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Key Factors in Reducing Global Food Waste

By Joe Carter, Managing Director, Eat the Ball | November 15, 2016

Efficiency and sustainability are key areas the food industry will need to focus on.

There is no question that food waste is an issue that isn’t going away any time soon; it has the potential to affect future generations and how food is made and consumed if we continue on the current path. From production and processing to retailing and consumption, food waste occurs at different stages. And unfortunately, it is a global problem for industrialized and developing countries alike.
 
According to The U.S. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year is lost or wasted. This equates to about 1.3 billion tons; sadly, this amount is enough to feed 2 billion people.
 
Globally, how do we overcome this issue and what can we do in order to create an impact that will be felt in years to come?
 
Small Steps, Big Change
According to "The Great Balancing Act" published by the World Resources Institute, reducing global food loss and waste by one-half by the year 2050 would mean that we would need 1.314 trillion fewer calories than if we continued with our current approach to food. These savings would close roughly 22% of the gap between today's availability of food and demand in the year 2050.
 
Luckily there are companies and organizations across the globe that are advocating for awareness and taking small steps to ensure a big change.
 
A recent New York Times article takes a look at how some food sellers are discounting the prices of “inglorious” vegetables and fruits in order to avoid throwing them out in a fight against food waste. From blemished oranges to curvy cucumbers, these imperfect, but still tasty food products are becoming increasingly popular among bargain shoppers. And well-known chefs are even getting involved in the movement by cooking with all types of produce, even the less appealing choices. Ingredients sourced from farms and vendors that were once being thrown out, now have a place at the table.
 
In addition to fruit and vegetables, bread is another commonly wasted food product. Approximately one-third of purchased bread is thrown away. Between its constant availability, short shelf-life and low price point, fresh bread is often taken for granted and overlooked. To that end, it also has the ability to help save the planet by feeding future generations like its produce counterpart. 
 
Ten years ago, World Bread Day (WBD) was started by the International Union of Bakers and Bakers-Confectioners and then later taken over by a German food blogger. Aimed at bringing awareness to bread and food waste, WBD is growing in popularity outside of Europe. Groups close to the cause are determined to make it a popular event everywhere, including Eat the Ball, a bread company that is making its way into U.S. retailers and food service operations.
 
Efficiency & Sustainability
In addition to creating awareness and change while reducing the amount of food we throw out, efficiency and sustainability are key areas that the food industry will need to focus on throughout future decades. To that end, companies implementing technologies and production processes that help reduce food loss and waste globally will help secure the food supply for new generations.
 
One of the most natural and important technologies for enhancing food security and maintaining the freshness and nutritional value of food is freezing. In fact, freezing is Mother Nature’s way of pressing the pause button.
 
Eat the Ball has made food waste a major priority since inception. The company uses a patented technology process, called pro.ferment.iced to help its product maintain a longer shelf life without any preservatives and keeps all the healthy ingredients intact. The bread is not baked in a classic way, instead it goes through a special fermentation process, at a very low temperature. Flash frozen after production, the product keeps its quality for up to one and a half years and can even be refrozen after defrosting. Thus the bread becomes a high quality convenience product for the end consumer.
 
The bottom line is that the food industry will continue to innovate and evolve, and company leaders will need to ensure that sustainability and ethical business decisions are front and center. In order to continue to feed the billions of people around the globe, it is imperative that we collectively make better choices. In order to thrive in business and as a society, we need to embrace change, educate others, protect what we have and set up the proper foundation for what we will need in years to come. 
 

Joe Carteris the managing director of Eat the Ball – The Bread Of A New Generation—a premium bread product that was created to help make the bread category interesting again. It is made with only natural ingredients (no artificial colors, flavor or enhancers) and non-GMO. The Eat the Ball line features various sport shaped balls from football to soccer and even hockey and its versatility allows everyone to create fun recipes for every meal, even dessert. Eat the Ball products are developed with the shell of a new technology called pro.ferment.iced. It is a patented production process that helps guarantee the highest quality and taste, plus it allows for the product’s unique shape. This product line and its technology process were created with the goal of preventing food waste and nourishing future generations For more information: www.eattheball.com
 

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