Beyond the kitchen: Food nurtures more than just people

Forty percent of food produced in the United States is never eaten, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That is enough to feed 164 million Americans their full, varied diet every day of the year. Wasted food is the single largest item going into our landfills. 

Fortunately, there are efforts underway to prevent food waste and increase food donation programs in neighborhoods and restaurants. Recycle Colorado’s virtual conference, the Summit for Recycling August 25 and 26, offers attendees the chance to learn about some of the solutions for food waste reduction happening in Denver and Steamboat Springs. The session “Commercial and Community Food Waste Reduction and Composting” will share strategies for wasted food prevention from places like restaurants and households, best practices for food rescue to make sure that good surplus food gets to people that need it, and innovative solutions for community composting.

Session speakers:

  • James Calder, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • Sarah Jones, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation
  • Susan Renaud, Certifiably Green Denver
  • Christi Turner, Scraps
  • Sonya Hansen, Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment (moderator)

It takes significant amounts of water, land, energy, and money to grow our food, move it from the field to the store, and keep it at a cool temperature. “When we waste food, we waste all of the resources that it takes to get food to our plates,” said Maddie Keating of the Natural Resources Defense Council and board member of Recycle Colorado. “While composting and other forms of food scrap recycling are part of the solution, there are a lot of ways that individuals, businesses, cities, and organizations can make sure that edible food is getting eaten.”

Recycle Colorado’s annual Summit for Recycling, online this year, brings together waste processors, manufacturers, government agencies, businesses and individuals from Colorado and surrounding states. The agenda includes educational sessions, virtual exhibit hall, and networking events. The 2020 Summit for Recycling is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, MolsonCoors, Swire Coca-Cola, Ball Corporation, Momentum Recycling, Waste-Not Recycling and additional partners. Register for the conference at Read more about food waste in cities, including Denver, in the NRDC report Estimating Quantities and Types of Food Waste at the City Level.

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