How Can We Reduce Food Waste?

A third of all food produced globally ends up spoiled before it can be eaten. In the United States, 62 million tons of food end up in dumpsters every year, worth about $218 million USD in lost opportunity. To combat this pressing yet solvable problem, a number of companies are taking unused food and repurposing it into perfectly good food and drink products, a process known as food waste "upcycling.” A recent survey conducted by Drexel University's Department of Culinary Arts & Food Science found that consumers are generally agreeable to purchasing and consuming these products, and many people are even willing to pay more for them.

Juice, soups, and beer:

  • Food is wasted in a number of ways, including spoilage during transportation, rejection by markets because of appearance, and edible food being thrown away as trimmings during the manufacturing process.
  • Misfit Juicery, based in Washington, D.C., takes flawed fruits and veggies and turns them into cold-pressed juices. A Dutch firm called Barstensvol turns surplus vegetables into soups.
  • In the United Kingdom, Toast Ale is made from surplus bread -- unsold loaves and scraps from packaged sandwich processes. Rubies in the Rubble turns scraps into ketchup, spiced chutney, and pickle relish.
More Info: Smithsonian magazine

Discussion Comments


More food will be thrown outif they keep selling non edible food. I go to the store and most often I cannot buy anything, having to come out empty handed. Vegetables and fruit look and taste like plastic. If I make a mistake and buy some fruit or vegetables, nobody can eat them at home either. So if it's not natural edible food, it will be thrown out and wasted in more and more quantities.

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