This instructional outreach material is useful for facilities new to food audits and for those who wish to better understand their current food waste management practices.

The toolkit for Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants is designed to help food service establishments save money and reduce their environmental impact with suggested strategies, templates and case studies. Users first track the amount, type of, and reason for wasted food and packaging on paper. Entering the data into the Excel tool automatically creates graphs to help identify patterns and opportunities to reduce waste. The accompanying PDF guide provides intervention strategies and background information.

These free, new resources can be found at


Julie Schilf is an Environmental Scientist with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 office where she is the regional coordinator for EPA’s WasteWise and Food Recovery Challenge programs.  She will provide a summary of the instructional outreach materials on Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment.

Amanda Hong is a graduate fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 office working in Sustainable Materials Management and Pollution Prevention. She will provide a detailed overview of how to use the toolkit for Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging.

Scottish Whisky Distillers Get Greener As They Turn To Biomass For Energy

Just in time for the weekend. Read the full story in The Huffington Post.

Scotch whisky distillers are burning their unwanted grain byproducts, wood chips and other types of biomass for a source of energy in remote areas of the Highlands, where gas links are scarce and fuel oil is pricey.

New Refrigeration Efficiency Standards To Take a Bite out of Supermarket and Restaurant Energy Costs

Read the full post from ACEEE.

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule for strong new efficiency standards today that will take a big bite out of the energy consumption of the refrigerators and freezers used in supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, and commercial kitchens. The significant reductions in energy use that we’ll see with the new standards are made possible by the availability of technologies including LED lighting and occupancy sensors, high-performance glass doors, and high-efficiency motors, which all provide big efficiency gains.

Methane leaks from palm oil wastewater are a climate concern

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

In recent years, palm oil production has come under fire from environmentalists concerned about the deforestation of land in the tropics to make way for new palm plantations. Now there is a new reason to be concerned about palm oil’s environmental impact, according to researchers at the Univ. of Colorado Boulder.

An analysis published in Nature Climate Change shows that the wastewater produced during the processing of palm oil is a significant source of heat-trapping methane in the atmosphere. But the researchers also present a possible solution: capturing the methane and using it as a renewable energy source.