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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle of "FOOD WASTE"

Food loss campaign aimed at reducing the wastage footprint and convert the wastage to wealth by making business.

Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Food waste can occur due to various reasons which can occur at various stages of food production. Reducing these wastes can significantly affect the economy of countries especially developing ones. This can bring down the prices of food, reduce the environmental impact and decrease the losses on food processing.

Reduce waste by using Biodegradable Packaging:

We all purchase our food items at the local market or a grocery store. But most of the time we do not carry a bag to bring back the food items in. At those scenarios, if a biodegradable bag is used instead of a regular plastic bag, it can reduce the amount of waste formed significantly. Consumers can be encouraged to always carry a jute bag to put their items in when they go to the market. This further reduces the amount of wastage caused due to packaging, also it provides a reasonable boost to the local jute textiles.

Reusing Leftover Organic Waste:

We throw out a lot of leftovers from our food items which are inedible but can be reused in the form of compost. Families can be encouraged to form compost pits in their backyards in which the organic food wastes can be put which would provide excellent fertilizer for plants in  their gardens over time.

Recycling Organic waste from markets:

If noticed carefully, it can be seen that a lot of waste from crops are produced from the local markets. Inedible parts of the plants are thrown away as they are of no use to the sellers or buyers. Also vegetables which have gone bad are of no use to anyone. They are all disposed off which leads to an increase of waste. This organic waste, if treated properly can become a source of sustainable energy source for the market. They can generate their own power through the organic waste they are left with. Many possible options include a bio-gas plant, right next to the market place. This can help the local community in keeping the roads and surrounding clean, as well as providing a sustainable and renewable source of energy. This ensures the 100% utilization of the products, not a part of the food crops are left to go to waste. Recycling in this manner leads to “Zero-Waste” production. Even the organic waste left from the Biogas plant can be used as fodder for the local cattle, which again ensures more income for the local community as well as keeping the market place clean.

Reducing waste by changing the menu:

Most of the household food waste is caused when we buy in excess quantity or buy perishable items which we won’t be able to consume by the time they go bad. Making a plan can help reduce this waste significantly.

  • Buy non-perishables in bulk. That way it reduces the carrying and packaging waste.
  • Buy only as much as you need. This way you can be sure you are always consuming the freshest of ingredients.
  • Try local grown food items. This helps the local farmers as well as guarantees the freshness of the products.
  • Cook recipes that ensure the full use of the food products. You can cook items that uses the whole food instead just a part of it. Also this ensures that the food is nutritious.

How readily can these ideas be applied?

These ideas are all based of on scientific research and have been used and experimented on before. These ideas are community based and have been proved to give results. The solutions are economic, sustainable and beneficial to the community as well. It ensures more employment in management of these biogas plants, encourages to reduce the waste and teach about smarter and healthier living.

How much infrastructure is required for these prototypes?

Not much. Most of the space required can be found in the market places and backyards. Little or no external power and management is required, the local community themselves can manage and administer the plants.

How beneficial are these ideas?

These ideas ensure zero waste. All parts of crops are used up, thus ensuring a cleaner locality. The power generated is self-sustaining, hence it is more economic. They employ local people to operate and manage thus allowing place for more employment.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

A simple biogas digester can be setup at a local market place to extract biogas from the leftover organic wastes from the market. Most of the apparatus is readily available and the plant is easy to build and low on maintenance.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I would like to seek the expertise of people who have undertaken such community-driven projects and take design suggestions for the biogas plant.

Tell us about your work experience:

We are already in process with a proper design with a view to make a fit of entrepreneurship program in several small pockets for the youth who are achieve the Love Food mission. We are making mass campaigning involving the local people, stake holders. We are trying to establish motivational film to make a campaign in a larger scale in the society regarding the Food Wastage and clean the environment and do the business from waste to wealth.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s launched and we’re working on gathering more feedback – it’s existed for over 6 months

346 comments

Join the conversation:

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Spam
Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Organic waste:
Organic material (green waste) including, fruit, vegetable scraps and most other food waste (except meat and bones). grass clippings, leaves, flowers and weeds.
These materials can be processed into high quality compost products for use in home gardens, and public open spaces such as sporting fields and park garden beds, which improves the social amenities of local communities. Other quality composted products can be used to improve soil fertility and reduce the environmental harm associated with chemical fertiliser and pesticide usage in vegetable, fruit and wine production.

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Photo of William
Team

Very interesting ideas that should be put to test across the globe/adapt as feasible as possible.. Thanks Dr Sukumar for the piece. Composite manure from bio-degradable waste is vital in organic farming particularly in areas where economies are developing from subsistence to commercial production. This is my current dream project for the urban and rural poor in Uganda. The biggest challenge however, for the urban poor is land. They live in makeshift structures which are rented, despite the conditions in very congested environments /slums... You can not manage. For the rural poor, they have the land but it takes a while to transform their practices as all that is generated as waste is either scattered at the back of the courtyard or neglected.. not the best way though. Here biogas would as well be an option. Managing waste sustainable is one best strategy to answer some of the welfare based SDGs... particularly those that directly affect women and children

Could I request any body on the platform who has developed an idea for waste management at the slum level to share the strategy.. Think about a slum of about 20,000 people with no/minimum social amenities so to say... Thanks so much, Dr. William Kibaalya

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Photo of Ezgi Sengun
Team

Great ideas for improving the use of food waste. Moreso a circular economy based on food waste turning into biogas used for community energy i.e. heat or electricity. 
For the users to use the biogas obtained a generator would need to be used, however in most of the time the energy is lost in the conversion. How do you go about overcoming this? 
The idea of having biogas plants near markets is great but would it not be useful to have one central location for the biogas plant and waste from the community/market gets collected and taken to this core biogas digester and under controlled environments through anaerobic digestion and thermal recovery energy is generated to power that community? 

Another factor is how would you educate people to compost? Nowadays people in metropolitan areas live in apartments and don't have the space to create efficient compost pits, so that would be something that needs looking into. 

Also, what about the cost of biodegradable bags? How would you get the business owners on board? Some companies now charge for plastic bag use which forces the user to bring their own each time, is this something that could be suggested?

Any feedback would be appreciated. 

Goodluck! 

Spam
Photo of Hayden
Team

You have many ideas involved in this article. From this article, I gather you have five goals. 1) Bring down the price of food. 2) Reduce the environmental impact that food waste can have. 3) Decrease the losses on food processing. 4) Build Biogas plants near markets. 5) Reduce the use of plastic bags. I think the best idea is building the biogas plants near markets. This idea has the most pros and is well worth the money it would be to build one.
You could do a lot with a biogas plant that makes its own energy. Make a community place for people to go if they are in need of aid or, want to provide a home cooked meal for whomever shows up. You can use the power that the plant would make and power the facility. Convert two dump trucks into compost trucks. People of the community could put their waste into a bin. This bin much like a trash bin can be collected by the compost trucks. The compost trucks could then bring it back to the biogas plant and power it.
You can’t make everyone create their own compost bin. Not everyone wants rotting food by their house. You can’t make everyone buy exactly what they need when they go to the grocery store. People like to buy as much as they can so they don’t have to make a lot of trips to the store or market. It would be more useful to those who already have a garden. You could compost for fill around your land but then it’s just easier to call a dump truck for a load of dirt.
I can’t see how composting would bring down the price of food. I would like to know how composting would lower the price. I would like to know why composting would lower the price. You still have to buy food to compost the waste. Big companies don’t care what you do with the food as long as you are buying it.
It is a good idea to buy non-perishable food in bulk because it doesn’t go bad. Like I said before it is hard to buy only exactly what you need. People should try to buy more food from their local farmers or markets. I can see making a plan for what you need to buy. I can’t see trying to get people to buy only what they need for their dinner. People like to have food around the house always. They want to be able to make something without going to the grocery store.
I hope you gained something from my input, all good ideas and I hope one of them takes off and makes a change! Good luck!

Spam
Photo of Cristina
Team

Hi, 
I think it´s a great idea what you are proposing here, but how are you going to educate people or encourage them to make compost? We´ve always had that option, however only a few put it into practice. 

Thanks for sharing! 

Spam
Photo of Mitul Sarkar
Team

Good point. Unless compost is a saleable commodity or the person has land/pots to grow food on using that compost as fertilizer, it might be an uphill task keeping people interested in composting.

Spam
Photo of Mitul Sarkar
Team

Sukumar Kar The description mentions biogas, and Eli Park asked about how to use the biogas. 
If a community plant were to use the biogas to generate electricity for household use, or to provide cleaner cooking fuel, it follows that the plant must be located near the homes it shall serve. In most Indian towns and cities, many perishable food and vegetable sellers set up their shops on the ground by the roadsides, or on hand-pushed carts, and - less often- have a fixed marketplace location for themselves where one could imagine setting up a communal biodigester plant. But would that supply enough nearby homes to make the entire community interested in the project? And, secondly, how many of those food/vegetable sellers actually live in that same locality (my understanding is that many come from other places to sell at the market).
If you go the communal biodigester route, please consider pairing that with communal toilet facilities, where - for example- lighting at night could be powered by the biodigester. This would alleviate the scourge of open defecation, provide women and children with safe well-lit places & privacy for their sanitation needs. It might also be possible to run a water pumping station off that biodigester during the daytime, or charge portable electric lights, phones, etc when lighting is not such a dire necessity. Domex (part of Hindustan Unilever) had claimed to create a Toilet Academy for "Sulabh Sauchalaya-style" toilet operators/entrepreneurs...so Unilever might have some technical knowhow it could share. 

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Photo of Mitul Sarkar
Team

One possible profit avenue for a community biodigester installed in a marketplace: use the energy generated to power a community kitchen or restaurant (a humble cafeteria of sorts for the sellers and buyers at the marketplace), or even to power a food dehydration/preservation setup that produces a saleable commodity. I posted some food dehydration/preservation ideas at https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/from-waste-to-wealth-and-less-carbon-emissions-to-boot   because I think that in certain situations turning excess food into feed for other animals might make more economic & environmental sense compared to lysing the food in biodigesters.

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Photo of Eli Park
Team

Out of curiosity, how would the users use the biogas created by this system? I have seem similar things while researching with animal manures. But the setup was created for each household instead of a community base plant. Any additional material would be a pleasure to read. 

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Photo of A Bin
Team

Hello, 

I think it is very smart idea and your heart in the right place. We all know that food waste is too high, however, how would you convince the companies who are making so much money to sell less to reduce waste? how would you convince people to buy less?(because for many people they buy for the week or the month to reduce trips). It will be great to target the middle process such as what to do with the additional/wasted food at the production phase (food that does not look appealing for the store) or food that did not go bad and customers do not like the looks of it. 
all the best. 

