Reduce food waste. Save energy. Save water. Improve efficiency of use of resources. It’s logical. It’s something everyone can do. It’ll feed the world with what we already produce!
Human and planetary health are important. These start with good farming practices and the harvest processing and distribution of edible products. It also requires that consumers have sufficient interest in buying and economic where with all to purchase desired food ingredients.
Food production, processing and accessibility is not equal across the United States. Every kilogram of food wasted has embedded in it the energy, water, labor, soil and other natural resources from the production component. The food recovery hierarchy identifies multiple methods to reduce food wastes where over production or excess supplies exist. Opportunities exist to encourage each citizen to reduce household food waste to address the primary source of food waste in the United States.
COVID-19 disrupted food supply chains at local, regional, state, national, and global scales. In some areas this exacerbated the already stressed food production system and resulted in much waste while people went hungry.
Your challenge as a cohort of graduate students from multiple disciplines and institutions is to 1) characterize the resources embedded in food wastes and 2) identify one or more ways to reduce food wastes, and 3) explore opportunities to reduce food wastes in communities and redistribute healthy food to others.
This cohort will engage with expert scientists and concerned stakeholders to gain insight into the technical nuances of food wastes. The cohort will also work with synchronous and asynchronous units to develop power skills important to work with colleagues from different disciplines. The cohort will focus on known information related to food waste and the imagination of cohort members to potentially identify where redundancies need to exist to prevent supply chain disruptions, imagine a food supply system with less waste, or identify how consumer food waste can be reduced. The opportunities are limitless.
Your cohort’s products will impact our ability to use natural resources more efficiently to feed our population today and into the future.
Facilitator: Deanne Meyer, Extension Livestock Waste Management Specialist, UC Davis