Food Waste Should Stop Right at the Farm
Around the world, food waste is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s becoming a more urgent problem as the Earth’s population grows. It’s quickly becoming clear that to live sustainably on this planet, we can’t afford to let any amount of food go to waste.
That’s why Stop Food Waste Day, April 27, is so important to us here at The Supplant Company. We make our main product, Supplant™ sugars from fiber, from low value or otherwise unused agricultural fiber. This lets us create a solution for food waste right at the farm — one that actually makes more food available for people to eat.
As the UN points out, every year about one third of all food produced “ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.” That adds up to about 1.3 billion tons of food, worth about $1 trillion USD. And this isn’t even taking into account food waste at the farm!
The Earth’s population is growing rapidly, and we’re also facing challenges to food production. The world is less prepared to produce enough food, due to factors including “land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing and marine environment degradation.” If we could reclaim just a quarter of all the food that is wasted each year, we could “feed all 795 million undernourished people in the world,” says the Stop Food Waste Day website.
It also takes a lot of energy to produce food. As it stands now, the food sector is responsible for about 30 percent of total global energy consumption, and creates about 22 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. When food waste happens, all that energy ends up being wasted as well.
That’s why the United Nations sustainable development goals recommend that to meet climate and food security targets, the world needs to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030.
Innovative Solutions For Food Waste
Many companies, like ours, are helping by developing innovative solutions to food waste. For example, our patented fungal enzymatic process has allowed us to unlock the naturally occurring sugars that are found in agricultural fiber.
This otherwise unused material becomes sugars from fiber, the revolutionary ingredient we use to make Supplant chocolate bars, and other products in future. Because sugars from fiber browns and caramelizes like traditional sugar, it’s also useful in baking, ice cream, and even savory dishes, replacing sugar from sugarcane — which itself creates a massive amount of agricultural waste and pollution.
Spreading the Word About Food Waste
Stop Food Waste Day was launched by the international foodservice company Compass Group in 2017. They’re aiming to make it an international movement. Other groups promoting Stop Food Waste Day include Food Tank, an organization dedicated to sustainable food system transformation, and ReFed, “a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the U.S. food system.”
Here at The Supplant Company, we’re doing our part by educating our readers and followers with posts like this one. We’re also working to build sustainable food systems that can feed a hungry planet, with less waste throughout the process. We hope you’ll join us in this global effort to stop food waste — our planet depends on it!
Want a taste of the future? You can purchase our chocolate bars, made with sugars from fiber, via our shop.