Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JAN 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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Waste Management Hierarchy Source Reduction and Reuse Recycling/Composting Energy Recovery Treatment and Disposal Most Preferred Least Preferred Forward Momentum in the State of Waste Management M ore than 40 percent of our food becomes waste, ac- cording to the National Resources Defense Council, and yet, 41 million Americans continue to go to bed hungry. To say that waste management represents a "hugely dynamic landscape" is an understatement. Look no further than Anthony Bourdain's Wasted! documentary or the United Nations' goal to cut the world's food waste in half by 2030. Even the Pope has been talking about food waste, comparing it to stealing money from the poor. "Food waste has become a big deal, well beyond an industry issue," says Andrew Shakman, president of LeanPath, a waste management consultancy based in Beaverton, Ore., and longtime leader in the fight against excess food waste. "This is now a social, ethical [and] environmental issue that has taken hold." A few key things keep driving this issue forward. First, cutting down on waste seems to fall into the same conversa- tions as farm-to-table cuisine and local sourcing, Shakman says. The topic of waste management continues to gain attention from the same people working on reducing energy and water consumption. It doesn't hurt that some top chefs with a lot of name recognition, like Dan Barber, have been publishing books on the subject and reinventing the wheel with what he dubs as "improper produce" (meaning less- than-picture-perfect produce), scraps and leftovers. Paying attention to food waste never used to be this cool. Regulatory drivers also push more players along the path of waste management. In 2015, the U.S Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environ- mental Protection Agency announced federal targets to cut food waste in the country by 50 percent by 2030. Some municipalities now prohibit foodservice operators from using certain biodegradable packaging that claim to be com- postable. Another regulation in the making: A bill proposed in California seeks to standardize expira- tion labels to lessen the confusion surrounding "sell by," "best by" and "use by" language. And California's Almeda County in particular has been a leader in the charge on waste management efforts, from educating the public and businesses about ways to cut down on food waste to enforcing laws banning restaurants from offering single-use plastic bags. Other regulations in the Northeast now require operators to pull food waste out of landfills. "We can make progress with waste management but the question is, who will hold us accountable for it?" Shakman says. A report from the National Resources Defense Coun- cil (NRDC) found that restaurants account for 44 percent of all discarded food in three cities. In Nashville, Tenn., for example, 34 percent of the total food waste came from restaurants, while in New York, scraps from these kitchens made up 20 percent of the city's food waste. The report also estimated that fewer than 5 percent of all restaurants currently donate leftover food, but on an ambitious food By Amelia Levin WASTE MANAGEMENT SERIES Regulatory drivers, top chefs, consumers and even the Pope, help push topic of food waste to the forefront. 88 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • JANUARY 2018

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