Energy efficiency and food waste

While renewable energy technologies such as solar power will help provide us with a clean electricity future, the greenest watt is the one you don’t have to create – so energy efficiency strategies such as saving electricity are equally as important.

Bu there’s another way we can save energy – by cutting food waste.

According to a recent study by Amanda Cullar and Michael Webber from the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin, the energy embedded in wasted food represents approximately 2% of annual energy consumption in the United States. Another study I reported on a while back found that food waste represents a staggering 4% of the total US oil consumption.

Producing food is an energy intensive business; with about 15.7% of energy consumption in 2007 used to produce food. In 2002, food production required at least 7790 ± 732 Trillion BTU.

The report on the study lists some shocking U.S. food waste statistics from a single year; 1995:

Grain products – 14.6 billion pounds
Fruit – 11.3 billion pounds
Vegetables – 15.9 billion pounds
Red meat and poultry – 7.6 billion pounds

None of that is good, but when you consider the amount of slaughter involved in 7.6 billion pounds of meat; it should give us added pause for thought for the animals whose lives we took. Another good reason for reducing our meat consumption perhaps?

Food waste isn’t a USA-specific problem by any means. In the UK, 8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households annually – and I don’t think other countries such as Canada and Australia would fare any better.

Pick up some tips on reducing food waste