Instructor: Dr. Bin Zhu
Topic – Food waste management
Food waste has been around for many years which can be hazardous to the environment that we are living in. Food waste in schools/ universities can have affect students on if there are no recycling solutions offered it. Food has been wasted every day on campus. An example, the student’s refuses to eat because they might be in a hurry. The foods that have been wasted can be recycled and given to people who are in need. Some programs are recycling food to take to homeless shelters to help others. The school community should be more resourceful how they waste food. According to Food Waste at U.S. Colleges: What Is It and What Can We Do About It? “Every year, an estimated 130 billion pounds of food are discarded in the United States, leading to about $160 billion in lost monetary value. According to estimates by the Food Recovery Network, this amount also includes 22 million pounds from U.S. colleges” (Henderson, 2016) there is a lot of food being wasted in colleges but yet people are living in poverty and starving. Every school should have a recycling program that recycles food and gives it to people in need.
Why has so much food been waste from time to time on campus? The reasons why food has been wasted on campus is because; the food hasn’t been cooked, purchase of food, and student wasting it on purpose. This reason causes pollution to the environment filling up landfills. Based on Food and Rescue “An unconscionable amount of those resources are wasted completely, as up to 40% of all food ends up in landfills” (Williamson, 2017). Imagine if there weren’t any recycling projects on how to reduce food waste? The environment would be full of wastde food, which would cause a lot of pollution to the environment. I believe to slow down food waste on campus the school has to come together and build young food waste leaders to stop food from been waste.
Facts about food waste at the University of Hartford.
The University of Hartford recycled 100 percent of their food and converted into biodiesel. According to the University of Hartford, “the cafeteria trays have been eliminated. This action saves energy to reduce our carbon footprint plus 500 gallons of water per year since the trays no longer need to be washed. It also reduces food waste” (University of Hartford) I believe this is a good idea that the University is considering on how to improve food waste management around campus. The University of Hartford also stated that “Local vendors supply as much of the food as possible, including New England Coffee, Edo Sushi, Big Sky snack distributors, DNR Provisions, The Grease Guys, Carla’s Pasta, and Garlicky Farms. Seasonal and organic produce are also obtained from local sources whenever possible” (University of Hartford). These food services that provide the university with food also help to reduce food waste through producing fresh food. I believe this is a good partnership with these outside vendors because they are helping reduce food waste and also the effects it would have on the environment. An example, The ARAMARK is an organization that helps to reduce food waste and also educates the community about how to recycle and reuse food.
Programs that recycle food waste
The Quantum Bio power is one of Connecticut largest food waste programs. This program mostly focuses on organic waste; they recover food from a lot of different places. These places includes; hotels, universities, restaurants, and commercial buildings. Quantum helps these industries and business places to develop organic waste programs that can help with food waste. Quantum provides transportation for these wastes to be transported to where the waste food has been recycled. According to Quantum Bio power, “In 2005, an estimated 245.7 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated in the United States – that’s 4.5 pounds of waste per person” (Boucher, 2018). A lot of food has been waste each day, but without the solution to stop it, I believe wasting food will become worse. Programs like Quantum Biopower are helping organizations and other business places to make good use of food that was wasted.
The University of Hartford school website mentioned that they recycle food from every food stores at the school, For example, Gengras Student Union (GSU), Konover, Lincoln Theater, and the Sports Center. This program uses typically two bins to store all food waste; two bins are placed in every building. These bins have the university logo on it to identify which bin food should be placed in. The University of Hartford stated that “the recycling program is an ongoing process. The recycling representatives will work with facilities to modify our procedures based on our experience as we move forward” (University of Hartford).The University recent started recycling program to help lower food waste on campus.
Centre for EcoTechnology is another food waste program in Connecticut. Main reasons his to help reduce waste and increase donation of food and holidays. The Center for EcoTechnology mentions that “more than 925,000 tons per year of compostable materials (food waste, yard waste, and other organic materials) is thrown out in Connecticut” ( Macaluso, 2016). During this time the New Federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has funded money to develop the programs to help businesses reduce their food wasted. Centre for EcoTechnology stated that “nearly 520,000 tons of food waste is generated in Connecticut each year, some of which could be donated to feed people” (Macaluso, 2016). Food has been donated to people who are in need and also animal. Centre for Eco Technology primary goal is to lower food waste to by 2030. I believe this is going to take a lot of commitment to accomplish this only if they are recycling from a few organizations and businesses.
The impact on the environment
Environmental impacts of food waste; when food is entering the earth, it can produce methane and also greenhouse gas and soil productivity. Based on a recent study, “one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, amounting to as much as 1.2 billion metric tonnes annually. Food waste is a global problem of staggering proportions, but the underlying reasons differ between countries”( Verkat,2011). Most of this food comes from developing countries and consumer wastes. I believe this amount of food waste could harm the environment causing pollution and diseases.
Based on research conducted in Finland it shows that the united states of America waste the most food in a household. This research took place in 2012 where 11 countries were involved. This data showed a lot of food has been wasted every day in the U.S, but yet people are still without food. The most developing countries waste the most food over 50% of their food has been wasted. Different composition wastes in the household could harm the environment.
Based on the article Reducing food waste feeds the hungry, saves money talks about recycling food from campus dining to feeding people and saving money. The article also stated that “college students are responsible for about 22 million pounds of the waste each year” (Tim, 2018). All of these foods will end up in the landfills which can cause danger to the environment. A college student should make more of an effort to recycle unfinished food. Food can also be used to recover energy and fuel conversion.
