Weekend food waste roundup – 11 November 2012

Some interesting ideas

11 November 2012

Portion-mania: problematic for waists and waste. But could McDonald’s be on to something? | Dana Gunders’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC – Is it possible that McDonald’s is doing something right?

Removing trays from dining halls cuts food waste – Khaleej Times – A simple strategy to reduce food waste.

Be a Hero! Help Stop Fresh Food Waste and Get a Green Wallet with the New Green Savings Hero Partner Program from the Green Refrigerator Machine by Ozonator – Yahoo! News – Ozone technology in the Green Refrigerator Machine extends the shelf life of perishable foods, gives families more time to eat their fresh foods.

A reminder for the holidays

Reducing Food Waste During the Holiday Season | Worldwatch Institute – A few things to keep in mind over the holidays, when we tend to waste even more than usual.

Food recovery initiatives

Hilton Hotels to Share Food Waste in Hungry Egypt | Green Prophet – Hilton Worldwide has launched a pilot program to distribute surplus food to community organizations that feed the poor in Egypt.

Students turn waste food into meals – Wilmette Life – The Campus Kitchen Project is a nationwide non-profit with 33 participating colleges and high schools.

Composting initiatives

Composting option resolves some companies’ waste woes | The Tennessean | tennessean.com – Turning waste from breweries into compost.

City looks to expand composting program | The Columbia Daily Tribune – Columbia, Missouri

Bennington Banner: Vermont towns plan for new solid waste guidelines – Bennington Banner

222 million tons mentions

Food Apps that Help Reduce Waste During the Holidays, from Special Grocery Lists to Restaurant Deals and More – The Daily Squeeze

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9 thoughts on “Weekend food waste roundup – 11 November 2012

  1. Fantastic links: where do you find the time to read and blog these? The first link to Dana’s blog led me to the small plate movement, which is a fantastic idea and has some fascinating research links too. I always look forward to your quality weekend reading links, and this week is no exception. Hope you are well and not working too hard. :D

    • Thanks. Between Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts) and Bonnie Lee, I get a lot of help finding relevant articles and blogs that have just been published – and being on the road means that I have absolutely no life to speak of, so lots of time to read. Glad you’re enjoying these … and for pointing me to the small plate movement. That is a great idea.

  2. I read a lot about how inconvenience is the unwelcome trade-off for eliminating waste. Uh, well, duh! To me, the biggest indicator of prosperity — and the longing for more “convenience” so that people can do things more efficiently — is WASTE. As I see it, America IS the most prosperous country. It might very well be the most wasteful.

    Trading convenience for responsibility is the natural next step. Here’s the “slow method” I model.

    When I go to to my favorite take-out for a fast food fix (Taco Cabana), I ditch the drive-thru (no idling vehicle), walk inside, order a half-dozen flour tortillas and 8-oz of refried pinto beans (no cheese) that they put into my container (to eliminate the normal styrofoam waste), I pay $3.74. While I wait for my order, I load up (in another container from home) from their condiment bar some pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro. I will sit down and eat half of that order on the back porch, people watching and enjoying the sunshine. I’m back in my car in 15 minutes, no mess in my lap, no juggling edibles to distract me from my driving. Hardly an inconvenience.

    Bonus? I still have the other half of my order to eat the next day! Both, for less than $4.

    I don’t think any conveniences were traded off, but zero waste was created by me in the process (okay, the tin foil from the tortillas is recycled). And at no time, though, did that lack of convenience make for a bad day! I need to blog about that, I suppose…

    • Prosperity and waste do seem to go hand in hand – its hard to make people value food when its so cheap … and I think that cheapness masks the true inconvenience to society of waste. Its a lot easier more convenient to eat the potato that’s in your house than to let it go bad, transport it to the curb and then to landfill, then grow a new one and transport it to your home with a pitstop at the local market. If prices reflected convenience at a societal level, think that would drive the right behaviors, somehow.

      • Exactly the point of Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” As long as many unseen consequences aren’t factored into a price (affects on air, water, land, animals, waste, workers), the REAL cost of food and products is paid for by other-than-the consumer. A bit like kicking the can down the road.

  3. I too read through some of your weekend selections. The article on McDonald’s did not surprise me though. They do have many portion sizes, yet the pricing is so strategically calculated that most diners would choose the larger size. It is no accident either. Their profit margin is very high I understand. I had a friend that worked at (upper management) McDonald’s that told me of this. Our firm did some of Corporates’ stores landscaping too. They provided the design on some, others I did the design. They were very penny conscious, either way. The other article I found interesting was eliminating trays. I would never have thought that would make a difference.

    • I thought the tray one was interesting as well. It’s amazing how many cues we take from context that impact how much we eat – and that context includes friends (ref: http://goo.gl/igTDi). In a way, that’s what drives me to blog, and to become (in a limited way) part of the context for some people’s food choices.

      Re: McDonald’s, everything they do is calculated to make people eat as much as possible as fast as possible (even the colour scheme of the restaurants). There’s much to be learned (if not emulated) from them.

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