Spam
Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Speak to all of us in ways of Food Waste concern that gave me an idea for this feed back column . Passionate entrepreneurs are required in this Food Waste issue , who want to make a different . India appears to be poised to begin making meaningful progress toward reducing food waste.

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Photo of Ahmed null
Team

Dear Sukumar:

I just wanted to know what is the difference between this idea and the technique already in operation in India vastly?

http://stoves.bioenergylists.org/compactbiogas

http://bio-gas-plant.blogspot.com/2011_05_29_archive.html

http://www.sswm.info/content/anaerobic-digestion-general

Spam
Photo of Obua Godfrey
Team

Dear Sukumar,
Thank you  for your wonderful contributions and for editing team,
Regards,
Godfrey Obua.

Spam
Photo of Luc Dang
Team

How do you post an idea? I apologize for asking a question in the comments section. Any help is sincerely appreciated!

Spam
Photo of John Mason
Team

hello. yes I have been having same issues. 

Spam
Photo of Michael
Team

I've also had the same problem. I'd love to participate, but cannot find the link to posting an idea.

Spam
Photo of Samarth Mahajan
Team

Hi Sukumar Kar , the idea is noble and of great value to India, a country where people from centuries have been dependent on bio-fuels for heat and light. I found something on this line http://bit.ly/1qS6R03 , kindly have a look at this and let me know.

Spam
Photo of Obua Godfrey
Team

Thanks Sukumar for your idea and  to join the team

Spam
Photo of Susobhan Roy
Team

It will be the impacts of the programme on income levels and food waste will be the issue and our community should aware . Your initiative is very good and I would like to join with you . 

Spam
Photo of Sontu Sarkar
Team

 We recognized that for cultural reasons people can be inclined to give positive responses rather than those that might lead to Food Wastage and should be change as behavioral pattern . Your Idea appreciable and should be communicate in our platform .  

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Photo of Prosenjit
Team

Children are the  future citizen of  our community . Your Research and Idea has most encouraging to us and I would like to join your team and work  with you .

Spam
Photo of Probir
Team

Dr. Kar it's good idea and I will think it will be spread through out our community. Regarding Food Wastage is a burning issue and people should aware about this.  

Spam
Photo of Debasis
Team

The reuse and recycle of waste material is one of the best way of creating is cleanliness of environment.  Your Idea must be reach out this problem.

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Photo of Suman Banik
Team

Capacity of supply chain actors, and lack of access to markets. In addition some unseen play a role.
Food waste refers to food appropriate for human consumption being most important factor , whether or not after it is kept beyond the health issue . Often this is because food has spoiled but it can be for other
reasons also  or individual consumer shopping/eating habits.

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Photo of Ranjit Das
Team

Typical farming practices have been shown to reduce soil carbon by as much as 65 percent from natural levels and there is little evidence that management practices which could stop or reverse these trends are gaining much traction.

Spam
Photo of Ahmed null
Team

I innovated this conventional design to increase the gas yield from the plant.I think this idea has great potential and is my favorite area..

Spam
Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Thank you very much for responding our idea, if you interested to join our team to explore the possibilities in different ways.

Spam
Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Climate change has added to the enormity of India’s food security challenges. While the relationship between climate change and food security is complex, most studies focus on one dimension of food security.

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Photo of Pabitra Banerjee
Team

Food availability an overview of the impact of climate change on India’s food security, keeping in mind three dimensions — availability, access, and absorption. It finds that ensuring food security in the face of climate change will be a formidable challenge and recommends, among others, the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, greater emphasis on urban food security and public health, provision of livelihood security, and long-term relief measures in the event of natural disasters.

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Photo of Rimpa
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Water use efficiency in agriculture needs to be enhanced. India’s irrigation infrastructure needs to be upgraded; particular attention needs to be given to north-western India, the country’s food basket that is prone to climate-induced droughts. Despite the benefits of drip irrigation, it is still largely adopted for high-value horticultural crops. To enhance the area under micro and drip irrigation, the government should redirect the subsidy on electricity for drawing water for irrigation purposes, which has been a major contributor to declining groundwater levels, towards the adoption of drip irrigation techniques.

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Photo of Pabitra  Bandyopadhyay
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Achieving food security in the context of climate change calls for an improvement in the livelihoods of the poor and food-insecure to not only help them escape poverty and hunger but also withstand, recover from, and adapt to the climate risks they are exposed to.

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To improve access to healthy food, effective public distribution systems need to be put in place. Efforts must be made to learn from states such as Tamil Nadu which has an effective public distribution system and has better nutritional outcomes.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Locally grown and prepared food can cut down on fuel use in ‘food miles’ and makes it easier to identify and support environmentally benign food production methods. Buying local produce also means that the food is less likely to be associated with the greenhouse gas caused by recent land conversion.

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Photo of Pabitra  Bandyopadhyay
Team

Urban India is not only an important contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions but also a victim of climate change as poor people account for the bulk of its population. As observed earlier, climate change will have an enormous impact on urban food insecurity.

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Photo of Ratan Sadhu
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There are many potential impacts of climate change on food absorption but there is a dearth of quantitative studies on the subject which focus on India. Overall, the global threat is that climate change could lead to a reduction of production and consumption of certain foods that play a critical role in the diets of poor rural and indigenous populations such as fish, fruits and vegetables, and wild foods.

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Photo of Ratan Sadhu
Team

Given that food is the single largest expenditure for poor urban households, displacement, loss of livelihood or damage to productive assets due to any such extreme weather event will have a direct impact on household food security

Spam
Photo of Pabitra Banerjee
Team

Yet the impact of climate change on food access is not limited to rural areas. Urban food insecurity is also a critical issue because poor households from rural and coastal regions typically migrate to urban areas for livelihood options.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Climate hotspots require special attention,
because unless farmers find tools with which
to adapt, they will likely become impoverished,
possibly inducing climate migration – either to
towns and cities, or to areas seen to present
climate opportunities.

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Photo of Pabitra Banerjee
Team

In regions with high food insecurity and inequality, increased frequency of droughts and floods will affect children more, given their vulnerability. Conducted a survey of nine villages in the drought-prone Jalna district of Maharashtra and found that local crop yields and annual incomes of farmers dropped by about 60 percent in the drought

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Team

Conversion of natural lands to crop and/ or livestock production as well as intensifying production on existing agricultural lands will have significant consequences for the environment, such as degradation of soil and water resources, increased greenhouse gas emissions and regional climate effects. Typical farming practices have been shown to reduce soil carbon by as much as 50-66 percent from natural levels and there is little evidence that management practices which could stop or reverse these trends are gaining much traction. It has long been known that direct effects of land-cover change on, for example, surface albedo4 and evapotranspiration can be significant drivers of regional patterns of warming and can even have significant implications for changes in global mean variables. These environmental issues pose questions with regard to trade-offs of food and biomass production and increase the threat of environmental limitations on future increases in food production.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Rapid increases in global demand for agricultural commodities for food, animal feed and fuel are driving dramatic changes in the way we think about crops and land use. Along with recent supply side shocks driven by extreme weather events and other disasters, these conditions have led to increasingly wild swings in agricultural commodity markets that have some stakeholders concerned.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

The emissions come not just from the transport of food, but from every stage of the chain – the conversion of land to agricultural use, the energy used to make fertilizers , pesticides and farm machinery, the impact of agriculture on the soil (a natural carbon store), food processing, transport, refrigeration, retail, domestic use of food and waste from all the different stages. These are complex problems with no single solution. A growing body of evidence, however, indicates that emissions from the food sector can be significantly reduced if we were all to shift towards eating.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Sustain is keen to ensure that sustainability issues as a whole are integrated into food policy, to ensure that the new public and policy attention on carbon does not result in inadvertent damage to the environment, or health, by other means, or in adoption of unethical practices. We have therefore produced integrated sustainable food guidelines and training programmes to help food businesses and caterers achieve sustainable food.

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Photo of Hayden
Team

I like the idea of biodegradable bags, I would like it more if that would go to the next step and make it so grocery stores could only bag their groceries into these bags instead of the plastic ones they use now. It would be just replacing the plastic ones with biodegradable bags. This idea reminds me of a bigger composter, I like it. If people start using these compost bins, it’s great for people who live around the “country area”, but what about the people who live in the city and want their own, they have to drive the composer to a place where they can dump it. What about a restaurant in New York City? How is the restaurant going to be able to but the food waste into a bin, where would the bin even be? It would be a big restaurant cause it’s in a city, that means a lot of waste. Then once they have all their waste let’s say they put it into a huge composter bin. They need to bring that to some dirt, they can't just dump in the streets. That means they probably have to hire somebody to move it for them. This idea is good for small restaurants that are around the “country”. I think that when cooking food, cook what you are going to eat and if you have leftovers eat the leftovers before you prepare another meal. Don’t cook a thanksgiving dinner for 10 people if it’s a family of three. There is a lot that can be changed to get rid of food waste we just need a good idea (like this one) and then someone to get the word out like on social media and have it blow up. The more people on board with this idea the more likely it is having a greater impact. The ball is already rolling.

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Photo of Pranab
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Food waste and recovery is also incorporated into science lesson plans. But there are other important takeaways as well according to Weil, “the children in the elementary schools are not only learning how to not throw away their food and add it to the national waste stream, but they’re learning that it can be used by someone who is hungry. They are getting a little spark of community service now that may have an impact in their life and the lives of the many people around them when they are adults.”

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But there are other important takeaways as well according to Weil, “the children in the elementary schools are not only learning how to not throw away their food and add it to the national waste stream, but they’re learning that it can be used by someone who is hungry. They are getting a little spark of community service now that may have an impact in their life and the lives of the many people around them when they are adults.”

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Photo of Bibek Shikdar
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In the meantime, schools can curb plate waste with simple changes to school rules, especially in the cafeteria environment. Studies have found that serving lunch after recess can reduce plate waste by as much as 30 percent. In the cafeteria, tactics like naming vegetables (i.e. “creamy corn”) can increase its selection by 40 to 70 percent.

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Photo of Dwijen Bain
Team

Food expiration dates, those “use by” and “best by” dates that you see stamped on both perishable and nonperishable products, are actually suggestions for peak quality. It is a common misconception that these are an indication of safe food, which may be better assessed by using your senses to check for off colors or smells. The exception is the “use by” date on infant formulas and eggs, which are regulated by the USDA and indicate when you should no longer consume the product.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Buy only what you actually need. Cook leftovers. Share food with your neighbours. Use it up. It is the simple wisdom of our grandmas, the very same grandmas who admonished us as children not to waste food and to think of all the hungry children in Africa. Do the industry and the retailers dictate your shopping habits – or do you? Who is actually in control of this situation? You are of course. You are in control.