At Wilson College in Pennsylvania a study was conducted on how to reduce campus food waste by composting. The article Composting Roundup stated that “during the first six months of operation, the composter processed nearly 4,000 of the 8,871 pounds of food waste composted by the farm” (Composting Round, 2017). Most of these wastes are used in agriculture to provide a healthy crop for a manufacture. The food was used to increase awareness of soil that can lead to successful crop production. The article stated that in Atlanta they used food waste to increase community composting. They mention that “a portion of the finished compost is used by the City’s parks department on 100 acres of municipal parks and a 90-acre golf course, saving the department over $70,000 in avoided fertilizer and irrigation costs” (Composting Round, 2017). I believe if food waste was used in the right way it could save money, time, and energy. I believe this organization is smart to use food waste as fertilizer; and could save a lot of money.
The cost of food waste in America
American throws away a billion worth of food each year that could be recycled. The cost of food waste in America has been going up each year because people refuse to cut down on the amount of food they buy. Food is getting expensive, yet a so much food is being wasted. This leads me to my question should there be a restriction on the amount of food someone can buy? According to the article, Food Waste Costs Americans Around $165 Billion Annually, “It costs Americans around $165 billion a year that they’re spending on the food they’re not eating, and for the average American family that can be up to$2,200 per household” (Wilkes-Edrington, 20013). Imagine if all of this wasted food was put to good use, this would cause less starvation and hunger in America. I believe if there is so much food to waste there should be limits on the amount of food a person buy.
Do you believe agriculture and manufactures are producing too much food? I believe they are not producing too much food. Sometimes most foods are short; there is a lot on the market. People should buy food that they know is going to be wasted therefore this would better the environment with less air pollution. The Shocking Cost of Food Waste stated that, “the Food Wastage Footprint project explains that, in addition to the retail cost of food lost, another $700 billion is also thrown out in natural resources, including $172 billion in wasted water, $42 billion in cleared forest and $429 billion in related greenhouse gas costs” (Hoffman, 2014). If all of these foods were wasted in 2014, I’m wondering what it would be like now because I believe more food his being wasted in today societies. People should be more responsible for taking care of their food, but yet you can’t tell people what to do with their money. I believe there should be a recycling bin at home so they could recycle food the right way. This system would be similar to the garbage process, but this time they are collecting food and carrying it to the factory. I believe this would be a great idea to maintain food waste in America.
The Shocking Cost of Food Waste also mentions that, “wasted food results in $150 billion in human health costs related to the use of pesticides (which also implies that the health costs of using chemicals on the 70% of the food we actually eat totals at least an additional $350 billion a year). $280 billion in loss of livelihoods (as natural resources become scarcer) is also tossed out the window when we throw away food” ((Hoffman, 2014). The most important part about food waste is that people should buy what they can eat. People should also store food where is going to be safe for eating examples, fruits and vegetables.
These bar charts represent the loss of food and waste during the consumer and the early stage of the food chain. Do you think less developing countries waste more food or developing countries waste more? I believe developing country waste more food because fewer developing countries are lacking resources to improve food growth. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, “although there are estimates of fresh spinach loss at the retail and consumer levels in the United States, national estimates at the farm level do not exist. It is also not known how much of the spinach loss at the consumer level occurs in the home versus away from homes, such as in restaurants or schools, or the breakdown of loss from the different causes at any given stage”(Buzby et al. 2014). Food loss in America has become a significant problem because food has been wasted every day from both retail and consumer level.
In conclusion, food waste is a big problem in American and in schools. There is a lot of food waste each year which can be recycled, but no one did. According to Food Waste at U.S. Colleges: What Is It and What Can We Do About It? “Every year, an estimated 130 billion pounds of food are discarded in the United States, leading to about $160 billion in lost monetary value” (Henderson, 2016). I believe this is the only way food waste is going to stop in America is by recycling. I believe there should be a recycling bin in every home recycles food. This would help to recycle food and donate to food banks and homeless shelter.
Bio-Cycle. Sep 2017. The article discusses the initiative of Fulton Farm a Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania to reduce food waste with a prototype compostermanufactured by DT Environmental Inc. Vol. 58 Issue 8, p16-16. 1/4p
Federal Funds for Diversion of Food Waste in Connecticut.” Center for EcoTechnology, 22 Nov. 2016, www.cetonline.org/federal_funds_diverting_foodwaste/.
Henderson Daphine. 2016.Food Waste at U.S. Colleges: What Is It and What Can We Do AboutIt?
Food Loss-Questions About the Amount and Causes Still Remain.” USDA ERS – Sharing the Economic Burden: Who Pays for WIC’s Infant Formula, www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2014/june/food-loss-questions-about-the-amount-and-causes-still-remain/.
Wilkes-Edrington, Lindsay. “Food Waste Costs Americans How Much?” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 4 Jan. 2013, www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/food-waste-america_n_2404451.html
Tim Goral. 2018. The article informs that efforts are being made by colleges to decrease wasteby eliminating trays and composting food so it can be used as a nutrient-rich naturalfertilizer. University Business, Vol. 21 Issue 2, -14. 1p.
Venkat Kumar.2011, The Climate Change and Economic Impacts of Food Waste in the United States Int. J. Food System Dynamics.Clean Metrics Corp., Portland, Oregon, USA
University of Hartford, 2018. http://www.hartford.edu/search-results/default.aspx?cx=011351308810148088677%3Aqqt_jnmmj2k&ie=UTF-8&q=recycle&sa.x=0&sa.y=0