Category Archives: Food processing

Webinar: How to Reduce Wasted Food: EPA’s Food Waste Reduction Tools for Food Services & Restaurants

May 15, 2014, noon-1:30 pm CDT
Register at

The Guide to Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment provides step-by-step instructions to conducting a one-time assessment of the food waste thrown in garbage bins. This instructional outreach material is useful for facilities new to food audits and for those who wish to better understand their current food waste management practices.

The toolkit for Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants is designed to help food service establishments save money and reduce their environmental impact with suggested strategies, templates and case studies. Users first track the amount, type of, and reason for wasted food and packaging on paper. Entering the data into the Excel tool automatically creates graphs to help identify patterns and opportunities to reduce waste. The accompanying PDF guide provides intervention strategies and background information.

These free, new resources can be found at


Julie Schilf is an Environmental Scientist with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 office where she is the regional coordinator for EPA’s WasteWise and Food Recovery Challenge programs.  She will provide a summary of the instructional outreach materials on Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment.

Amanda Hong is a graduate fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 office working in Sustainable Materials Management and Pollution Prevention. She will provide a detailed overview of how to use the toolkit for Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging.


Scottish Whisky Distillers Get Greener As They Turn To Biomass For Energy

Just in time for the weekend. Read the full story in The Huffington Post.

Scotch whisky distillers are burning their unwanted grain byproducts, wood chips and other types of biomass for a source of energy in remote areas of the Highlands, where gas links are scarce and fuel oil is pricey.

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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Biomass, Food processing, Food waste


New Refrigeration Efficiency Standards To Take a Bite out of Supermarket and Restaurant Energy Costs

Read the full post from ACEEE.

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule for strong new efficiency standards today that will take a big bite out of the energy consumption of the refrigerators and freezers used in supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, and commercial kitchens. The significant reductions in energy use that we’ll see with the new standards are made possible by the availability of technologies including LED lighting and occupancy sensors, high-performance glass doors, and high-efficiency motors, which all provide big efficiency gains.


Methane leaks from palm oil wastewater are a climate concern

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

In recent years, palm oil production has come under fire from environmentalists concerned about the deforestation of land in the tropics to make way for new palm plantations. Now there is a new reason to be concerned about palm oil’s environmental impact, according to researchers at the Univ. of Colorado Boulder.

An analysis published in Nature Climate Change shows that the wastewater produced during the processing of palm oil is a significant source of heat-trapping methane in the atmosphere. But the researchers also present a possible solution: capturing the methane and using it as a renewable energy source.

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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Climate change, Food processing, Water


Are you sending the wrong ‘natural’ message?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

In the most recent update to the Green Guides, the FTC decided not to regulate the use of the word “natural” (or “sustainable” or “organic”). The Food and Drug Administration does not have a definition for “natural” either, as many foods are processed to some degree. As a consumer, it’s not easy for me to tell what truly is natural.

But many of us have this free association in our minds that natural equals healthful. Many companies rely on that to sell their products, some $40 billion dollars worth. You have to work a little to look through the ingredients to find out how natural the food you buy really is. And you still may not be 100 percent sure. Even natural ingredients can have names that sound like chemicals.

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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Food processing, Green lifestyle


Food companies put green procurement on the menu

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Eco-friendly products have been mainstream for some time now, and many executives have spent years working toward more sustainable business strategies within their respective companies. These leaders know first-hand just how many aspects of enterprise operations need to be addressed in the effort to move toward greener procurement and production models. Distribution and manufacturing chains have become more complex and geographically spread out, as have companies’ customer bases.

With no end in sight for this trend, how can businesses make real, measurable efforts to reduce environmental impact and at the same time communicate those successes to consumers?


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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Food processing


Clean, Green Breweries: Arbor Brewing Co.

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

The abundant freshwater of the Great Lakes region is increasingly used for craft beer brewing. Breweries compete for customers with an eclectic array of beers and a raft of sustainable efforts.

Some companies recycle used grain, others use recycled packaging. Some run delivery trucks on vegetable oil or harness wind and solar power. Some even donate proceeds to watershed projects. Over the next few weeks, Echo will briefly profile some of the eco-friendly brewing around the Great Lakes.

Today, we look at Arbor Brewing Co.

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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Food processing


Can a small business make a big impact on sustainability?

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Alter Eco is growing quickly and doing almost everything right, but the small company’s ambitions are to drive major change.

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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Food processing, Green business


Biotech plus wastewater equals free energy

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

A Boston startup is generating energy from food and beverage manufacturing effluent, while also cleaning the water.


McDonald’s, White Castle to EPA: Cut Corn Ethanol Mandate

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The National Council of Chain Restaurants has urged the EPA to further reduce the levels of corn ethanol mandated under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

In response to concerns about the RFS, the EPA last year proposed cutting corn ethanol levels for 2014 to 13.01 billion gallons from 13.8 billion gallons. NCCR members, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s Pizza, White Castle Food supply chain stakeholders, say the corn quota is still too high.

In comments submitted to the EPA, the NCCR says the ethanol policy distorts agriculture and commodity markets, artificially inflates the price of corn, and sharply raises food costs and prices for restaurant owners, operators, franchisees, small business owners and the general dining public.

The American Frozen Food Institute has also warned that EPA that because corn and soybeans are critical ingredients in a range of frozen foods, higher biofuel targets will raise cost and prices for food makers and shoppers.


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