The Pros And Cons Of Food Waste

1588 Words7 Pages
Food waste is a persistent problem throughout the globe. In Canada alone, about 31 billion dollars worth of food is wasted, which amounts to about 40% of Canada’s food production. This price exceeds $100 billion once costs such as energy, water and transport are considered. As of 2007 an estimated 183 kg of solid food was wasted per person (Toronto). Globally, this amounts to about one third of all food being wasted (UN, Xu ), which about 76.3% ends up in a landfill (Xu). In the European union alone, it is estimated that by 2020, 139 million tons of waste is to be generated per year (Xu). Furthermore, organic wastes decompose into methane gas, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (Toronto food policy council). As suggested,…show more content…
To start, the methane by-product (~70% of emission) can be utilized as a renewable energy source called biogas (André, Xu). As mentioned earlier, methane is a potent greenhouse gas, however, if it can be captured, it can also be used as a substitute fir conventional fossil fuels as well as various forms of renewable energy (Chiu). Additionally, anaerobic digestion requires significantly less fossil fuel consumption, thereby producing more energy than it uses. It also requires significantly less land than current waste facilities such as landfills (Chiu). Therefore, anaerobic digestion can be used not only for removing food waste but also for decreasing environmental impact such as greenhouse gasses and land…show more content…
Aerobic digestion has the capability to treat food waste at all stages of the chain. However, it is most suitable at the later stages where the waste is low-quality/impure and thus cannot be treated with conventional recycling techniques (Xu). In turn, post consumer, contaminated wastes can be treated as a source of biofuel since it cannot be processed in the same way as pre-consumer food wastes, which are currently utilized as animal feed or means of extracting chemicals used in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries (Xu). This post-consumer waste is ideal for biogas production due to its high organic content (~90%). Food waste has a higher potential for methane production than does current feedstocks to aerobic digestion such as sewage and animal manure. However, challenges such as high acidity is detrimental to the digestion process for the microorganisms tend to survive best in alkaline conditions

More about The Pros And Cons Of Food Waste

Open Document