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Photo of Ratan Sadhu
Team

Strategies they are interested in implementing
Working to ensure students have enough time to eat (45%)
Completing a food waste assessment (43%)
Letting students self-serve (42%)

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Wasted Food = Wasted Cash. Create your menus and shopping lists based on the foods you have on hand. When you find wilted greens in the crisper, visualize throwing actual money into the garbage. Boil stalks and stems (like those from cauliflower and broccoli) in vegetable or chicken stock until soft.

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Photo of Abhisek Sarkar
Team

Food waste refers to the removal from the food supply chain of food which is fit for consumption, by choice, or which has been left to spoil or expire as a result of negligence by the actor - predominantly but not exclusively the final consumer at household level (FAO, 2014).

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Photo of Sonu Madhyan
Team

Techniques they use that they feel has reduced food waste:
Implemented offer vs. serve (71%)
Self-serve fruit and vegetable bar (47%)
Increased the number of food choices offered (47%)

Spam
Photo of Gertrude
Team

Good idea

Spam
Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Thank you very much for your appreciation.

Spam
Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Gertrude thank you for your attention. Your words means a lot for us.
We would like to have you with us on this. As told by you "Good Idea" it would be great if you share your valuable views, ideas and thoughts on this. The idea, we are working on is very important and individuals like you can contribute big on this.

Spam
Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Poverty's effect on food waste is complicated. On one hand, it creates an environment in which consumers are compelled to cut down on waste. But deprivation, especially at the extreme end of the scale, can drive consumers to buy bulk or spoiling food. Social housing may lack the equipment to successfully manage and prepare food. Long hours and low wages can exacerbate this as workers lack time and energy to plan shopping and meals in advance.

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Schools have a special role in providing nutritious, well-balanced meals for students and to educate the next generation about environmental stewardship through reduction and recycling of waste. This resource provides ideas on how to increase consumption and reduce food waste in schools.

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There are many different factors that affect waste in school meals. Complete an assessment of current practices. The results can be utilized to develop a food waste reduction action plan.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Incidentally, I asked every supermarket whether they had conducted any research into how effective their mitigation measures are at reducing household waste. None of them replied. Indicating their concern is probably more about being seen to have the policies in place, rather than if they work.

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Team

We know consumers buy too much because of supermarket packaging and promotions. So while the retailer does not actually bin the bread, they are complicit in the squander.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

In this audit we focussed specifically on the consumer end of the supply chain. There is a conflict of interests for supermarkets. Waste in the home is waste that has already turned a profit.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Key issues contributing to food waste include supermarket promotions and packaging, poverty, a diminished cultural focus on the preparation and management of food and household size.

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
Team

Consumers have the power to change the entire system. And it would take just one simple personal step: stop wasting food. Will you continue to waste your food – and your money – after reading my article? Don't you think it's time for action?

"Do the industry and the retailers dictate your shopping habits – or do you?"

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Photo of Dr. Sukumar Kar
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We must remember that food is the most powerful basic necessity for human beings. It is what keeps us going. It is what is keeping us alive. Food waste is a clear indication that there is something fundamentally wrong with our civilization.

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Team

I strongly believe that we can achieve that paradigm shift. That is why I have been working – for over 4 years and putting in over 40 volunteer hours a week – on the Stop Wasting Food movement. Because I strongly believe that humanity can and will come up with a solution. And I think about it every day.

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Team

Imagine if every child, man and woman on this planet had enough food. Imagine what it would do to our human civilization. If every single human being on this planet had enough food, it would change our societies. It would stop wars, put an end to suffering and even change the course of human history. It could create a paradigm shift, a new era of peace on this planet.

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Increasing food prices. This third fact has its roots in the 1st and 2nd facts, but additional factors include: the financial crisis, land grabbing (and the resulting desertification and deforestation), the world trade market structure, the global imbalance in food distribution, global and local food policy making, a lack of infrastructure, and a general lack of transparency in the food production value chain from farm to fork.

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Climate change. The increasing changes to our climate affect the world's agriculture and thus, the production of food. Floods, droughts and other increasingly irregular climate patterns will only worsen in future. More and more farmers are being forced to use GMOs and pesticides to ensure the survival of their harvest due to a changing climate, which in turn affects the loss of biodiversity.

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Population growth. By 2050, the earth's population will reach 9 billion people. By then, food production must be increased by 70 per cent to meet demand. Today we already produce enough food waste to feed 3 billion human beings. Reducing food waste should number among our key focal areas. The UN estimates that in just 20 years, the earth's population will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more water.

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In the West the food  waste approximately 40% of our food. This 40% happens at the end of the food value chain – by retailers and consumers. The same percentage of food, 40%, is lost in developing countries, though here the food losses happen at the beginning of the value chain. If we look at global food wasters

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In 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon noted that there is enough food in the world, yet millions are still starving – and unless we take action, it will devastate our planet.

"Everybody is waiting for somebody else to take action."

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Hi Sukumar,
Thank you for adding me to your team :) Great idea !! Have you checked mine? RISE- Recycling Food Love to hear your feedback :)

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The waste holding area outside should be at a
distance from the processing area and follow the
same guidelines as locating a composting site. Should vectors be attracted to the
holding area, separation makes it less likely that
they will also enter the facility. Distance also decreases
the possibility of people inadvertently carrying
the waste into the processing area on shoes
or with supplies.

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Understanding that disease vectors (rodents and
insects) need food, water, and shelter helps you see
changes you can make. Just as people avoid deserts
where these things are unavailable, removing accessibility
to water, food, and shelter will discourage
vectors. Piles of waste may provide all three; therefore,
reducing the amount of waste and making it
inaccessible by removal or containment will help
control these undesirable animals.

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If daily removal
is not possible, leak-proof, heavy walled containers
with tight-fitting lids are best for holding waste;
garbage bags are suitable only for lining containers
or temporary collection prior to removal.

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"Reducing food waste can contribute to fighting hunger, but to some extent also prevent climate impacts like more intense weather extremes and sea-level rise," lead author Ceren Hic says. Even though food availability on a global average has been higher than required in theory, some developing countries still have to fight undernourishment or hunger. "At the same time, agriculture is a major driver of climate change, accounting for more than 20 Percent of overall global greenhouse-gas

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Food loss refers to a decrease in mass (dry matter) or nutritional value (quality) of food that was originally
intended for human consumption.These losses are mainly caused by inefficiencies in the food supply chains,
such as poor infrastructure and logistics,lack oftechnology,insufficient skills,knowledge and management
9
capacity of supply chain actors, and lack of access to markets. In addition,natural disasters play a role.
Food waste refers to food appropriate for human consumption being discarded, whether or not after it
is kept beyond its expiry date or left to spoil. Often this is because food has spoiled but it can be for other
reasons such as oversupply due to markets, or individual consumer shopping/eating habits.

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Without accounting for GHG emissions from land use change, the carbon footprint of food produced
and not eaten is estimated to 3.3 Gtonnes of CO2 equivalent: as such, food wastage ranks as the third
top emitter after USA and China. Globally,the blue water footprint (i.e. the consumption of surface and
groundwater resources) of food wastage is about 250 km3, which is equivalent to the annual water discharge
of the Volga river, or three times the volume of lake Geneva. Finally, produced but uneaten food
vainly occupies almost 1.4 billion hectares of land;this represents close to 30 percent of the world’s agricultural
land area.While it is difficult to estimate impacts on biodiversity at a global level,food wastage
unduly compounds the negative externalities that monocropping and agriculture expansion into wild
areas create on biodiversity loss, including mammals, birds,fish and amphibian

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In addition, the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in soils produces nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is approximately 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

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The growing of livestock and other animals for food is also an extremely inefficient process. For example, it takes approximately five to seven kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef.

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Other agricultural practices can impact the climate. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are widely used in agriculture, and are often made from fossil fuels. Manufacturing and transporting these chemicals uses significant quantities of energy and produces greenhouse gases.

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If you’re planning on making a meal that uses half a can of tomato paste, you could plan to make another meal in the same week that uses up the rest of the can. Or increase the size of the meal you’re making to economically use your food stores, and freeze extra portions for lunches or quick reheatable dinners.

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Effective uses of resources and also join the eco drive – which needs more initiatives like these. Various scientists and environmentalists believe, stringent laws, effective administration and self responsibility are the more vital points which can be looked at for grass root changes to come about, especially in country like India, where the maximum food waste comes from the agricultural waste sector.

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Disposing of processing waste by burning it or
dumping it on private property can compromise
food safety and pose threats to your health and the
environment. Although these disposal methods
have been used in many rural areas for decades,
local and state laws are becoming more restrictive.

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Many counties ban dumping or burning of waste in
order to protect soil, water, and air quality. At certain
times of the year or during a drought, burning
is only allowed with a permit or prohibited due to
wildfire hazard.

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The food was served in. But, the lack of awareness around the issue and interrelated issues, such as malnutrition, poverty and food shortage, is minimal and hence a small contributor to the larger picture of food waste and the aforesaid issues. But, food waste alone incurs huge monetary losses to industries and mankind, in general.

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You would want to go back and lick your plate clean – and maybe even the utensils, the food was served in. But, the lack of awareness around the issue and interrelated issues, such as malnutrition, poverty and food shortage, is minimal and hence a small contributor to the larger picture of food waste and the aforesaid issues. But, food waste alone incurs huge monetary losses to industries and mankind, in general.
Food waste primarily revolves around any form of food, raw or cooked, used or unused – discarded or intended so.

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Since two thirds of all packaging is used within the food and drink industry, the results will affect millions of users. With reduced food waste, it is hoped that the image of packaging can make the transition from environmental villain to environmental hero. Another effect that the researchers hope to achieve is new income streams for the forest industry.

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Food waste refers to unnecessary food waste, such as food that could have been eaten if it had been dealt with differently. This waste is often linked to packaging and its ability to protect food, as well as the ability to communicate its different functions to consumers for optimum storage and use at home. 

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Same time, the amount of packaging on an individual food product or other consumer item has increased. While packaging does improve safety, offer convenience and reduce theft, it also comes with a number of disadvantages. Packaging can be bulky, expensive and environmentally damaging over the course of its life cycle.

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We are habituated of having more and more without thinking about our stomach but its not good. we should split our dish, share our food and use the leftovers.one study found that reducing portion size of food is an easy way to reduce food waste.

