Since society started the migration from rural to urban centers, we have struggled to control food waste. In the 20th Century, we moved to a highly automated “tip and dump” system that included food and organics with trash destined for landfills. In some progressive cities and countries, recycling was added, but there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve Zero Waste in a growing society of over consumption.

Additionally, industrial agriculture practices have depleted healthy soil after years of pesticide use and tilling practices. With hotter temperatures on the rise, droughts and flooding is also on the rise. This is causing major negative impacts on farmland by increasing soil erosion, washing away the areas we need to grow food, and creating less resilient communities.

The good news is that by composting, we can keep nature in balance by replenishing the soil with nutrient-rich organic matter that maintains the natural biocycle. The healthier the soil, the more carbon is placed back into the soil. We must accelerate the collection of food scraps to produce compost that can be returned to local farmers in order to support regenerative agriculture. This video from Kiss the Ground explains the benefits of food scraps that are diverted from landfills.

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Food loss and waste occur at each stage of the supply chain. The biggest proportion (about 37%) happens in the home.

ReFED, 2021