Food waste
(Photo credit: petrr / Wikimedia)

More than a third of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten. And much of that wasted food is sent to landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a potent global warming gas.

“Additionally, there are immense resources embedded in the food that goes to waste, so water, land use, fertilizer, significant resources that are squandered,” says Matthew Taylor of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Taylor’s department launched a state-wide initiative called Get Food Smart Tennessee.

It provides education and technical assistance to schools, nonprofits, and businesses.

For example, the program helped a high school conduct an audit of wasted food and identify ways to prevent that waste.

And it’s hosted a workshop where chefs traded ideas on how to better manage inventory, monitor portion sizes, and repurpose ingredients – all “very practical things that can be done in a restaurant setting that can really reduce the amount of food going to waste,” Taylor says.

Taylor says institutions that reduce food waste can get certified by the Get Food Smart program. The goal is to reward their efforts and inspire others to follow their lead.

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Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Food & Agriculture