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Confronting food waste: restaurants eliminating food waste

Confronting food waste: restaurants eliminating food waste

对抗食物浪费——餐馆在努力


In recent decades, food waste has risen as a serious issue around the world. It is roughly calculated that worldwide 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted. In the US, the number is around 56 to 72 million tons. (2)

在21世纪,食物浪费已经成为一个非常严重的社会问题。粗略估计,全球每年多达13亿吨食物被浪费。其中美国的贡献在5600万至7200万吨之间。


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines food waste as “Uneaten food and food preparation wastes from residences and commercial establishments such as grocery stores, restaurants, and produce stands, institutional cafeterias and kitchens, and industrial sources like employee lunchrooms.” (3)


“Restaurants should be responsible for the majority of food waste outputs”

“Restaurants should be responsible for the majority of food waste outputs”, said Elizabeth Balkan on PBS Newshour (4). In her opinion, leftovers on people's plates and post-consumer waste like bones and species are the main two sources of food waste. During her talk, she mentioned the negative environmental impact on food waste landfill which releases a large amount of methane– another greenhouse gas which is up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. What is worse, global warming is not only a problem when food waste is sent to landfill. An Australian scientist (5) claims that the leaching and runoff from dumped food waste containing a massive amount of Nitrogen can contaminate rivers and groundwater by the process of eutrophication.

美国环境保护署(EPA)将食物浪费定义为:“未使用食物/食物原料垃圾,源自住宅或商业场所(如杂货店、饭店、食品摊位、食堂或厨房)和工业场所(如员工餐厅)”。“饭店需要为大部分的食物浪费负责”( Elizabeth Balkan 在 PBS Newshour )在讲话中她谈到废弃食物的另一个负面影响——填埋后产生的甲烷。甲烷比同为温室气体的二氧化碳温室效应强86倍。填埋还有另外的负面影响:一位澳国科学家声明,废弃食物中富含的氮将使临近的水体富营养化。


Courtesy of gazasia.com. (6) A demonstration of how the decomposition of food waste contaminates both atmospheric and aquatic environments. Note here the product of carbon dioxide and another toxic organic along with inorganic matters are also spilled out, considering various sources of waste besides food waste. 厨余垃圾污染大气和水体的示意图(考虑到被填埋垃圾不止是食物,也有其他有机/非有机污染物质产生)感谢EPA提供

So, how could restaurateurs respond to this crisis? Well, there are three initiatives that can lead to more obvious effects: planning, food bank, and reusing.

那么,餐馆应该如何应对这样的危机呢?事实上有三个行之有效的倡议:规划,食物银行,再利用


Food Waste Reduction Hierarchy. Courtesy of EPA. (7) 减少食物浪费的层次。感谢EPA提供

Planning food waste reduction

从规划上减少食物浪费


The prior approach to reducing food waste is definitely not to create it for the first time (7)(8). But when getting managed, the first step to a successful food waste reduction plan should be to measure the quantity you are wasting, the cost of that waste, and what the sources of the waste are. Usually, this food waste could be avoided by improving product development, storage, shopping/ordering, marketing, labeling, and cooking methods.

减少食物浪费最有效的办法就是不去产生浪费。成功规划的第一步是计量食物浪费量、浪费产生的开销以及浪费的来源。通常,人们可以改善项目管理、物资存储、出售/购买、市场营销、标记以及烹调方式,来避免食物浪费。


The simplest way to measure your food waste could be separating different types of waste:

最简单的计量方法是将浪费的食物分成三个不同的种类:


Trash 1: Preparation waste - the waste generated while prepping food e.g. clamshell and wheat stem.

种类一:准备阶段的废物,在为烹调备料时候产生的废物,例如蛤壳与植物茎干。


Trash 2: Spoilage – It can be separated into two scenarios. One is the food nearly closing to the date of expiration while still storing in the fridge or other storage, the other is the food already deteriorated, with plenty of mold and bacteria.

种类二:损坏的食物,有两种情况。一种是临近保质期限的食物(仍旧得到有效保存),另一种是已经变质的食物(霉菌和细菌滋生)


Trash 3: Plate waste - Served food that customers didn’t eat, i.e., leftover.

种类三:餐盘上的浪费,供上餐桌然而食客没有吃掉的食物,诸如此类。


Courtesy of tenzo. (8) 感谢tenzo提供。

Food Bank

食物银行


If there is plenty of food stored in the fridge that is approaching the expiry, donating to the food bank could be a good option. A food bank is a non-profit organization collecting and distributing food to hunger-relief charities. (9) At the first step, the supervisors keep close eyes on food quality to match the needs of charities. Then the food bank receives and safely stores the donated food. Finally, they deliver food items to serve individuals who are starving.

