Emerging technologies tackle upstream food waste

Read the full story at Food Business News.

Enhancing liquidation processes, reducing the impact of mycotoxins and extending the shelf life of products are just a handful of potential solutions for reducing food waste. ReFED also recommends farmers explore new arrangements with buyers to expand product specifications and enable better upstream communication. Building direct relationships with food recovery organizations and employing tools that track yield patterns also are avenues for mitigating waste at the farm level.

Opportunities exist for manufacturers to create more upcycled product lines using edible byproducts. ReFED also encourages manufacturers to consider reengineering processes and redesigning products to reduce waste during production and product line changeovers.

New federal food donation law seen as welcome and overdue

Read the full story at Waste360.

Food manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, farmers, and schools now have reason to let go of a fear many of them have long harbored: a fear of litigation if they donate their surplus food. The Food Donation Improvement Act (FDIA), signed into law December 2022, amends the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, which was intended to encourage food donation, but had some glitches. A big one was ambiguous language explaining the rules around donation.

The FDIA clarifies and expands liability protections outlined in Emerson; perhaps the most monumental reform is that it lays a more direct path for qualified entities to give away good food they would otherwise throw out. Now they can donate directly to people in need in their communities when prior they had to arrange to get it to nonprofits that distribute it.

FDIA had full bipartisan support, passing unanimously and as a standalone bill, a little over a year after its introduction.

Single-use plastic cutlery and plates to be banned in England

Read the full story from The Guardian.

Single-use items such as plastic cutlery, plates and trays are to be banned in England in a bid to reduce pollution, the government has confirmed.

Climate impact labels could help promote sustainable food choices: study

Read the full story from The Hill.

Labels placed on fast food items highlighting their high climate impact may sway consumers to make more sustainable choices, new study results show. 

Food accounts for around one-third of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions, while animal-based foods like red meat and dairy products make up a large proportion of these emissions. 

Researchers carried out a randomized clinical trial with more than 5,000 participants to determine whether calling attention to red meat’s climate impact could change consumer menu selections. 

Individuals were shown a sample online fast food menu and asked to select an item for dinner. 

A control group received a menu with a quick response code label on all items and no climate labels. Another group received a menu with green low-climate impact labels, positively framing options like fish, chicken, or vegetarian options. The third group received a menu with red high-climate labels on items containing red meat, negatively framing the options. 

Results showed 23 percent more participants in the high climate label group ordered a sustainable, non-red meat option, and 10 percent more in the low-climate group ordered a sustainable option, compared with controls.

McDonald’s supply chain will be powered by solar

Read the full story at Restaurant Dive.

McDonald’s and the five member companies comprising the chain’s North American Logistics Council will buy renewable electricity from Enel North America’s Blue Jay solar project, according to a press release published Wednesday.

McDonald’s logistics partners will purchase an estimated 470,000 megawatt hours of solar power per year once the Blue Jay Solar project, located in Grimes County, Texas, is completed in 2023.

The deal would mean McDonald’s logistical supply chain, including all warehouses and distribution centers, would be powered by renewable energy, Bloomberg reports.

Fight to curb food waste increasingly turns to science

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

Hate mealy apples and soggy french fries? Science can help.

Restaurants, grocers, farmers and food companies are increasingly turning to chemistry and physics to tackle the problem of food waste.

Some are testing spray-on peels or chemically enhanced sachets that can slow the ripening process in fruit. Others are developing digital sensors that can tell — more precisely than a label — when meat is safe to consume. And packets affixed to the top of a takeout box use thermodynamics to keep fries crispy.

What happens when home meal delivery programs switch to reusable containers?

Read the full story at Waste360.

The problem with plastic pollution doesn’t begin with how it’s managed at the end of a product or package’s life. It begins upstream: this cheap-to-produce material is cranked out rapidly in massive quantities, and largely for single-use applications. More than 40 percent of plastic is designed to be used once, most which ends up landfilled, incinerated, or in oceans afterward, by industry accounts.

Inside the global effort to keep perfectly good food out of the dump

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Around the world, lawmakers and entrepreneurs are taking steps to tackle two of humanity’s most pressing problems: hunger and climate change.

5 ways to enhance foodservice packaging sustainability

Read the full story at Packaging Digest.

Your sustainable packaging choices should work for your business, your customers, and the communities you serve.

Towards a green food system: Japan urges food industry cooperation after sluggish sustainability support

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

The Japanese government has called on local food businesses and producers to co-operate more closely with local authorities and basic regional sustainability plans so the national Green Food System Strategy will hit its 2030 and 2050 targets.