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good idea 

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I like of your Idea for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle of "FOOD WASTE" becouse
"Wasting food is unnecessary : Food that can be easily prevented from going
to waste. Reasons for waste include overpreparation,
improper storage, or spoilage. Understanding the cause of
this waste is key to preventing it."

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Plant waste is broken down by bacteria in landfill, greenhouse gases are produced. When food and plant waste is broken down by bacteria in a compost system that is regularly ‘turned’ to provide the bacteria with oxygen, the harmful greenhouse gases are not formed. Composting or recycling food and garden waste can reduce an individual’s waste by 50%, this means a reduction in landfill of around 560kg each year per person.

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throwing food but still it somehow comes under the same umbrella of better management of food items, whether its in fridge, cupboards etc. we all have to understand the better way of managing our daily food items. Actual Need“clean your plate!” Simply take a moment to ask your body what it wants to eat, and how much and then serve yourself that. Or simply start with less food on your plate. If you want more, you can always go back for it

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Food loss and waste occurs at points throughout the food supply chain – from the field through to household level – and occurs across the global socioeconomic spectrum. Although the food lost and wasted results from very different circumstances in say, the US and Sub-Saharan Africa (see Box B), it is interesting to note that aggregate levels of food lost or wasted is similar in these regions – around 40% – although patterns of waste and loss vary considerably.

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No matter where waste occurs, it represents a lost opportunity to feed people. And, on the home front, it's costing us plenty: An American family of four trashes an average $1,484 worth of edible food a year. Squandering food also squanders the vast quantities of fuel, agricultural chemicals, water, land, and labor needed to produce it.

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The food we produce seems like a no-brainer—a prerequisite of a sustainable food system. But hard-nosed economics thwarts simple fixes. It's no secret that the more yogurt consumers toss after reading its "use by" date, the more yogurt retailers can sell. For supermarkets, it may make more sense to tip surplus apples into Dumpsters than to lower their price, which would undercut sales of full-priced apples. Loath to come up short on supermarket contracts, big commercial growers typically overplant by 10 percent.

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This is about much more than simply getting better at end of life recycling. The less a product has to be changed in reuse, refurbishment and remanufacturing and the faster it returns to use, the higher the potential savings on the shares of material, labor, energy, and capital embedded in the product and on the associated mix of environmental impacts.

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Food security is no doubt still a goal over 60 years after independence. In contrast, China that comes a distant second world over after food wastage, has tried to cap wastage by laying thrust on infrastructure development to quickly transport the produce and minimize transit losses.

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Food wastage primarly revolves around any form of food , raw or cooked used or unused discarded or intended .At broad level it is further diversified into various categories and implications such as the kind of food waste, the form it is produced/generated by and materials and source of waste.

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It gives immense pleasure when we
read that India is one of the fastest growing economies in world and on other
hand we also read that a substantial number of people see their future in
throwing food that puts deep grief inside. We are reaching a new target year by
year in food grain production and in
2013-14 it has reached to 263 million tons per annum.We are self sufficient in
food since decades though twenty crore people go to sleep without food. The
problem doesn’t lies in production rather handling and distribution. According
to UNDP, fourty percentage of food goes wastage in India.

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Most of all, people's attitude towards food wastage must change. This can certainly begin from the school level itself. NGOs and volunteer organizations can help channelizing excess food from parties, marriages towards slums and hutments where hunger still rules. Right from our own plate, we must consume all on it minimizing leftovers. Avoiding impulse buys, planning meals will help buy only foods actually needed in first place. Food that is not likely to be used must be donated instead before letting it rot.

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Warehouse facilities must be supplemented by private silos to preserve the produce.  Warehousing Scheme which envisages extension of loans to Public and Private Sectors for construction of warehouses, silos, cold storage and other cold chain infrastructure, is a step in right direction. R&D on producing climate resistant crop varieties must be supplemented by adequate govt and private funding.

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Therefore, addressing this issue becomes urgent. While the emphasis in past 50 years on increasing food production via Green Revolution, it must shift to minimizing wastage in all forms now. As has been the case in past year, infrastructure development must be accorded priority. Mega Food Park scheme should be supplemented by foreign investment to augment funds for supply chain development. Cold storage facilities, sifting-sorting facilities, packaging equipment, humidity chambers, preservatives manufacture - all can help minimize transit loss of fresh foods. Road and rail connectivity will receive a boost with golden quadrilateral and dedicate freight corridor, respectively. With increase in supply, inflation figures will see a dip for good

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While middle and upper classes can fend off any emergency situation related to food, it is the poor who are at receiving end in case of any contingency. With already less at their disposal, food wastage per capita are found to be minimum for them.

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Another front where food wastage is rampant is at consumption level - in marriages and parties with wastage usually proportional to wealth status. The food that doesn't get consumed goes down the drain. That instead could have more than satisfied poor folks who lead a hand-to-mouth existence in same town.

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This colossal wastage amounts to more than 44000 Crore annually for India. Food security is no doubt still a goal over 60 years after independence. In contrast, China that comes a distant second world over after food wastage, has tried to cap wastage by laying thrust on infrastructure development to quickly transport the produce and minimize transit losses.

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Zero food waste plans
A zero waste society is one where goods and materials are continually cycled to support the sustainable growth of the national economy, and waste is progressively designed out. This is about much more than simply getting better at end of life recycling. The less a product has to be changed in reuse, refurbishment and remanufacturing and the faster it returns to use, the higher the potential savings on the shares of material, labor, energy, and capital embedded in the product and on the associated mix of environmental impacts.

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Benefits of collecting food waste
Collecting food waste separately for recycling offers a wide range of potential benefits that include:
• Complementing alternate weekly collections of refuse by collecting the odorous fraction weekly.
• Contributing to targets for diverting biodegradable waste from landfill;
• Reducing waste disposal costs as landfill costs increase;
• Lessening environmental impacts associated with landfill (toxicity in leachate, landfill gas emissions, etc.);

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• Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by removing the putrescent content from landfill sites;
• Improving recycling rates;
• Production of compost and liquid fertilizers for use as a soil improver;
• Generation of heat and power through anaerobic digestion linked to combined heat and power plant or through use as a direct fuel.

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The impact of food waste
Major negative impacts of food waste may be summarized as follows: Financial impacts and burden:
*Wastage of food implies loss of all natural resources used for growing, harvesting, packaging, transporting and preserving the product.
*More fuel used for transportation.

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Environmental impacts:
• Environmental wastage: food waste leads to wasteful use of chemicals (such as fertilizers and pesticides);
• More rotting food, creating more methane (one of the most harmful greenhouse gases emissions that contributes to climate change. Methane is 23 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas).
• Enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on the environment.
• The global food production occupies 25% of all habitable land and is responsible for 70% of fresh water consumption, 80% of deforestation, and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is the largest single driver of biodiversity loss and land-use change.

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Resources impacts:
• An enormous drain on natural resources and a contributor to negative environmental impacts
• Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labor and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.

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Disposal impacts:
• Vast amount of food going to landfills makes a significant contribution to global warming.

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The economic costs of hunger are striking. They can amount to as much as 5% of global income through lost
productivity and direct health care costs,We still have many issues to tackle to make our food systems sustainable. But, for the first time in history, we
have the means we need to overcome them.

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“Food businesses have no choice but to respond to consumer demand,” says the report.“Raising awareness of
food wastage creates the demand for a new product, namely food wastage avoidance, which will result in the
more rapid take­up of the proposed food waste solutions.”
Food wastage amounts to about 1.3bn tonnes of food each year, either through losses at the farming and
production level, which happens mostly in developing countries, or through waste at the retail, manufacturing
and consumer level, which is more common in developed nations.

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Wastage prevention is just part of the solution, however, and the toolkit emphasises this as the best strategy.
Yet it also highlights the need for sustainable solutions to reduce the impact – environmental and economic –
of food that does end up being discarded.
One such example is using food waste as a raw material, such as using used coffee grounds as a growing
medium for mushrooms, or spent grains from the brewing process in bread and pretzels, or using tropical fruit
waste to develop biodegradable plastics for packaging.
Diverting surplus from businesses to food redistribution charities, or to animal feed, have also been successful
strategies for reducing food waste in the EU.

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Increased collaboration
Opportunities also exist to reduce food waste by encouraging greater collaboration across the functional departments of
individual businesses, between multiple businesses, and along the entire food value chain. The extent of this opportunity is
shown by respondents stating that they are already experiencing a greater willingness among businesses to tackle challenges
collaboratively than ever before. Motivating and enabling collaboration across the agri-food industry will rely on:
1. Proven examples and best practices of where businesses are collaborating, and the benefits
2. Training and capacity building opportunities services for businesses to enhance individuals’ management capabilities;
and
3. Networking and learning events, targeted at different sectors of the industry

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Organic Material
Organic material contains varying amounts of carbon and nitrogen which nourish the organisms naturally present in your compost pile. (Billions of bacteria inhabit the surface of every leaf and blade of grass in the yard.) The critters need both carbon and nitrogen. An easy way to provide both of these is to remember that brown, woody materials, such as autumn leaves, are high in carbon while green, moist materials, such as grass clippings, are high in nitrogen.

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To be use approximately three parts "brown" material to one part "green" material to optimize the composting process and prevent odors from developing. This recipe will yield finished composting in three to eight months. Leaves alone break down in six to 15 months. Grass clippings or food scraps composted alone result in unpleasant odors because they contain more nitrogen than the compost organisms can use. Mix leaves, straw or shredded newspaper with green material, or let it dry until it turns brown before composting it alone.

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What should we compost?
Yard wastes such as leaves, grass clippings and weeds make excellent compost. Fruit and vegetable scraps, plus food wastes such as coffee grounds, tea bags, and eggs shells, can be composted. To keep animals and odors out of your pile, do not add meat, bones, fatty food wastes (such as cheese, grease and oils), dog and cat litter, and diseased plants.

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Not to add invasive weeds and weeds that have gone to seed to the pile. Elements of a good compost pile With these principles in mind, we can convert organic wastes into resources by turning your spoils to soil.

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Benefits of composting
Composting is a convenient, beneficial and inexpensive way to handle your organic waste and help the environment. Composting:
*reduces the volume of garbage requiring disposal;
*saves money for you and your community in reduced soil purchases and reduced local disposal costs;
and
*enriches the soil. Using compost adds essential nutrients, improves soil structure, which allows better root growth, and increases moisture and nutrient retention in the soil. Plants love compost!

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Organic recycling tailored to our needs:
Before recommending a Closed Loop Organics unit, we should perform a full audit of your business’s kitchen and waste streams, as well as suggesting a location for installation of the unit.
As the sustainability partner, Closed Loop will also implement a communication plan to help your staff and contractors understand and engage with the program.
Closed Loop Organics units are available in sizes to process between 20kg to a tonne of food waste a day.

