Food waste is not a new problem, but it’s evolving and becoming a significant concern. There are environmental, economic, and societal implications. One organization that is on a mission to educate and address food waste is IntelliDigest. CEO Dr. Ifeyinwa Kanu shared her perspective and how her company aims to provide an environment-friendly and holistic approach towards food waste.
“Food waste is a global problem. Over a billion tons of food is wasted each year. Food waste can be edible or inedible. Both represent huge problems,” Dr. Kanu said.
Food waste is a layered issue. It’s not just from a single source. Waste happens at every stage of food production. “Food waste challenges are evolving. With edible food waste, there’s excess supply, food that goes bad, but also imperfect foods. A carrot isn’t the right color or shape. It’s the way it looks. It has nothing to do with the nutritional value,” Dr. Kan added.
Another aspect of the problem that’s less known is inedible food waste. “Inedible food waste can have a significant environmental impact. There are ways to upcycle this material to climate-friendly chemicals. What’s produced could be used for packaging and would meet recycled material requirements. There are many businesses that could benefit from this. With innovative technology, this is possible,” Dr. Kan remarked. That technology is a big part of IntelliDigest’s solutions.
Food waste won’t be eliminated without the cooperation and awareness of all. Dr. Kan relayed that households were the source of the most edible waste. It’s preventable, but it requires a change in perspective and a commitment from all farmers, producers, manufacturers, sellers, and consumers.
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