Category: Food waste

Virtual portal creates access to food security solutions

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Meeting the nutritional needs of current and future generations requires innovations to ensure access to healthy and nutritious food while creating equitable value chains and supporting climate and environmental sustainability. 

To this end, Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability collaborated with a group of partner organizations to design the Innovative Food System Solution (IFSS) portal launched by in May 2021.

Smaller plates help reduce food waste in campus dining halls

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Food waste is a major problem in the U.S., and young adults are among the worst culprits. Many of them attend college or university and live on campus, making dining halls a prime target for waste reduction efforts. And a simple intervention can make a big difference, a University of Illinois study shows.

Shifting from round to oval plates with a smaller surface area can significantly reduce food waste in dining halls, says Brenna Ellison, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) and co-author on the study.

Tools to increase creativity and reduce food waste

Read the full story from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.

Food waste in the home can often occur because of boredom or limited knowledge of how to use certain ingredients. A consumer may have leftovers in their fridge that they don’t want to waste, but can’t bear to eat one more time in the item’s current form while simultaneously not knowing how to repurpose the item for a new dish. Or perhaps they’ve acquired an edible item that’s completely new to them, so they’re not sure how to use it in the first place. 

By-product from beer industry can be used to improve soil health

Read the full story at European Scientist.

By-products from the beer industry can be used in agriculture to improve soil quality and increase crop yields, according to a study published by a team of Spanish researchers. The team is keen to explore what other types of waste can be used in a similar manner.

EPA aims to reduce food waste in supply chains to tackle GHG emissions

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

By reducing food waste in production and supply lines, the agency is exploring the prioritization of food recovery over waste diversion.

Andrew Zimmern’s latest culinary endeavor: Tackling food waste in America

Read the full story at Waste360.

In a recent conversation with Waste360, Zimmern discussed the proliferation of food waste in America, his observations while traveling and some tips about how to reduce food waste at home.

Start-up Electro-Active makes hydrogen from food waste

Read the full story at Waste360.

Renewable, clean hydrogen could cut greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel by up to 34%, reports  Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and plenty of developers are racing to commercialize their own version of this low- to zero-carbon alternative fuel, usually leveraging electricity. Though some entrepreneurs have begun making hydrogen from waste—usually dry materials. But start up Electro-Active is making it from food waste, combined with electricity.

Why more public libraries are doubling as food distribution hubs

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank held a distribution event at the LA county library’s headquarters on Jan. 22, 2021. Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group via Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

by Noah Lenstra (University of North Carolina – Greensboro)

In the summer of 2021, public libraries everywhere, from Idaho and Oklahoma to Tennessee and Arizona, will offer free meals to families with children in their local communities.

What might look like a new role for libraries builds on their long tradition of serving as innovation spaces, community centers and sanctuaries for people who are homeless or mentally ill.

I’ve been researching how public libraries address food insecurity – what happens when households can’t acquire adequate food because they can’t afford it or can’t access it for other reasons. Across the board, these efforts emerge from community partnerships with organizations that include school districts and food banks.

As Kristin Warzocha, president of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, explained in 2016, “We have the food, and they have the patrons who need it.”

Libraries have been fighting food insecurity for years.

Lunch at the library

The earliest example of this kind I’ve found dates back 35 years. In 1986, the Nelsonville branch of the Athens County Public Library in southeastern Ohio began serving federally funded lunches in the summertime to children to ensure that they don’t go hungry.

That county has one of Ohio’s highest food-insecurity rates, which helps explain why librarians there sought to provide food access in tandem with summer learning activities.

By 2019, over 2,000 U.S. public libraries – about 1 in 10 – served summer meals.

This practice has largely remained below the radar. The official magazine of the American Library Association didn’t mention this trend until 2008. Since then, though, growing state and national recognition and support has begun to emerge.

The COVID-19 pandemic

When the coronavirus pandemic got underway, public libraries and their staff continued to fight food insecurity, even when their doors were closed.

Some library workers were reassigned to food banks to help process and distribute donations. Others worked with food banks to hand out grab-and-go meals in library parking lots.

Still others established emergency food pantries at libraries.

In St. Louis, the county public library system took part in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families program. Libraries everywhere, from Kentucky and Vermont to California and Georgia, participated in the emergency national food distribution program too.

Many libraries have started to host small food pantries located outdoors, in little boxes with doors. These sharing boxes are modeled on the “little free library” movement. These micro-libraries are usually simple cabinets fastened to posts and stocked with books anyone passing by can take for free. The little free pantry movement, which began in 2016 and seems to have expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead seeks to dispatch food to those in need.

In 2021, by the middle of May, at least 491 libraries in 28 states had made plans to serve meals to schoolchildren during their summer vacations. This number is only preliminary and will rise once more states report their data to the USDA.

Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Kroger awards 10 startups advancing upcycled food solutions

Read the full story in Food Business News.

Ten sustainability-focused startups were selected to receive a total of $2.5 million in funding from The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation Innovation Fund. Agua Bonita, Renewal Mill and Take Two are among brands to receive support in pioneering and accelerating solutions to reduce food waste while improving food security.

Each startup will be awarded $100,000 in upfront seed grant funding and will participate in a virtual workshop and networking with investors and mentors across the food system. The participants will be eligible for an additional $100,000 grant based on the achievement of identified program milestones. At the end of the six-month milestone development period, two startups will be selected for an opportunity to receive an additional $250,000 in funding.

Apeel acquires ImpactVision, furthering goal of reducing global food waste

Read the full story at Food Tank.

Apeel Sciences, a California-based company committed to giving produce a longer shelf life, is acquiring ImpactVision, adding imaging technology to its food waste-combating arsenal.

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