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Turning of  food waste into an asset we can use:
Within 24 hours, the original material will be reduced by up to 90 per cent – transformed into a concentrated compost we can use in many different ways, including:
1.On our garden or grounds.
2.Donating our compost to a local community initiative.
3.An employee collection program to engage and reward staff with a compost collection box to take home.

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Right Tract for Food Recycling Programme
Right bins: Incorrect types and numbers of bins can lead to the wrong waste going in the wrong bin, such as recycling going in with general waste. Adjusting the size of bins or frequency that they are collected can also save money.

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The most appropriate waste management solution for the needs. When entering into a contract for food waste recycling, or other waste collections,to be sure that the service meets the requirements and won’t incur additional costs.

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Work together:
Considering the work with neighbouring businesses to procure food waste and recycling collections, where appropriate. There may be efficiencies/economies of scale to be made by working together.

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Biofuel from waste cooking oil
In many places it is a legal requirement that oils and fats from frying processes are collected. Oils can be put to great use by being recycled into biofuels for vehicles. The volumes produced by a hotel can be significant.

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Staff training and communication
To be Work right from the start who to involve, and ensuring that together we make it work. It takes time to create new processes and habits so make sure staff know why we are doing what we are doing. To be Trained and retrain the staff. It can be hard to get all staff together for training. Training modules should be online so staff can do it at a time that suits them.

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Share your good work with staff, consumers and industry
Staff to be given thanks and keeping them motivated. Rewards are excellent to recognise the efforts they have made.

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Review progress on the plan each month
To speak to staff and get their feedback on the progress being made. This will keep people involved and motivated. Measure the amount of waste produced regularly and work out how much money is being saved.

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Ordering and menu planning:
*Using some pre-prepared, frozen or dried ingredients can reduce wastage.
*Be familiar with reservations forecasts and do not over-order or over-prepare. Is 20% extra a good buffer on a busy day? Can another 20% be kept frozen for contingencies?
*To be imaginative with the menus! Considering what perishable ingredients or trimmings can be used in different ways, e.g. fish trimmings or bones for stock, bread for breadcrumbs or croutons, ingredients for pate & soups, etc., and menu plan to be made accordingly to use these ingredients, e.g. by offering daily specials.

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Developing an action plan to reduce food waste using the data collected, with targets, timescales and responsibilities:
Preventing spoilage:
a). Reviewing stock management and food delivery processes for food items with a short shelf life. To be Ensure that stock is rotated as new deliveries come in (first in, first out).
b). Stock to be store correctly at the right temperature, in the right packaging, labelled and with dates.

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Following measure to be taken
Measure the food waste

For a trial period, e.g. a week, start collecting food waste in three separate bins (one each for preparation, spoilage and plate waste), where appropriate, to understand where and why this waste arises. Weighing them daily to find out where the most food waste is being generated. This should include food that would otherwise have ended up in the sink disposal unit.

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Why take action?


By taking a few simple steps to waste less and recycle more, and by working out the cost of food waste to the business, hotels can reap financial as well as environmental benefits. 

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Cardboard waste:
Cardboard is one of the simplest products to recycle and by maximising our reuse of this material we can all reduce the number of virgin trees being felled to create new products.

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Dry waste:
Dry materials such as mixed plastics, styrofoam and textiles are a recoverable resource with a high level of embedded energy that can be used in the production of alternative fuel.This helps to reduce the use of fossil fuel and landfill emissions and renewable energy certificates can be secured.

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More Food on the Table
Feeding our excess to animals makes good economic and environmental sense. But the best use for superfluous food is, of course, feeding the hungry, who globally number 805 million. In the U.S., 49 million people are officially food insecure: They don't always know where their next meal is coming from.

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To address this need, the charity Feeding America expects in 2014 to distribute around four billion pounds of food, most of it donated by manufacturers, supermarkets, large growers, and the federal government. At the grassroots level, gangs of Boy Scouts, Future Farmers of America, and church groups organized by the Society of St.

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Andrew inch through the nation's farm fields, gleaning more than 20 million pounds of produce a year for food pantries and kitchens. And on some large California farms, field laborers pack ideal produce into one box, bound for the market, and cosmetically challenged produce into another, bound for food banks, in an innovative approach called "concurrent picking." Still, says Ron Clark, a produce broker who pioneered this program in the Salinas Valley, the food that's recovered by this process is just a drop in the bucket, with exponentially more left behind.

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The first step in reducing food waste and food loss is getting people to perceive that there is a problem. Denial reigns supreme. But attitudes are slowly changing as the price of food rises, and as we become more aware of both the myriad ways that climate change will lower food production and the imperative to sustainably coax ever more calories from land already under cultivation.

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Having too much food sounds like a wonderful, First World sort of problem. But filling cornucopias with an abundance that no one is even expected to eat is no longer something the world can abide. It's too expensive, and it's trashing the planet while millions go hungry. "Food waste is a stupid problem," Nick Nuttall, of the UN Environment Programme, acknowledges. "But people love stupid problems because they know they can do something about it."

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Fixing the Food Chain
If there's anything good about the shocking scale of global food waste, it's the huge number of opportunities it presents for improvement. In developing nations, for example, aid organizations are providing small-scale farmers with storage bins and multilayer grain sacks, tools for drying and preserving vegetables and fruits, and low-tech equipment for cooling and packing produce—with losses shrinking, in the example of tomatoes in Afghanistan, from 50 percent to 5 percent.

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Farmers are also learning how to cure or pack their harvest for longer storage. "The farmers we work with in East Africa haven't historically had a surplus—they ate everything they grew within three months," said Stephanie Hanson, senior vice president of policy and partnerships for the Africa-based One Acre Fund. "Now that they're able to grow more food, they need to learn new storage practices."

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Squandered Resources
No matter where waste occurs, it represents a lost opportunity to feed people. And, on the home front, it's costing us plenty: An American family of four trashes an average $1,484 worth of edible food a year. Squandering food also squanders the vast quantities of fuel, agricultural chemicals, water, land, and labor needed to produce it.

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According to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland, the production of uneaten food in the U.S. gobbles 70 times the amount of oil lost in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Globally, it guzzles the annual flow of the Volga, Europe's longest river.

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In 2007 a collective 3.5 billion acres of land, an area significantly larger than Canada, was plowed to grow food—or to support livestock and dairy production—that no one would eat. To compound the environmental insult, food buried in the airless confines of dumps generates methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide.

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If global food waste were a country, it would be the third largest generator of greenhouse gases in the world behind China and the United States.

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Eating the food we produce seems like a no-brainer—a prerequisite of a sustainable food system. But hard-nosed economics thwarts simple fixes. It's no secret that the more yogurt consumers toss after reading its "use by" date, the more yogurt retailers can sell. For supermarkets, it may make more sense to tip surplus apples into Dumpsters than to lower their price, which would undercut sales of full-priced apples. Loath to come up short on supermarket contracts, big commercial growers typically overplant by 10 percent.

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Farmers will also leave entire blocks of fruit or vegetables in orchards and fields for fear of flooding the market and depressing prices. Sometimes the cost of labor to harvest a crop exceeds the value of selling it: Known as a walk by, the acreage is plowed under.

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Superior technology moves ever more food to market, but the resulting abundance—which keeps food prices low—only encourages more waste. As one Virginia farmer told me, gazing over 60 acres of broccoli he planned to disk under, "Even if I could get all this food to market, do you think there are enough mouths to eat it before it starts to rot?"

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Consumers are also complicit: We overbuy because relatively cheap and seductively packaged food is available at nearly every turn. We store food improperly; we take "use by" dates literally, though such stamps were designed to communicate peak freshness and have nothing to do with food safety. We forget to eat our leftovers, we leave our doggy bags in restaurants, and we suffer little or no consequence for scraping edible food into a bin.

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Though they do their best to hide it from public view, American food retailers typically experience in-store losses of 43 billion pounds of food a year. Store managers routinely overorder, for fear of running out of a particular product, losing customers, and consequently, their jobs.

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Entire shelves of perfectly edible shell peas are transferred into Dumpsters to make room for incoming ones; pallets of zucchini are rejected because they curve too much.

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If the affected wholesaler can't quickly find another market nearby (a discount chain that tolerates curvy vegetables, for example, or a food bank with refrigerated space), the load will be dumped. The British supermarket chain Tesco, which publicly committed to reducing waste in recent years, still admitted to throwing out more than 110 million pounds of food within their U.K. stores during the latest fiscal year.

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What's Behind the Waste?
Careful readers may wonder: What's the difference between food loss and food waste?
Waste occurs toward the back end of the food chain, at the retail and consumer level. In general, the richer the nation, the higher its per capita rate of waste. Loss, on the other hand, mostly occurs at the front of the food chain—during production, postharvest, and processing—and it's far less prevalent in industrialized nations than in the developing world, which tends to lack the infrastructure to deliver all of its food, in decent shape, to consumers eager to eat it.

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Take Africa, for example. Without adequate storage facilities and transportation, 10 to 20 percent of the continent's sub-Saharan grain succumbs to enemies such as mold, insects, and rodents. That's four billion dollars' worth of food, enough to nourish 48 million people for a year.

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In the absence of refrigeration, dairy products sour and fish ooze. Without the capacity to pickle, can, dry, or bottle foods, surpluses of perishables like okra, mangoes, and cabbage can't be converted into shelf-stable foods. Bad road and rail conditions slow tomatoes' trek from farm to market, poorly packed fruit gets jostled into mush, vegetables wilt and rot for lack of shade and cooling. Facing similar challenges, India loses an estimated 35 to 40 percent of its fruits and vegetables.

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In developed nations, hyperefficient farming practices, plenty of refrigeration, and top-notch transportation, storage, and communications ensure that most of the food we grow makes it to the retail level (the piles at the Sun Street Transfer Station notwithstanding). But things go rapidly south from there. According to the FAO, industrialized nations waste 1.5 trillion pounds of food a year, an amount almost equal to the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Calories are wasted at restaurants that serve overly large portions or fashion elaborate buffets—where diners help themselves to excessive portions and employees dump everything at closing time, even if it's been under the sneeze guard for only five minutes.

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One-Third of Food Is Lost or Wasted:
From our farms to grocery stores to dinner tables, 30 percent of the food we grow is never eaten. We can do better.
It's lettuce season in the Salinas Valley, a carrot-shaped lowland in the central California region that produces about 70 percent of the leafy greens sold in U.S. retail markets. On a typically foggy morning, tractor trailers stuffed with salad stream from valley processing plants to points north, south, and east.

