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EGLE highlights food waste programs, resources on International Day of Awareness
September 29, 2023
Reducing food waste is a challenge on everyone’s plate
EGLE highlights programs, resources on today’s International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste
Are you going to finish that? Before you throw out any more leftovers, consider that today, Sept. 29, is the United Nations’ International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste 2023, an opportunity to focus on practices and innovations to reduce food loss and waste and build a more resilient food system.
Food production is the largest stress to biodiversity, through habitat destruction and nutrient pollution. It is estimated that the equivalent of 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions comes from food loss and waste in the U.S. each year.
In Michigan, the MI Healthy Climate Plan lays out a pathway for the state to reach 100% carbon neutrality by 2050 to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis, create good-paying jobs, and build a healthier and more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable Michigan for all Michiganders. The plan’s key recommendations for achieving carbon neutrality include cutting food waste 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Food waste is defined as any food that is grown and produced for human consumption but ultimately not eaten. Homes and consumer-facing businesses represent more than 80% of all food waste generated.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is doing its part to bring awareness to the importance of food waste reduction and to implement projects that help tackle this issue in Michigan:
Michigan Food Waste Reduction Roadmap – The roadmap was created to identify current best practices in food waste reduction in Michigan – specifically for farmers, food manufacturers, the food service industry, and grocery retailers – and to identify the barriers to adopting and implementing known strategies to reduce food waste. The roadmap is currently expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and will yield recommendations for state and local policymakers. Early drafts indicate that Michigan’s food industry needs technical assistance to help educate, identify pollution prevention opportunities, support food waste reduction, and promote sustainability best practices.
Michigan Sustainability Conference (MISCON) – Treetops Resort in Gaylord hosts MISCON Oct. 24-25, 2023. The conference offers sessions on food waste reduction and will lead by example by composting food left over from conference meals, with the help of Emmet County. Session topics include how municipalities can and should include food waste reduction in local climate planning.
NextCycle Michigan Accelerator: Food, Liquids, & Organics Waste Systems (FLOWS) – NextCycle Michigan has a dedicated FLOWS track for solutions that transform organics recovery in the state. It provides business and technical support through a six-month program of individual coaching, a multi-day group workshop, and access to resources to make projects appealing to investors and ready to launch. Teams can be single entities or collaborations of businesses, entrepreneurs, universities, tribal entities, public agencies, or nonprofits. The program culminates in a showcase where teams pitch their projects to an audience of professionals while competing for awards. There is no fee to participate, and no equity share required from teams. Applications are open through Oct. 27. Learn more at NextCycleMichigan.com/Flows.
Take action today: