This Week's Stories From The Wide World Of Food Waste

People around the world are reducing food waste, and we take the utmost pleasure in reporting on it. Congratulations to France on their epic sustainability game, by the way. There's no story about repurposing leftovers, keeping organic materials out of landfills, rehoming leftovers and spreading the good word of mindful reduction that we're not super-excited about! Check out five of our favorite recent stories on the topic, and prepare look at the contents of your fridge (and trash) in a whole new way.

Greek Yogurt's Whey Is The Way To Grow

Your protein-rich breakfast staple just got even more useful. American and German researchers isolated two compounds in the whey by-product of Greek yogurt, caproic acid and caprylic acid. These are eco-friendly, natural antimicrobials that serve the same purpose as the antibiotics routinely added to livestock feed without the many drawbacks. There's also the potential to develop technology to utilize the acids as biofuels.

From Food To Excrement (And Back To Fuel)

This Israeli company that creates bio-digester units small enough to power a single-family kitchen in areas with low or no electricity. Formerly a smoky coal or wood-burning affair that could result in soot and respiratory problems, HomeBiogas retrofits a home to process and utilize animal manure in lieu of fossil fuels. Talk about a renewable resource. Here they are in action:

Food Waste Reduction Gets Good And Lazy

The coffee plant produces two things: coffee beans, which are roasted and turned into the caffeinated beverage that jump-starts your morning, and coffee cherries which are often discarded. The bright red fruit of the coffee plant is either discarded or sometimes used to enrich soil,  but is widely considered a waste product of the coffee-making process. A trio of friends seeks to rescue coffee cherries in order to make a coffee-based tea. That's right, coffee tea. It still packs a jolt and according to co-founder Daniela Uribe, tastes like "an earthy and fruity black tea without any bitterness."

Teach Your Children To Love Ugly Produce

If you're looking to plant a seed of knowledge in your little future food waste reductionists, pick up a copy of British author/illustrator Chris Newman's The Perfectly Wonky Carrot. Once they see whimsical portrayals of colorful, friendly vegetables heading to a landfill where they'll never be eaten, loved or utilized in growing big and strong, you might have a little kitchen helper yelling "don't put that in the trash!" Won't that be endearing?