Friday, May 7, 2021

Composting Week & Food Waste

Compost Week 2021
Question: What Percentage of food goes to waste?

This question is appropriate because this is International Composting Week, May 2-8, 2021, with a theme: Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat.

Some foods don’t make it out of the fields. Potatoes, corn, and tomatoes that are too small, or too ugly, may be left behind in the fields. In some cased, the farmers announce that the edible, but ugly, food is available for gleaning – all you have to do is drive over and gather it.

In other cases, the food makes the long travel to restaurants and homes, but it is not consumed, so it goes to the municipal solid waste (MSW) system, i.e., to the landfill. Non-government organizations like (Society of St. Andrew with a CharityNavigator score of 89.39) work to divert food from the waste stream to feed the poor and hungry people. There are several wonderful non-profit organizations -- many have "misfit" or "ugly" in their names -- and a growing number of for-profits that redirect food that would be totally wasted.

About 31% of food goes to waste after it has been packed and shipped to the end market. Overall, about 30%-40% worldwide goes to waste. In the US, food waste represents the largest amount of MSW by weight! Most of the wasted food is not composted or processed into energy (incinerated or natural gas recovery). Diverting food waste from the landfill is critical; food in landfills is derived of oxygen so it produces methane, a strong greenhouse gas.

Rich Compost. 1 Month in Tumbler,
Food waste (excluding meat, dairy, and such) can be composted. Yard waste is almost all compostable. Other things can be composted as well, including paper, newspaper, etc. Compost becomes a wonderful, rich soil (fertilizer) for your crops.

There are several ways to compost. With a little open ground, you can create a composting mound. A compost tumbler might be a good approach for a homeowner.  Using earthworms to process waste into worm castings is sometimes an option (Vermicomposting or the raising of worms, Vermiculture).

Two-Compartment Compost Tumbler.

Also see:

International Composting Week is May 2-8, 2021, with a theme: Grow, Eat…COMPOST…Repeat.

World Soil Day is December 5. Mark your calendars every year to get the dirt on dirt. International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is an international source.

#Soil, #compost, #fertilizer, #food, #hunger, #sustainability, #Organic

No comments:

Post a Comment