Food Waste In Spite of Magnificent Technologies

Posted on February 8, 2013 by

Food for Concern: Food Waste In Spite of Magnificent Technologies…..


Two hundred twenty two (222) million tons/year! That is the total consumer food waste in industrialized countries.* More than forty percent (40%) of food losses in industrialized countries occur as “food waste”. * “Food waste” is that portion of the total food loss that occurs in the areas of food service, food retailing and household waste.

Conversely, the balance of the food loss in industrialized countries occurs on the farm, in the packing house, in the fruit ripening rooms, the coolers, the transportation system.
For many years, our clients have focused on reducing food losses at each of these points within the produce production system. Several clients focus specifically on maximizing food production. Each client brings its own magnificent technology and makes a positive contribution to our abundant food supply.

Packing houses have been the focus of our former client, BASF, in creating protective fruit coatings; Aqua-Tech in providing ozone sanitation for fresh produce; AgroFresh in controlling natural fruit ripening at the packing house; Makhteshim Agan in providing postharvest decay control materials and Aqua-Tech, again, in sanitizing fruit in coolers and truck vans. All of these technologies are effective in reducing food losses.

Ag Water Chemical; AgroThermal Systems; KeyPlex and Westbridge Ag Products are directly involved in optimally irrigating and fertilizing fresh fruits and vegetables on the farm.

Today our client, It’s Fresh!, is extending produce freshness technology into the retail store and into the kitchens of fresh produce consumers. It’s Fresh! is the highly innovative and cost effective technology directly focused on extending produce life in store and at home.

We are pleased with each of our client’s success in making direct contributions to abundance. They are enhancing supplies of fresh produce all around the world.
But we are shocked at the gross quantity and huge cost of food wasted. Most of the waste happens after the produce has been or could have been protected by these magnificent technologies!

Food waste in the USA is in the neighborhood of $165 billion each year! ** USA families discard between $1,365 and $2,275 of fresh food each year. **

All of these magnificent technologies, and the consumer still discards 40% of his food?

Perhaps this is the “next real frontier”…….training our people to effectively utilize our abundant food supply.

*Global Food Losses and Food Waste, Extent, causes and Prevention: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2011
**WONKBLOG, How the U.S. manages to waste $165 billion in food each year, Aug 22, 2012.

All the best,
Art Dawson, PH.D.



About The Dawson Company

The Dawson Company consists of experienced, hands-on market and product development professionals. We create sales! Our clients include Agrichemical Registrants, Distributors and Technology Suppliers with “Need to Know” and “Need to Sell” priorities in pre-harvest and post-harvest markets.



Produce Quality & Food SafetyFood Waste?…..
Not Just Wasted Food

Take a moment to read the below excerpt from a report by the National Resources Defense Council (Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill, August 2012). You may or may not agree with their views, but the information provided is food for thought (pun intended).

“Food is simply too good to waste. Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten. Getting food to our tables eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25 percent of all freshwater and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land. Moreover, almost all of that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills where organic matter accounts for 16 percent of U.S. methane emissions. Nutrition is also lost in the mix-food saved by reducing losses by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables. Given all the resources demanded for food production, it is critical to make sure that the least
amount possible is needlessly squandered on its journey to our plates.”

You may have seen the news story on ABC News on January 28, 2013: “Americans Throw Out $190 Worth of Food Each Month” (an average). The family surveyed on the broadcast threw out about $350 worth of food in a month. Astounding!

Regardless of the figures, we waste a lot of useable food. Are we too picky? Too spoiled? Or both?

Until Next Time,

Hartono and Company LLC
Produce Quality & Food Safety