Nutritious Food Waste: Waste Not, Want Not!

By Shomita Bhattacharya, Program Specialist

According to the USDA, America wastes 30-40% of our food supply every year. In 2010, this totaled 133 billion pounds of food, worth $161 billion! These are large numbers that describe the food waste of the entire nation, but what do they mean in terms of individuals like you and me? The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future analyzed the nutritional composition of wasted food in the United States, and found that on average, the amount of food wasted per person per day in the US is equivalent to:

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5 Ways to Green your Super Bowl Party

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow 

1. Watch the game together- Gather a large group of friends to watch the game on one TV, in order to reduce the amount of electricity used while cheering on your favorite team.

2. Carpool to the party- Encourage your guests to carpool to your house to reduce carbon emissions and the amount of cars that have to fit in your driveway!

3. Make your own food- Buy ingredients in bulk and make your own food at home. Pre-made food is often sold in a lot of plastic packaging, especially when served as individual portions.

4. Buy beverages in bulk- Buying large bottles is often less expensive than buying individual cans and saves you the hassle of dealing with recycling all of those empty cans!

5. Don’t throw away leftovers- Distribute them among your guests to take home, donate them to those in need, or compost them.


Food Waste Initiative Creates Jobs in Massachusetts

To help businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities, the Center for EcoTechnology administers a program called  RecyclingWorksMA for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The agency has just released a report highlighting the economic benefits in Massachusetts of food waste reduction initiatives. The following post, with a link to the report, was originally posted on the RecyclingWorksMA blog.

And continuing the theme of economic successes in the state that are linked to environmental and economic sustainability initiatives, the Mass. Clean Energy Energy just released it’s annual Clean Energy Industry Report, which describes significant growth in this sector over 2015!

Yesterday, December 22, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) released a new report highlighting the positive economic benefits of reducing food waste. This report studied the effects of the Massachusetts Commercial Food Waste Ban, which prohibits businesses and institutions that generate one ton or more of food waste per week from disposing of that waste in the trash. About 1,700 facilities such as universities, supermarkets, food processors, hotels, conference centers, and restaurants are subject to the ban. This ban, which went into effect in October of 2014, was the nation’s first requiring commercial entities to divert wasted food from disposal via donation, animal feed, anaerobic digestion, or composting.

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Federal Funds for Diversion of Food Waste in Connecticut

cet-logo    cee-logo

November 18, 2016

For Further Information:

Lorenzo Macaluso, CET, 413-218-1543

Dennis Schain, DEEP, 860-424-3110


Federal Funds for Diversion of Food Waste

Will Help Reduce Volume of Trash

Increase food donations is one of focuses – especially at holiday time

For many people in Connecticut, Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings and enjoyable eating. It’s also a time when donations flood in from food rescue organizations to food pantries and soup kitchens, to ensure that the state’s hungriest people get warm, nutritious meals.

While Thanksgiving may put the spotlight on food insecurity, nearly half a million people in Connecticut, (according to the Connecticut Food Bank) including more than 140,000 children, do not have consistent access to adequate amounts of food year-around.

Meanwhile, nearly 520,000 tons of food waste is generated in Connecticut each year, some of which could be donated to feed people. Diversion from disposal of food waste in the State, be it by reduction of such waste in the first place, by donation to feed people or animals, or by composting and anaerobic digestion, is a priority noted in the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s (DEEP’s) recently adopted Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (CMMS).

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New Harvard Toolkit Shines Light on Food Waste Policy

By Matt Brodeur, Green Business Fellow 

The Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic (FLPC) recently released a toolkit called Keeping Food Out of the Landfill: Policy Ideas for States and Localities to help stakeholders eliminate the mountainous problem of wasted food. CET’s Director of Green Business Services, Lorenzo Macaluso, contributed to the publication.

According to the toolkit, 63 million tons of food produced in the U.S. is wasted each year (1). To put that massive number into perspective, it takes “approximately 21% of the United States’ fresh water supply and 300 million barrels of oil…to produce food that goes to waste” (1). In addition, the amount of food that is wasted each year is significantly more than the amount that would be needed to eradicate hunger in the United States. In 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 13.1 million children.


Having a set of proven solutions and recommendations to aid policymakers and other stakeholders in reducing wasted food is an invaluable resource. The toolkit has an array of sections on topics such as date labeling, organic waste bans, K-12 schools, and tax incentives for food donation. For example, the toolkit explains that the federal government does not regulate date labels on perishable foods, so some states have taken it upon themselves to enact date labeling laws. Other states, such as New York, have no regulations whatsoever governing how manufacturers label their products. Because there is no standardized terminology for labeling, many people assume that labels meant to indicate food quality (e.g. “best before”, “use by”) are indicators of food safety. All of these inconsistencies lead to consumers taking excessive precautions and throwing away safe, wholesome food.

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