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Hello BEST members,
 
Food waste is an important issue that deserves more attention. An estimated $165 billion is the cost for wasting approximately 30-40 percent of edible food in the United States. “According to the NRDC, getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and soaks up 80 percent of all fresh water used in the United States.” These statistics are alarming, however, more programs and initiatives are becoming available in effort to reduce the 33 million tons of food being wasted every year.
 
One way to help reduce food waste is at the source. CropMobster is an initiative that links communities in need with local farmers and producers so that no food is ever thrown away; any food that would otherwise be thrown away is going to a hungry community. Another food reduction measure being taken is the “trayless” movement by the company Sodexo. The “trayless” movement in college cafeterias helps discourage students from the usual unlimited food buffet attitude where food waste is no concern. Students are no longer able to load up their trays with more than they can eat, which has resulted in a 30 percent reduction in food waste. One more example of smart initiatives being taken to reduce food waste is the FreshPaper by Fenurgreen. The FreshPaper invention includes a piece of paper infused with spices that can organically keep fruits and vegatables fresh for 2-4 times longer than average.
 
These food waste reduction initiatives are a few examples of a step in the right direction. Food waste is such a problem in the United States however, that a culture change, in the minds of consumers and corporations, is truly necessary to solve such an egregious problem.
 
 
Leslie Pascaud. "A Food Waste Reduction Movement Gathers Steam” 
Forbes, July 24th, 2014.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Brett Nelson
Undergraduate Intern 
2014 BioEnergy & Sustainability School
Soil and Water Science Department
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