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Meanwhile, a single roll-off truck trundles into the Sun Street Transfer Station, not far from downtown Salinas. The driver pauses atop a scale, then positions his battered Dumpster over a concrete pad. A flick of a lever, a pneumatic whoosh, and 20 cubic yards of lettuce and spinach tumble onto the ground.

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Packaged in plastic boxes and bags, the greens—piled seven feet high—appear to be in the pink of health: dewy, crisp, and unblemished. The misdemeanor for which they'll soon be consigned to a landfill? Their containers have been improperly filled, labeled, sealed, or cut.

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Anyone would say this heap—the size of two African elephants—represents a tremendous, even criminal, waste. But this is nothing. Over the course of the day, the transfer station will receive another 10 to 20 loads of perfectly edible vegetables originating from nearby grower-packers. Between April and November, the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority landfills between four and eight million pounds of vegetables fresh from the fields. And that's just one transfer station out of the many that serve California's agricultural valleys.

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which keeps tabs on what's grown and eaten around the globe, estimates that one-third of food produced for human consumption worldwide is annually lost or wasted along the chain that stretches from farms to processing plants, marketplaces, retailers, food-service operations, and our collective kitchens.

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At 2.8 trillion pounds, that's enough sustenance to feed three billion people. In the United States, the waste is even more egregious: More than 30 percent of our food, valued at $162 billion annually, isn't eaten. Pile all that food on a football field and the layers would form a putrefying casserole miles high.

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We can reduce food waste and save money of practical ways
1. Shop smart and realistically.
2. When cooking, don't over-serve food.
3. Save – and actually eat – leftovers.
4. Store food in the right places.
5. Avoid clutter in your fridge, pantry and freezer.

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3. Save – and actually eat – leftovers.
In the same vein, make sure you save uneaten food when you either cook too much or you get too much food at a restaurant. Label your leftovers so you can keep track of how long they've been in your fridge or freezer, and incorporate them into your daily or weekly routine.

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Step 6. Categorize the clusters into poor, borderline, and acceptable consumption. Cross-tab these three with the three FCGs. Look to see if an appropriate relationship is achieved. If a poor relationship is observed, look for the cause (for example, determine if one or both of the analysis methodologies has failed, if the assigning of clusters into the three groups affects the relationship with the FCGs).

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Step 7. The three groups (poor, borderline, acceptable) are then
considered proxy measures of food consumption, using these descriptive
names.

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Step 8. The clusters may be used to further describe dietary patterns (for
example, maize vs. manioc consumers, or fish vs. red meat vs. milk
consumers).

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Indicator of Food Security
In the initial creation and testing of the FCS and FCG indicators, analyses were run on many datasets from a wide variety of situations to validate the FCS against other indicators of food consumption and food security. It was consistently found that the FCS well correlated with other indicators of food consumption and food security.

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Analysis of food consumption
To analyze food consumption and incorporate the FCS into this overall analysis, the following steps are suggested:
Calculate and explore the Food Consumption Score (FCS):
Step 1. Create the FCS
Step 2. Create the following graph(s) (or a similar graph) using the FCS. These graphs aid in the interpretation6 and description of both dietary habits and in determining cut-offs for food consumption groups (FCGs).

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This graph presents a stacked food frequency of the food groups as it evolves with an increasing FCS. For each FCS value, a running average of the surrounding values for that food group and the value
in question was used to smooth the graph.

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Step 3. Run a PCA and cluster analysis using the unweighted 7 day recall data for the appropriate food items/groups, according to the standard VAM methodology.

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Step 4. Look at the mean FCS and the mean number of days different food items/groups are eaten in the food consumption clusters. The analyst should rank or categorize the clusters based on their interpretation of the composition of the diet  for ease of interpretation.

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One common problem  is the frequent consumption of sugar and oil: see if there are clusters that are considered by the analyst to have a poor diet but still regularly consume oil and sugar. Other atypical
diet patterns may arise that could bias the FCS and FCGs - for example, households that consume milk frequently in the absence of any frequent consumption of other food groups.

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Step 5. Create the three Food Consumption Groups (FCGs), using the titles
‘poor’, ‘borderline’, and ‘acceptable’, based on the recommended standard
cut-offs of 21 and 35. However, in populations that have high frequency
of consumption of sugar and oil the alternate cut-offs of 28 and 42 may be
more appropriate.

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The indirect impact may be even more powerful:the competition for cereals drives up prices which limit economic access in any location where people are buying these dietary staples. As the volume of food imports has increased in many developing countries, largely as a result of both agricultural underinvestment and low yields related to climate, price volatility further affects economic access.

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This is especially the case in countries where food expenditure comprises a larger percentage of total household budgets. In developed countries, the proportion of income spent on food has steadily  declined, now constituting an average of only 10% of household budgets in both the US and UK. However, in developing countries food remains a significant expenditure for households – about 70% in
Tanzania and 45% in Pakistan for example (FAO, 2012).

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Thus, as overconsumption in developed countries (and increasingly in more affluent constituencies in developing countries) drives up global (and national) food prices, consumption in developing countries is increasingly adversely affected (HLPE, 2011).

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Food consumption inequality
In 2008, people in developed countries consumed 39% of grain (for food, feed and biofuels), and 41% of animal protein, although they represent only 18% of the global population. This over-consumption in developed  countries has direct and indirect impacts on the food security of people in developing countries.

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• While there is currently not a shortage of cereals at the global level, the relatively inefficient conversion of cereals to either animal protein or biofuels is a direct diversion of resources and potential energy staples globally.

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According to other research, the figure is closer to 6kg of grain for 1kg of meat (Pimmentel, 2003).
Perhaps most illustrative is an estimate reported by the Worldwatch Institute that the total global
grain harvest of 2004, if used directly for human consumption.

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Compounding the food consumption challenge:
food losses and waste It is important to note that there is a significant difference between the amount of food produced (at the farm level) and the amount of food actually consumed. The FAO estimates that global food
loss and waste is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes annually – or roughly one third of all food produced for human consumption. Food loss and waste occurs at points throughout the food supply chain – from the field through to household level – and occurs across the global socioeconomic spectrum. Although the food lost and wasted results from very different circumstances in say, the US and Sub-Saharan Africa (see Box B), it is interesting to note that aggregate levels of food lost or wasted is similar in these regions – around 40% – although patterns of waste and loss vary considerably.

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At the same time, there exists a clear trend toward overconsumption across the developed and developing worlds. Food security reports have hesitated to draw attention to obesity when hunger and undernutrition remain so globally prominent. However, for the first time the number of overweight individuals worldwide exceeds those who are underweight.

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Developing countries have joined these ranks. Obesity is now found in all developing regions, and is growing rapidly, even where hunger exists . In China, the number of overweight people jumped from
less than 10% to 15% in just three years. In Brazil and Colombia, the figure hovers around 40%–a level
comparable to a number of European countries. Even Sub-Saharan Africa, where most of the world’s
hungry live, is seeing a rise in obesity. In South Africa, an estimated 29% of men and 57% of women are
overweight or obese (FAO, 2012, Pouane et al, 2002).

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In all regions, obesity seems to grow as income increases. Of concern is the impact that obesity has
on health and public health expenditures. Obesity is associated with many chronic diseases such as
diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and someforms of cancer.

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While research on obesity-related costs to public health systems has been limited in the developing world, data tracked and collected in the United States is illustrative of the enormity of the budgetary concern.

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Under-consumption and Over-consumption
Food consumption varies widely between countries and among different cultures. As shown by the FAO
and others, average caloric intake in least developed, developing, and industrialized countries varies widely.However, in many communities in the developing world, resulting in systemic hunger and undernourishment. The health effects of chronic undernourishment are severe, especially for children, and include slowedgrowth, underweight, susceptibility to disease and
shortened life expectancy.

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Populations in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa remain especially vulnerable to undernourishment.
One third of Indians are undernourished and 44% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from food
insecurity

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Ironically, many of the chronically undernourished are smallholder farmers themselves, participating in
what is typically subsistence agriculture. In addition to inequities in global agricultural trading regimes,
the lack of access to extension services, to market information, to physical markets via sufficient
infrastructure, and to agricultural inputs keeps many smallholder farmers trapped in poverty.

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Food consumption patterns: shaping food systems and food security
The world currently produces enough food for its citizens (FAO, 2011). However, food demand is only met in the aggregate, as there are profound disparities in access to food across geographic regions and across the
spectrum of incomes at both the household and country levels. Despite considerable efforts to combat global hunger, 925 million people were undernourished in 2010 while the number of overweight and obese people, across the developed and developing worlds, rose to 1.5 billion in 2008 (FAO, 2012). The rise of this extreme discrepancy provides new and unique challenges to households and governments as they strive to provide sustainable dietary sustenance to citizens.

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While the challenges of providing stable physical, social and economic access to adequately nutritious food define the food security agenda, today these challenges are exacerbated by unsustainable dietary
patterns – both under- and overconsumption – that in differing ways affect markets, health and the natural resource base. Current food consumption trends, the global disparities in these consumption patterns, and how these consumption trends impact the ability of our agro-ecological systems to provide food for all are addressed in this section.

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Food waste during consumption
Food consumption patterns can be differentiated between food that is consumed within households and
food consumed away from the home. In total, UK households create over 7Mt of food waste annually, and combined with the hospitality sector; the stage of intended consumption accounts for half of all food waste.

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Weather related food losses
Severe weather events (e.g. extremes in temperature,rainfall or wind) are expected to increase in frequency
in the future. During 2012, some areas of the UK had extremes of both drought and rainfall and were
described as experiencing “the wettest drought ever”. Agricultural productivity was highly impacted with
yield reductions in the order of 25% (e.g. for potato and apples), whilst the UK’s main cereal crop of wheat
witnessed yields more typical of three decades ago (down 15%) and all incurring consequential price rises. More recently, the severe snows in March 2013 resulted in extraordinary levels of livestock mortalities,
with English, Scottish and Welsh sheep losses in April more than 50% higher in 2013 than in 2012; this was
equivalent to 35,000 additional lives.The UK Met Office is currently working with major retailers to mitigate the effects of severe weather events in the future. Various lead times are being used to help optimise the food supply chain and realise reductions in waste through inappropriate lifting of crops and supermarket stocking.

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Wastage interventions should be part of a broader approach for Food waste
A widely shared argument in the literature is that food wastage interventions should be part of a broader, more holistic approach, if one wants to address wastage and enhance food security effectively. Some scholars go even further by arguing that a fixation on wastage reduction is not the right way forward, because they see wastage as a symptom of the underlying causes rather than a problem that stands on its own. Interventions should therefore be targeted at these underlying causes.

