USDA hosted a “Wasted Food” exhibit at the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum that took place in February. The table featured food samples like cookies, fruit & vegetable wraps, 100% fruit bars, and carrot chips made from food items that would have normally been thrown away. USDA Agricultural Research Service is working with companies & farmers to develop these products not only to reduce food waste, but to also generate new sources of income and jobs for those communities. For food that is not fit for human consumption, the exhibit featured plastics and clothing products made from food waste. Ford Motor Company showed samples of their tomato plastic made from the tomato pomace (leftover pulpy material) of the Heinz ketchup making process. This tomato plastic is used in the interior of some Ford cars. The clothes on display at the exhibit were made from coffee grounds or coconut coir, waste items that would have normally been sent to a landfills by the millions of tons. The U.S. Food Waste Challenge wants to showcase these innovations and collaborations to show how much economic opportunity there is in reducing, recovering, and recycling wasted food.
In Tennessee, tons of perfectly good green beans are discarded because they are too short or too long for standard packaging. Here, a truckload of those beans has been dropped into a lot where Society of St. Andrew volunteers bag them up. Food pantries will pick up the bags before the morning is done. Learn more about how your organization can donate or glean at endhunger.org.
USDA Food and Nutrition Service employees planned a gleaning event at Miller Farm in Clinton, MD on July 17 to support USDA’s Feds Feed Families campaign, which since its inception in 2009 has donated 24.1 million pounds of food to low-income families. Zack Huhn from the Mid Atlantic Gleaning Network helped organize the event with the USDA employees .
The animals at the Oakland Zoo received some unusual treats after a delivery truck carrying exotic fruit like prickly-skinned jack fruit and Thai bananas crashed and spilled an estimated $50,000 worth of product on a highway. The prickly-skinned jack fruit can cost up to $35 at some grocery stores. Some of the food was also donated to the Alameda County Food Bank in Oakland.
At the zoo, some of the animals like the elephants were reluctant to try the new food, but the bears did not hesitate to eat it. There was so much food donated to the zoo that the keepers froze a lot of it for future use. Full ArticlePhotos by Erin Harrison, Oakland Zoo