Food loss happens when the quality of food is degraded in the process of food being passed from the farm to the shelves of the supermarket. This loss of food is higher in developing countries. On the other hand, food wastage occurs, when food which reaches the consumers is not consumed but dumped. Sadly, America contributes greatly in food wastage. Some sources estimate that a whopping 40 percent of the food gets wasted in US households. This wasted food goes untreated and reaches the landfills. Wasted food is therefore the major component of the waste that reaches the landfills.
Food waste reduction is also necessary since it badly affects the environment. The leftover food that is thrown away every day gets accumulated in the landfills. Over time, the rotten food breaks down to generate methane, a greenhouse gas that is very harmful for all living beings on Earth. Methane is twenty three times more poisonous than carbon dioxide (CO2). Besides, it generates enormous amount of heat, leading to global warming.
How to Reduce Food Waste?
A large number of people waste food items because of excess buying, improper storing of food, and cooking excess food without thinking of how to use the leftovers. Food waste can therefore be minimized by reducing spending through planned shopping. You can also check out recipes to make the best use of leftovers. You can also donate food to people in need. Making the best use of food will also help you in saving money. russian grocery store
How to Recycle Food Waste
In spite of our best efforts, some food will get wasted. However, we can prevent the wasted food from reaching landfills by effectively recycling it. Discussed below are two very productive recycling methods that are followed in many places.
In-Vessel Composting – Households can successfully help in reducing food waste by practicing in-vessel composting. The process involves using a vessel and mixing the food waste along with the garden waste and keeping that in a closed container under a set temperature for 2 to 4 weeks. Composting is a biological procedure where the waste gets decomposed by the micro-organisms to convert the mixture into compost. In-vessel composting can also be done in silos, tunnels, covered halls, and agitated bays. The end-product is left in the open for around 1 to 3 months and then finally used as a soil conditioner.
Anaerobic Digestion – To effectively deal with biowaste, experts encourage the use of anaerobic digestion method to treat food waste, animal manure, slurries, and energy crops by micro-organisms that breaks down the waste to produce methane which is then converted into biogas for generating electricity and fuel for transports.
The technique also creates a nutrient-rich digestate for use on fertile soil and in-land regeneration.
Find out if your neighborhood environment organization too collects food waste. You can contribute in such programs and ensure a greener planet for yourself and generations to come.