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Especially in developing countries, most interventions are not effective on their own, with the notable exception of some small scale actions that aim to improve the household food security of smallholders. For example, investing in metal silos could enhance local food storage in developing countries, but this does not result in improved national food security without additional investments in infrastructure and local markets. Therefore, (global) food security cannot be ensured by wastage interventions alone.

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Calls for a more holistic approach are theoretically embedded in the notions of value chain and food system approaches.Both schools of thought argue that various activities in the food chain and between food chains and their broader environment are interdependent. Therefore, it is essential to invest in several of these activities, considering the way they interact, depending on the specific situation and context.

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Examples of such complementary investments are improving market access or investment climates in specific regions.Not only does this prevent a situation in which improvements in one part of the chain are undone by failures in other parts of the chain, also engaging with all value chain actors provides a better understanding of where and why wastage occurs and what could be done to address it most effectively.A value chain approach also helps identifying opportunities for farmers, even in Sub-Sahara Africa, where urbanizing populations and a changing demand lead to more efficient and quality-oriented chains to some extent.

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Apart from chain activities, wastage interventions can benefit from investments in the socio-economic
environment, including education, entrepreneurship, and gender equality. The World Bank argues that these socio-economic components should be the key elements of post-harvest projects.

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The Network of Excellence, as described in the previous section, fits into this approach. Such a network could be used to support and exchange knowledge on post-harvest loss strategies, suggests van Gogh et al. in a study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

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In the design of such food wastage approaches based on value chains or food systems, various new factors need to be taken into account, including the increasing influence of private sector actors, further global integration of markets and lengthening of supply chains, urbanization in developing and emerging countries, and growing South-South trade volumes.

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Food wastage and its Impact on Environment
As the environmental costs of waste that occur in the processing, retailing, and consumption stages of the
food chain are relatively higher than losses that occur during and immediately after the production phase,
effective food waste interventions may have a particularly significant positive impact on environmental costs.

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The claim that the reduction of waste and loss results in the use of fewer resources and consequentially in a
more environmentally sustainable food system, is generally understudied. Apart from a number of life-cycle assessments, these studies lack a sound empirical understanding.

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The FAOeven comments on possible counter effects: ‘The short term solutions for reducing losses often lead to increased use of energy, especially for the
preservation of food products’. Following the line of reasoning of Rutten28, the effect of wastage reducing
actions would partly depend on interactions in the supply chain and with other markets and actors, which have
currently only sparsely been taken into account. Though some positive environmental effects, in particular on the
longer term, may be expected, wastage interventions are never a silver-bullet solution and should be part of a
broader approach.

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Less wastage improves food security (Implicit relation)
The most widely mentioned linkage between food wastage and food security is an implicit link between food
wastage and food insecurity. This is especially seen in campaigns to raise awareness against waste in the
Western world, in media reports, press releases and on front pages of websites. The amount of food wasted
globally is stated, followed by the amount of people that go hungry in the world. The exact relationship between
the two is often not specified. This statement is usually accompanied by an ethical appeal to change this
situation.

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At the global level, such an implicit linkage was made for example by World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim,
based on the World Bank Food Price Watch report of February 2014. He stated 'The amount of food wasted and
lost globally is shameful. Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night and yet millions of tons
of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market. We have to tackle this problem in every country in
order to improve food security and to end poverty.

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According to the UN, food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to
sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy
life (World Food Summit, 1996).  This includes the availability of food, access to food, utilization of food and
stability of all these three elements in the future. In this study we approach food security from a food systems perspective, implying that we also include broader environmental, economic, and social factors that interact with
food security in the narrow sense.

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Environmentally friendly alternatives include bubble wrap made from recycled polythene and bubble wrap which is completely degradable.4)Biodegradable plastic - this is now commonly used in plastic bags and is also used in other items such as envelopes used for bulk mailing. This type of plastic starts to decompose when it is exposed to daylight.

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Trimmings, in some cases, could be used for human consumption but are usually disposed
of. Food is also lost during processing because of spoilage down the production line. Errors during
processing lead to final products with the wrong weight, shape or appearance, or damaged packaging,
without affecting the safety, taste or nutritional value of the food. In a standardized production line these
products often end up being discarded.

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Food scraps, and spoiled food...
Things happen that get in the way of our good intentions - business meetings, late nights at the office, impromptu suppers with friends and family - so you can’t always eat leftovers or use up food before it goes bad. Then there are the leftover food scraps to deal with. The following tips will help reduce what you dispose of in the garbage.

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If leftovers are a few days old and you know you won’t have time to consume them, freeze them in small containers that can easily be grabbed at a later date for a quick and convenient lunchtime meal. Don’t forget to label the container with what the meal is and the date you froze it.

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Before you toss food scraps, consider if you can use them in another dish, maximizing their use. For instance, save all meat and poultry bones to make your own stocks and broth.
If you don’t have time to make stock after your dinner of roast chicken on Sunday, freeze the whole carcass and pull it out of the freezer when you have time. Ever wonder what to do with stale bread?
Besides making French toast, breadcrumbs, or croutons, why not try putting it in a soup?
Ecocucina has recipes for using up a variety of food scraps, from cauliflower leaves to broccoli stems. Other food scrap recipe resources include Care2.com’s Thrifty Kitchen article and Love Food Hate Waste’s Recipe page where you can search by ingredients. They also give helpful tips on using up leftovers.

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Prevention: Public awareness. Education on these matters in schools and political initiatives are possible
starting points to change people’s attitudes towards the current massive food waste.

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Prevention: Marketing cooperatives and improved market facilities. Marketing cooperatives are organizations
providing a central point for assembling produce from small farmers and preparing commodities for
transportation to markets and other distribution channels. The marketing cooperatives should be able to
reduce food losses by increasing the efficiency of these activities. Although the development of wholesale
and retail markets should preferably be done by the private sector, local governments and marketing
cooperatives can be instrumental in establishing and improving market facilities.

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Food wasted at consumer level is minimal in developing countries. Poverty and limited household income
make it unacceptable to waste food. A contributing factor is that consumers in developing countries
generally buy smaller amounts of food products at the time, often just enough for meals on the day of
purchase.

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Abundance and consumer attitudes lead to high food waste in industrialized countries. Perhaps one of the
most important reasons for food waste at the consumption level in rich countries is that people simply
can afford to waste food. Retail stores
offer large packages and “getting one for free” bargains. Likewise, food manufactures produce oversized
ready to eat meals

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Prevention: develop contract farming linkages between processors and farmer. Governments should create
a better ‘enabling environment’ and investment climate, to stimulate the private sector to invest in the food
industry and to work more closely with farmers to address supply issues.

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Large quantities on display and a wide range of products/ brands in supply lead to food waste in industrialized
countries. Retail stores need to order a variety of food types and brands from the same manufacturer to get
beneficial prices. Consumers also expect a wide range of products to be available in stores. A wide range
of products does, however, increase the likelihood of some of them reaching their “sell-by” date before
being sold, and thereby wasted. When shopping, consumers expect store shelves to be well filled. Although
certainly beneficial for sales statistics, continually replenished supplies mean that food products close to
expiry are often ignored by consumers. This is particularly difficult for small retail stores

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Inadequate market systems cause high food losses in developing countries. To minimize losses, the
commodities produced by farmers need to reach the consumers in an efficient way. There are too few
wholesale, supermarket and retail facilities providing suitable storage and sales conditions for food
products. Wholesale and retail markets in developing countries are often small, overcrowded, unsanitary
and lacking cooling equipment.

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Prevention: develop knowledge and capacity of food chain operators to apply safe food handling practices.
Food chain operators should be skilled and knowledgeable in how to produce safe food. Foods need to be produced, handled and stored in accordance with food safety standards. This requires the application
of good agricultural and good hygienic practices by all food chain operators to ensure that the final food
protects the consumer

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‘Disposing is cheaper than using or re-using’ attitude in industrialized countries leads to food waste.
Industrialized food processing lines often carry out trimming to ensure the end product is in the right
shape and size. Trimmings, in some cases, could be used for human consumption but are usually disposed
of. Food is also lost during processing because of spoilage down the production line. Errors during
processing lead to final products with the wrong weight, shape or appearance, or damaged packaging,
without affecting the safety, taste or nutritional value of the food. In a standardized production line these
products often end up being discarded.

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Prevention: investment in infrastructure and transportation. Governments should improve the
infrastructure for roads, energy and markets. Subsequently, private sector investments can improve
storage and cold chain facilities as well as transportation

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Unsafe food is not fit for human consumption and therefore is wasted. Failure to comply with minimum
food safety standards can lead to food losses and, in extreme cases, impact on the food security status of a
country. A range of factors can lead to food being unsafe, such as naturally occurring toxins in food itself,
contaminated water, unsafe use of pesticides, and veterinary drug residues. Poor and unhygienic handling
and storage conditions, and lack of adequate temperature control, can also cause unsafe food.

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Prevention: Sales closer to consumers. Selling farm crops closer to consumers without having to pass the
strict quality standards set up by supermarkets on weight, size and appearance would possibly reduce the
amount of rejected crops. This could be achieved through, e.g., farmers markets and farm shops.

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Poor storage facilities and lack of infrastructure cause post-harvest food losses in developing countries. Fresh
products like fruits, vegetables, meat and fish straight from the farm or after the catch can be spoilt in hot
climates due to lack of infrastructure for transportation, storage, cooling and markets

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Prevention: Consumer surveys by supermarkets. Supermarkets seem convinced that consumers will not
buy food which has the ‘wrong’ weight, size or appearance. Surveys do however show that consumers are
willing to buy heterogeneous produce as long as the taste is not affected. Consumers have
the power to influence the quality standards. This could be done by questioning them and offering them
a broader quality range of products in the retail stores.

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Prevention: Communication and cooperation between farmers. Cooperation among farmers could reduce
risk of overproduction by allowing surplus crops from one farm to solve a shortage of crops on another.
In developing countries and, sometimes, developed countries, food may be lost due to premature harvesting.
Poor farmers sometimes harvest crops too early due to food deficiency or the desperate need for cash
during the second half of the agricultural season. In this way, the food incurs a loss in nutritional and
economic value, and may get wasted if it is not suitable for consumption.

