This NY Times story from May was reprinted in yesterday’s Strib: One Country’s Table Scraps, Another Country’s Meal: Food riots are breaking out abroad but Americans toss a lot of their food in the garbage.
You’d never know it if you saw what was ending up in your landfill. As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study — and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American.
Grocery stores discard products because of spoilage or minor cosmetic blemishes. Restaurants throw away what they don’t use. And consumers toss out everything from bananas that have turned brown to last week’s Chinese leftovers.
The article was an uncomfortable reminder that we don’t (yet) compost our waste food at home. And it made me wonder:
How easy/expensive is it to compost waste food at home these days?
Do our Northfield-area restaurants and grocery stores just dump their food in the trash bins so that it ends up in the Rice County Landfill? Is there any effort locally to ‘rescue’ it, like the article describes?
In many major cities, including New York, food rescue organizations do nearly all the work for cafeterias and restaurants that are willing to participate. The food generally needs to be covered and in some cases placed in a freezer. Food rescue groups pick it up. One of them, City Harvest, collects excess food each day from about 170 establishments in New York.
St. Olaf has a food composter, but what about the rest of the town?