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Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge Seeks to Cut Local Food Waste

Nashville Scene – Imagine the entire space of Nissan Stadium filled to the top with uneaten produce. The lettuce you forgot about in the back of your crisper. Those melon-sphere garnishes served with your omelet at brunch last week. Imagine an arena’s worth of that, piled layer upon layer, rotting away every day. 

The stats are mind-blowing: Up to 40 percent of all food in the U.S. is thrown away. Every single day, Americans toss out enough food to fill the Titans’ stadium. About 20 percent of all waste in this country’s landfills is food.

Linda Breggin (left) and Chef Deb Paquette in the kitchen at Etch

And the wasteful part isn’t just the perfectly good food going unused. Every time we toss those leftovers, every time stale bagels from a craft-services table get thrown out, we’re also wasting the natural resources (such as freshwater and cropland) used to produce that food. When organic matter is put into a landfill, it produces methane gas — because oxygen isn’t reaching the organic material, it goes through anaerobic decomposition. And methane is a greenhouse gas.

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