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Why do we waste food?
We all waste food for different reasons. Sometimes it is because there has been a change of plans and it is out of our control but most of the time we waste the same types of food for the same 2 main reasons: we have bought or prepared too much, or we have forgotten to use it on time.
Looking into why food gets wasted, the following are more specific reasons that have been identified:
• Leftovers
• Partially used food
• Passed its use by date
• Food gone off
• Passed its best before date
• Badly prepared
• Change of plans

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• Leftovers – this is usually because too much food has been prepared or put on the plate
• Partially used food – this includes food not used but also leftovers which end up at the back of the fridge but never get reused
• Passed its use by date – applies mainly to dairy,meat and fish which wasn’t used on time

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• Food gone off – smelt bad, looked bad, tasted bad – this food had a chance but was managed badly
• Passed its best before date – this usually impacts things like bread and other staples that waste away in the cupboard
• Badly prepared – never easy to say it but sometimes the food prepared just didn’t taste great – sorry Mom!
• Change of plans – this happens but if you can manage the food you were going to use quickly then it can still be part of your future!

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It is rough sketch of a plan of action, your action, to reduce the generation of waste and recycle. These are just the easiest things that you can do. There are many more, but they will probably become apparent to you if you make these a part of you daily life.
The Topics mentioned Waste Prevention and Recycling at Home
1.Reduce
2.Reuse
3.Substitute Reusable Items for Consumables
4.Recycle
5.Buy Recycle Products

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The waste management hierarchy--reduce, reuse, recycle--actually expresses the order of importance of these ideas:
*Reduce needless consumption and the generation of waste.
*Reuse any item that can be reused or give it to a person or charity that can reuse it.
*Recycle whatever discards remain if you can and only dispose what you must.

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Please keep in mind that recycling is your least preferred option. Reducing the generation of waste so there is no waste left to recycle would be the ideal. Make it your goal. Also keep in mind the concept of "cycle" in the term "recycle". For there to be a complete cycle, the things you send to be recycled must come back to you. So, look for recycled content products whenever you buy, otherwise you are not truly recycling.

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Some ways of waste management are 1) Create a team for this job
2) Track and analyse the waste  3) Review the inventory to compare the purchase and garbage.
4) Change the menu in order to minimise the leftovers.
5) Recycle everything that can be recycled.
6) Conduct waste audit.
7) Waste documentation.

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Reducing food waste at home. 1. Practice FIFO. It stands for First In, First Out. When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires.
2. Monitor what you throw away. Designate a week in which you write down everything you throw out on a regular basis..
3. Take stock. Note upcoming expiration dates on foods you already have at home, and plan meals around the products that are closest to their expiration. On a similar note, keep a list of what’s in the freezer and when each item was frozen. Place this on the freezer door for easy reference and use items before they pass their prime.
4. Store better
5. Reuse leftover scraps .

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How to Recycle Canteen/Catering Waste
1. Limit the number of waste bins placed in the canteen and as many recycling bins should be placed in the canteen to make recycling easy and wasting harder.
2. Containers and bins for recycling steel/tin cans, glass jars and bottles, milk cartons should be provided in a designated area to encourage and promote recycling throughout the canteen.

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3. Recycle bins should be placed directly beside waste bins as without this consistency recyclable material ends up in the waste bin.
4. Where possible glass should be chosen over plastic, as it is more easily recycled.

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Canteen wastes come from a wide variety of different businesses like :

restaurants, cafe,canteens
self-catering kitchens, mobile caterers, outside caterers, supplying buffets.
Waste can be minimised by: reduce, reuse or recycle a large proportion of waste created in canteens:

when possible use reusable cutlery, plates and cups
buy items in bulk to reduce the amount and cost of packaging
install grease traps or interceptors into sinks to reduce the amount of cooking oil discharged with water
use salt, pepper and sugar dispensers instead of individual packages
provide the same number of recycling bins to waste bins. This will make recycling easier
when possible choose glass instead of plastic, as you can recycle it more easily.

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Disposal
This is the least favorable option in waste management and handling. Therefore efforts should be made to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
Cooking grease, fats and oils cannot and should not be disposed of down the sink. If disposed of incorrectly these wastes can clog drain and sewer networks

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6. Waste Recycle
Plastics, tins, paper and cardboard and drink containers can all go in your home recycle bin. Check our recycling guide and make sure you know what your local council does and does not collect. Bottles can be recycled and don't forget the corks from your wine bottles.

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There are some packaging materials that can be recycled. Those are 1)Paper and cardboard - paper and cardboard is reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. There are a number of advantages to this type of packaging product, not least the fact that they are readily available.2)Corn starch - items made from corn starch are biodegradable and are ideal for items which have a limited use, such as takeaway food. They are good options for all types of food packaging.3)Bubble wrap - this is widely used as a packaging material. Environmentally friendly alternatives include bubble wrap made from recycled polythene and bubble wrap which is completely degradable.4)Biodegradable plastic - this is now commonly used in plastic bags and is also used in other items such as envelopes used for bulk mailing. This type of plastic starts to decompose when it is exposed to daylight.

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How to Reuse Canteen/Catering Waste
1. Where possible use reusable cups, silverware and plates that are washable rather than disposable items.
2. Salt, pepper and sugar dispensers should be used instead of individually packaged items.
3. To avoid wasting food, meat cuttings and vegetables can be used as the basis for preparing stock.
4. To avoid the use of plastic packaging try buying fruit and vegetables in bulk. This way the cardboard packaging can be recycled.
5. Glass jars and containers can be reused for storage.

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6. Instead of using paper kitchen towels an alternative is to use washable dishcloths and washable hand towels.
7. Use cloth linens and stained tablecloths as rags, dishcloths.
8. Use cloth napkins and table linen instead of paper/disposable ones.
9. Use reusable coffee filters as opposed to paper filters.
10. Used cooking oil can be collected and sold back to the manufacturer.

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6. If large amounts of food are left as wastage,consider reducing the size of portions served.
7. With regard to cooking oil it may be useful to install grease traps or inceptors in kitchen sinks, which can resolve drainage problems.
8. For take-out food, minimal packaging should be used for wrapping.
9. To prevent wastage, label all stock with the date of purchase and the perishable date and rotate perishable items.

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How to Reduce Canteen/Catering Waste
1. Where possible use reusable trays, cups, cutlery and plates in the canteen.
2. Milk, juices and soft drinks should be used in
bulk from dispensers rather than in individual
cartons, bottles and cans, or use drinks in
concentrated form.
3. Separate bins should be provided in canteens for the various items that are to be recycled such
as aluminum cans, paper, plastic packaging and
glass. These should be labelled clearly to easily
identify the waste type.
4. Avoid using items that have individual portions
such as mayonnaise, ketchup, sugar, pepper,
salt and vinegar. Instead provide sugar bowls,
salt and pepper cellars, dispensers for ketchup
and mayonnaise, small serving dishes for butter
and jam, and finally small jugs for cream.
5. Buying items in bulk will help to reduce the amount and cost of packaging to be recycled.

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*Biological/Biodegradable Waste is any waste consisting of organic materials, which can be broken down by natural processes. This includes food waste generated in kitchens/canteens. This waste can be broken down naturally by bacteria, which feed on the organic material i.e. material that was once living, and the end product is compost.
The following strategies overleaf can be implemented in canteens and catering facilities to help deal with the waste problem.

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Most organic material that is
biodegradable* can be composted.
This includes:
*Fruit and vegetables that are cooked or
uncooked;
*Tea bags and coffee grounds;
*Bread;
*Pasta and rice;
*Kitchen paper;
*Crushed egg shells;
*Cereal.

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Items that cannot be composted:
*Raw and uncooked meat;
*Poultry and fish;
*Bones, oils, greases, including butter and mayonnaise.

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The benefits of composting:
*It is a natural method of disposal;
*There is a reduction in the quantity of waste
that is to be disposed of and therefore there is
a reduction in disposal costs;
*There is a reduction in the need to rely on
landfills for disposing of waste;
*The waste is converted into a valuable
and beneficial end product, compost,
which can be sold commercially;
*Composting reduces the amount of
methane gas emissions, that contribute
to global warming, as methane is a
greenhouse gas;

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The finished product is a good natural soil fertilizer

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Food Waste/Brown Waste
Previously much food waste was disposed
of to landfills. This is becoming less of an
option as many landfills are reaching their
lifetime capacity. Separation of food waste
for composting is an option that is becoming
increasingly more popular. However, due to the
large amount of food waste generated in the
catering industry, it may not be viable to have
an onsite composting system. In some parts
of the country, organic compostables can be
collected, separated and sent to a centralised
composting plant.

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Canteen/Catering Waste
Canteen and catering waste can be defined as
all waste food, which includes used cooking oil
that is produced in restaurants, catering facilities
and kitchens which prepare food for human
consumption. This does not include supermarkets,
butchers or factories, which produce food for
retail sale. Within the canteen/catering sector
a large amount of the waste generated can be
reduced, reused and recycled.

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Recycling
*We participate in Appalachian's Single Stream Recycling program, which allows all recyclables to be placed into the same bin
*Zero Waste outreach interns from the Office of Sustainability work in our tray return areas to educate visitors about waste separation
*The use of cardboard balers has reduced the amount of items taken to the landfill by approximately 40%

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Recycling helps to reduce energy usage, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce air pollution and water pollution (from land filling) by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal and also reduces greenhouse gases emissions.

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Reusing
*Rivers Street Cafe and Park Place Cafe use permanent glassware, dishes and utensils, eliminating the need for disposables
Patrons using permanent glassware in Rivers Street Cafe receive free refills on sodas and tea
*Filtered water stations are available to refill water bottle
*We encourage the use of reusable cups, bottles and mugs by offering a Flat Rate Discount
*We collect glass jars and containers for academic departments such as Biology and Chemistry
*The Bake Shop uses overripe fruit from the dining venues to make banana pudding and bread as well as apple cake and bread

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Reducing
*We have reduced delivery truck traffic on campus by consolidating products into a central warehouse facility
*We purchase locally as much as possible reducing miles traveled from farm to campus
*We purchase bulk canned and dry goods with minimum packaging as well as bulk fresh meats, fish and produce
*We do much of our food prep in house in our three central production units (Meat Cutting Room, Vegetable Prep, Bake Shop)
*The Roess Dining Hall uses a trash pulper, which has drastically reduced the volume of paper and food waste being sent to local landfills

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We place napkins on tables in Sustainable & Hygenic Napkin Dispensers, making it easier for diners to use only what they need and reducing napkin consumption by approximately 25%

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3.Packaging
The majority of packaging that comes with your food can be avoided or recycled. Fresh food doesn't need packaging and can be placed in your own re-usable bags. Rigid (hard) plastics, tins, paper, foil and pie trays, cardboard and drink containers can all go in your home recycle bin. Check our recycling information and make sure you know what your local council will and won't collect.

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