Black Soldier Fly Larvae- Composter Extraordinaire: Part 3- First, A Primer on Food Waste
The time has arrived for us to depart the topic of manure recycling with the BSF…. Oh how sweet the sorrow- or maybe not so much. In fact, I suspect in terms of a topic, manure digestion is not as appealing as recycling food waste. So I move onward… and upward!
Before I dive into the topic of BSF recycling of food waste- let me as you a question. What is food waste? I suspect the answers will vary depending on the individual. But, I feel confident in saying, I bet you all are correct, which illustrates a point I want to make. Food waste is a very qualified term that applies to many different forms of food. Clearly there are the traditional types of food waste:
And there are other forms….. such as:
Regardless of the form, a lot of it is produced. Numbers vary, but the estimate is around 30-40% of the food produced is wasted. Numbers in 2010 indicate around 133 billion pounds of food is wasted (see this website) which has a value of $390 per person.
Here is an interesting study (survey) on food waste produced last year (fall 2016); a similar study was produced in 2014 as well- definitely something worth reading:
Here are some highlights:
-BIGGEST BARRIER FOR FOOD WASTE RECYCLING- Insufficient recycling options
- 94% of diverted food waste was used as animal feed or land applications.
-60% of food waste applied to land
-35%+ of food waste used as animal feed
-6-12% of large and medium-sized manufacturers divert food waste to composting (low amounts)
So why not divert food waste recycling food- what are the barriers?
Areas of Investment for Recycling Food Waste:
-Food waste generation (reducing)
-Recycling (i.e., composting)
-Used as animal feed
Summary: These are some general tidbits of information for you to think about when having dinner at home or in a restaurant. Why produce so much waste? What do we do with it? Can we use the BSF to recycle it? The next post will contain a review of food waste and how the BSF functions as a recycler of such materials, associated benefits, as well as challenges.
Jeff Tomberlin, PhD, BSF & Food Waste Friend
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Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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