如果有大量的食物存储在冰箱里却临近损坏,将它们捐献给食物银行将是个不错的选择。食物银行是为救济饥饿的慈善行动收集捐赠食物的非营利组织。首先,管理人员需要密切关注事物的质量,以满足慈善行动的需要。然后食物银行将接收并安全地储存这些食物,最终分发给正在挨饿的个人。


Arranging a food bank. Bread and Cakes are placed on the table. Courtesy of https://www.bvfb.org/. 在食物银行看到的面包和蛋糕。感谢https://www.bvfb.org/提供。

Reusing

再利用


Inedible food waste can be converted into other products such as compost and bioenergy.

不可食用的厨余垃圾可以转变成堆肥和生物燃料等其他资源。


Circular usage of food waste. Through conversion by food waste collectors, food waste can be used for organic fertilizer and biogas. Courtesy of http://chesterenergyandpolicy.com/. (10) 厨余垃圾的循环使用:转化为有机肥和沼气。感谢http://chesterenergyandpolicy.com/提供。

Here let me introduce a small German biogas digester named Bio-Ways. It can help user decompose food waste through fermentation by selected bacteria, which could gain fertilizer and biogas for outdoor barbecue and cooking. Compared to simply being dumped at a landfill, this process reduces methane emissions; instead, methane emitted from food waste can be utilized as a source of renewable energy.

Bio-Ways是一种小型沼气池,源自德国。它可以利用特定菌种的发酵来帮助厨余垃圾的降解,同时产生可用于烧烤和烹饪的沼气。相比于简单填埋,这个过程将甲烷收集起来,用于可再生能源,从而减少了排放。


For large scale food waste processing, we may need a composting facility. Similar to the processing in small-scale facilities, the food waste transforms into biogas and compost through aerobic decomposition, with additional steps of the press which increase the rate of reaction.

在大型厨余垃圾处理中,我们需要堆肥设施。厨余垃圾通过有氧分解转化为沼气和肥料,并通过进一步压缩提高效能。


Stages of biogas and compost production. Source: BINE Information Service (11) 堆肥和朝气的产生过程。感谢BINE Information Service提供。

Discussion

观点与看法


Flow Chart of Circular economy. Courtesy of United Nations Industrial Development Organization. (12) 循环经济的流程图。感谢United Nations Industrial Development Organization提供。

There are several actions to fight against food waste excess, all these are in the chain of circular economy nonetheless. Both planning food waste products and dispensing food to charities are examples of material reduction shown in the chart above. Since the unnecessary supply shrinks and more customer demand increases, the chain becomes balanced. Transformation to sustainable energy and compost can be considered as a way of material reuse. Whether the chain of circular economies functions well depends on the efficiency of each part. Most ideally, higher resource efficiency can yield less waste output and environmental hazard.

这些减少食物浪费的办法都是上图中循环经济的一部分。改善规划或捐献食物,都是在上图所示“Material supply”环节减少浪费。当不必要的物资供应减少和食用需求增长,供需得到平衡。将垃圾转变成能源和堆肥则是资源再利用的方式。循环经济运行是否良好取决于每一部分的功效。最理想的情况下,高度的资源使用效率将产生更少的垃圾和更少的环境危害。



Reference

  1. https://www.foodsafety.com.au/blog/10-ways-reduce-food-waste-restaurants

  2. https://foodprint.org/issues/the-problem-of-food-waste/#easy-footnote-2-1309

  3. https://iaspub.epa.gov/sor_internet/registry/termreg/searchandretrieve/glossariesandkeywordlists/search.do?details=&vocabName=Terms%20of%20Env%20(2009)&filterTerm=food%20waste&checkedAcronym=true&checkedTerm=true&hasDefinitions=false&filterTerm=food%20waste&filterMatchCriteria=Contains

  4. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/americans-waste-up-to-40-percent-of-the-food-they-produce

  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316547640

  6. http://gazasia.com/biogas-source/landfill-sites-2/

  7. https://www.usda.gov/foodwaste/faqs#:~:text=In%20the%20United%20States%2C%20food,worth%20of%20food%20in%202010.

  8. https://blog.gotenzo.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-reducing-food-waste-and-keeping-food-costs-low

  9. https://www.feedingamerica.org/our-work/food-bank-network

  10. http://chesterenergyandpolicy.com/2018/12/05/converting-food-scraps-biowaste-into-renewable-energy-in-your-own-backyard-interview-with-kenny-storbeck-inventor-of-the-bio-resy/

  11. http://www.bine.info/fileadmin/content/Presse/Projektinfos_2014/PM_17_2014/ProjektInfo_1714_engl_internetx.pdf

  12. https://www.unido.org/our-focus-cross-cutting-services/circular-economy









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