What To Do With Food Waste (EPA Report)

Earlier this week I went to the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago.  It was overwhelming in size and since I went with my eyes focused on food-rescue, I was also overwhelmed by the opportunities there.

Sometime on Monday I ran into some fellow food-insecurity advocates who made me aware of a recent report by the U.S. EPA whose recent report “Waste Not, Want Not: Feeding the Hungry and Reducing Solid Waste Through Food Recovery (PDF)” confirms many of the things we’ve been saying about food waste and the opportunity that lies within it for the cause of hunger in America.

I found this little graphic from the report especially helpful:

EPA Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy

food hierarchy represented by inverted triangle with source reduction at the top, followed by feed people, feed animals, industrial uses, composting, and last landfill/inceration

This inverted recommendation-pyramid points out that our most common solution for food-waste (dumpsters to landfills) should actually be our last resort and maybe even more helpfully places “feeding hungry people” all the way at the top.

The report makes it clear…DISPOSAL SHOULD BE OUR LAST OPTION.