For sustainable society


There are many benefits in reducing food waste

This is quite sudden to ask, but can you reduce household waste by a quarter? In May, the UK supermarket chain “Iceland” announced that it has reduced food waste by a total of approximately 2,500 tonnes over the last two years, which is about a quarter of the food waste in its business. 

How is the food waste separated at the supermarket? According to materials from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, food waste generated at supermarkets and convenience stores sorted as follows: “kitchen waste of fresh food” such as expired foods, vegetables, and fruits; “kitchen waste of seafood” such as internal organs and bones; “cooking oil waste” used for frying; and “other from food” such as the waste from fried food. Since they cannot be processed together, it is required to apply the suitable recycling method for each. Iceland not only donates unsold foods to poor households but also recycles them as animal feeds or uses them for biomass power generation.

In addition, as a new recycling means which is different from these efforts, Iceland brews beer “Bread Board Pale Ale” with unsold bread. According to Tiny Rebel Brewing Co., a brewery that is in cooperation, sugar is extracted from bread that is alcoholized by yeast. The company says that malt is used in the same way as regular beer since malt enzyme is also required for alcoholization, but with using bread, it is possible to make beer with a delicate flavor that can only be produced with bread. Regarding bread-based drinks, ecoist once posted an article about the lactobacillus beverage made in Singapore. Waste bread as a raw material may become even more widespread.

By the way, do you know the specific benefits of reducing food waste? We would like to introduce three benefits in this article. The first is the reduction of greenhouse gases. Waste is generally burned or landfilled, and when it is burned, the power generation efficiency is decreased due to the water contained in food. When landfilled, it produces methane gas by decomposed into microorganisms. In any case, the amount of food waste should be small in order to reduce greenhouse gases.

The second is that it will save resources such as fuel, fertilizer, and water. By reducing the production that corresponds to the amount of waste, the resources used for production, manufacture, and transportation will no longer be used. The third is that it will bring price reduction of products or improve the profits of producers. The seller sets a profitable price in consideration of the waste amount. In other words, if the amount of waste can be reduced, there is no need of additional price to make a profit, and the product price can be lowered.

Reducing waste is not just a goal of morality. Considering these three profits may increase your motivation to reduce daily waste.


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