The battle against rampant food waste rages on! Smarter food shopping and preservation methods are on the rise, as is reducing organic food waste whenever possible, and not just by eating banana peels and avocado pits and wearing pineapple leather (remember: consuming edible organic matter is always better than composting). Let’s take a look at some of the latest big players in the food waste game.
Italy makes it easy to donate unsold food.
Italian Parliament passed a bill last week that makes it easier for restaurants and shops to donate unused items to the food-insecure. The Senate is expected to approve the new law next week, with strong support from all parties. As long as food is not spoiled, giving it away will be allowed regardless of expiration date.
Starbucks rehomes its leftovers.
The Seattle-based coffee giant announced that it will donate 100 percent of its unsold food to those in need through its new program called FoodShare. “Like many of our social impact initiatives, the innovation and inspiration comes from our partners who are volunteering in and contributing to their communities,” said a spokesman for Starbucks Global Responsibility. “They saw the need for us to do more and find a way to use our scale to bring more nourishing and ready-to-eat meals to those in need.” Working with employee partners (many of whom have experienced food insecurity themselves), Starbucks will partner with Food Donation Connection and Feeding America to find good homes for unsold salads, sandwiches and other refrigerated items while ensuring that the items are still safe for consumption.
And if you’re going to compost, do it right!
Rhode Island recently held its annual Compost Conference and Trade Show, where leaders from the food scrap recycling industry come together to develop ways to encourage smarter utilization of what many consider to be useless garbage. Organized by the Compost Initiative of the Environment Council of Rhode Island, speakers included directors from several local initiatives, such as commercial composters Sustainable Generation and the Compost Plant, the Rhody Worms Cooperative (a new vermiculture cooperative) and ecoRI Earth, a pilot residential food-scrap collection service for residents.