||RCA Webinar: Sustainability and Valorization
||May 20, 2021 02:00 PM America/Eastern
||May 20, 2021 03:00 PM America/Eastern
||Sustainability and Valorization: How Four Graduate Students Are Envisioning the Future of Food Production
Food loss and waste is an issue that creates challenges across the entire food supply chain from the field to fork. It places burdens on our waste management systems, intensifies food insecurity, and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United Nations, the world’s population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Current farming practices would require 593 million-hectares of land to feed this many people and would produce 11-gigaton greenhouse gas emissions (World Resource Institute, 2018). However, as much as 40% of food produced in the United States already goes to waste, representing a significant loss of labor, water, land, and food that could be used to better feed a rapidly growing population (USDA, 2017). Shifts in dietary habits and utilization of food byproducts may help to decrease waste, feed more people, and waste less resources.
In California, this is particularly relevant. By law, commercial businesses must find alternative disposal practices besides landfilling (ReFED, 2020). The state also has strict greenhouse gas emission regulations (California Air Resources Board, 2017). The processing of agricultural products into more value-added and consumer friendly forms are a beneficial way of diverting waste streams and minimizing the impact of food production on the environment. These eco-conscious strategies are valuable to the food industry and can provide improved economic and environmental effects. During this webinar, several topics relevant to food waste and sustainability will be discussed, including utilization of plant-based proteins, insects as a sustainable food source, valorization of grape pomace additive in meat products, and valorization of tomato and peach seed wastes for the production of culinary oils and snack products.