Processing & distribution food waste: solutions
Focus on re-engineering.
Manufacturing line optimization.
Target systemic and sporadic waste generation by optimizing equipment operating conditions (determining the most efficient run settings), addressing production line design flaws, modifying production schedules to minimize changeovers, and identifying novel ways to repurpose discarded food for sale.
Potential impact of manufactured line optimization: 20 thousands tons of waste diverted, $1,770 economic value per ton, 61 thousand tons of GHGs reduced, 7 billion gallons of water saved.
Develop secondary uses for trimmings, peels and other by-products.
Reuse organic and edible products back into the system by reusing them as fertilizer or animal feed.
Standardize date labeling.
Mislabeled products contribute to food waste through the risk of product recalls and safety alerts due to undeclared ingredients in the U.S.
ReFED’s Date Labeling Working Group designed a tool to help manufacturers determine which label to use for different products.
Potential impact standard date labeling: 398 thousand tons of waste diverted, $4,547 economic value per ton, 1,593 thousand tons of GHGs reduced, 192 billion gallons of water saved.
Build processing equipment or facilities to freeze or convert donated or excess food products such as soups, sauces, and jams.
The Alameda Kitchen transforms produce that would otherwise be wasted into affordable food products and meals for low-income populations.
Potential impact of hosting such infrastructure: 102 thousand tons of waste diverted, $2,783 economic value per ton, 299 thousand tons of GHGs reduced, 171 meals recovered.
Cold Chain Management.
Increase the use of direct, point-to-point perishable food shipments from farmers to retailers to reduce the number of stops a product makes in transit and develop a cold chain certification standard for food carriers.
Potential impact of cold chain management: 18 thousand tons of waste diverted, $1,816 economic value per ton, 62 thousand tons of GHGs reduced, 6 billion gallons of water saved.
Keep truck refrigeration and equipment up to date.
The time of transit plays a large role in the health of produce. Having a climate-controlled mode of transit is imperative to keeping produce fresh, especially if they already have a limited shelf time. If the transportation systems are not controlled, there is the possibility of spoilage and reduced shelf life.
Potential impact of better storage and handling: 103 thousand tons of waste diverted, $2,366 economic value per ton, 381 thousand tons of GHGs reduced, 172 meals recovered.