In the United States 40% of all food is wasted. Food that is never eaten in the United States accounts for approximately 20% of agricultural resources and represents 20% of the content in the landfill. The resources, energy, and labor that go into the production, processing, transportation, storage, and disposal of this food are also being wasted when it gets thrown away. In the landfill this organic material generates methane, which is at least 25 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.
Food Waste from Retail Businesses (grocery and restaurant) accounts for 40% or 25 million tons of all food wasted per year.
Beyond environmental impact, food waste from businesses is responsible for large financial losses. The U.S restaurant sector alone throws away $25 billion per year, amounting to 11 billion tons of food. On average, an individual restaurant loses over 4% of sales value on wasted food, throwing out about half a pound of food for every one meal served.
There are many ways to reduce this waste and save money while helping the health of our planet!
Understanding Your Waste
The first and most important step to reducing waste is understanding what you are wasting and why. Food waste from restaurants can occur before the food is served from over-ordering ingredients, improper storage, and inefficient menus, or after the customer has received the food because of too large portion sizes and wasteful serving practices. There are many tools and practices, from high tech software to quick visual inspections, that can help you understand where waste is happening. Click below to learn more and find which technique is best for your business.
Methods to Reduce Waste
Waste occurs in many areas of a business, but each cause of waste has a myriad of solutions that will reduce waste, save money, and build a more dedicated team and customer following. Once you understand what is being wasted in your business you can use the techniques found in the button below to reduce and minimize waste.
Rescue and Divert Waste
Reducing is always the best method to solve our food waste problem, but when we are not able to reduce, we can still rescue and divert in order to use food waste as a valuable resource and not add it to the landfill. If the food is still edible, donate it to help those in need get access to food. If the food is not edible it is still a valuable resource as animal feed or compost. Click below to learn how these simple acts will benefit your business and community.
California has progressive laws around waste. Click below to read about these key laws that apply to food producing businesses:
AB 1826 Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling
SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
AB 827 Customer Access to Recycling and Composting
Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act