Notes by Narsi
To me, food waste is perhaps the most criminal of all the waste generated.
Every kilogram of food that is wasted anywhere along its value chain means a lot of carbon footprint.
A Kg of food wasted at the retail store or on your plate could mean even more - it means emissions added all the way from cultivation to logistics to processing. And the wasted food adds to emissions downstream in the form of methane emissions from dumpyards.
When you consider that all along, there are people in your neighbourood who do not have food, you will be inclined to agree that wasting food should even be considered as deserving capital punishment!
Until recently, very little was done about it in most parts of the world, and even more so in India. But it is heartening to see a large number of startups - and diverse innovations - beginning to tackle this important menace.
Given the length and breadth of the ecosystem in which such waste occurs, it is not surprising to see different types of innovations - tech using AI & analytics to enable farmers to produce crops aligned to demand and at the right amounts, those that reduce post harvest wastage through sustainable & distributed cold chains for storage & logistics, biotech & nature based solutions to keep fruits & vegetables fresh, technology that enables commercial units to produce the right amounts of food items based on demand prediction, apps that enable retail units and even end users distribute surplus food stuff to others in their localities who need it...
Finally, there are also startups which use food waste that indeed happens to feed insects (like Black soldier fly) which in turn become ingredients in animal feed, thus making food from food waste!
It is heartening indeed. And even more heartening to see a number of Indian startups in almost every one of the innovations mentioned above.
Extent of food wasted and also GHG emissions from these
Pathways for sustainable food waste disposal
How well are these doing and what could help them do better