Mechanical

Food Waste Biomass

Food Waste Biomass Food waste is considered to be the source of energy that remains unexploited and decays in landfills. This leads to release of greenhouse gases in its surroundings. Such food waste left from biomass comprises of high levels of sodium salts and moisture making it difficult to recycle them. Moreover, such wastes get mixed with other wastes and hence cannot be treated also (Zafar). Countries like the United States reflect the level of wastes filling up the landfills represent more of food wastes than any other wastes. Data from the year 2010 reported around 34 million tons of food waste being generated and very little of this quantity could be diverted for the purpose of composting (Reducing Food Waste for Businesses). Countries like the United Kingdom are continuously considering measures to divert such food wastes into bio-energy. Thus, advanced biomass power technology is being developed and used for the purpose (Schill).
Causes of Food Waste Generation:
Food wastes are generated from hotels, restaurants, and other retail shops with one of the major causes being foods that are all not being sold. If the quality and freshness of the food products get compromised or lost, then customers tend to reject such food products. Moreover, since customers do not like waiting for their favorite food products, retail shops order for more of the products, often which is do not get sold entirely, thus leaving unsold foods that eventually becomes wastes. Since right amounts of food are often not ordered at the right time, this leads to the most losses of foods. Foods also turn into wastes if they are not treated or managed properly. For instance different food products might be required to be kept in particular temperatures which if neglected leads to wastes. Incorrect mechanical handling of foods also leads to wastes (Stenmarck et al 10-11).
Impacts of Food Waste:
The environment gets affected by food waste since natural resources are lost as a result of food waste, along with release of greenhouse gases in the air. Also, since there are many people in the world who are in need of food while on the other food gets wasted can be associated with social impacts as well. Thus if hotels and restaurants report for food wastes, they also prove to be socially not responsible and hence might not gain their position in the world of business. With wastage of the food, the other energy sources that were involved in the production of the food also get wasted (Environmental and social impacts of food waste). Food waste has also been found to economic impacts on different countries across the world. Both consumers and retailers are affected as a result of food waste, since retailers would have to pay for the cost of the food and the consumers would be made to pay through higher prices of products (Venkat 431-432).
Food Waste Reduction:
From the negative impacts of food waste, it has been considered that reduction of food waste is a prime necessity in the present times. Reduction would leak to environmental benefits like reduction of methane from landfills, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, creation of essential soil alteration, and improvement of sanitation. Economic benefits would involve lowering of costs of disposal, reduction of over-purchasing and costs of labor, and tax benefits through donation of food (Reducing Food Waste for Businesses). Also, by feeding people who are in need for food with the food that gets left behind would lead to social benefits proving the food companies to be socially responsible (Stenmarck et al 10-11). It is the responsibility of the society to consider such measures such that the negative impacts of food waste may be reduced.
References
“Environmental and social impacts of food waste”. NSW. 2012. Web. 15 June 2013 from: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/business/love-food/impacts-of-food-waste.aspx
“Reducing Food Waste for Businesses”. EPA. 2013. Web. 15 June 2013 from: http://www.epa.gov/foodrecovery/
Schill, Susanne Retka. UK to divert food waste from landfill for bioenergy. Biomassmagazine. 2013. Web. 15 June 2013 from: http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/2546/uk-to-divert-food-waste-from-landfill-for-bioenergy
Stenmarck, Asa et al. Initiatives on Prevention of Food Waste in the Retail and Wholesale Trades. Denmark: Nordic Council of Ministers, 2011.
Venkat, Kumar. “The Climate Change and Economic Impacts of Food Waste in the United States.” International Journal of Food System Dynamics 2.4 (2011): 431-446.
Zafar, Salman. Renewable Energy from Food Wastes. Energycentral. 2012. Web. 15 June 2013 from: http://www.energycentral.com/generationstorage/fossilandbiomass/articles/2509/

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