• Journal of Food & Nutritional Sciences
Short Article

Food Waste throughout the Food Production Continuum – Water Food and Energy Nexus

Journal of Food & Nutritional Sciences [2019] 1(3): 90-94.
Received: 05 September 2019, Accepted: 25 September 2019, Published: 01 October 2019

This article addresses the inefficiencies in the food production system (aka continuum) within the nexus of food, energy, and water systems (FEWS). The food processing industry in the U.S. and worldwide, is responsible to excessive food waste. The processed foods continuum ranges from minimally processed and ready-to-eat items to complex preparations requiring packaging and controlled temperature storage. Food waste is a very complex issue that cannot be ignored because it is directly associated with serious challenges in food security and very negative impacts to the environment. The pressing need to produce more food at a lower cost to the environment by 2050 makes improvement of the farm-to-table processing stages both challenging and essential. Water and energy demands by the food processing industry are continuously increasing. Wastewater controls and best practices at the processing and post- consumption stages are highly effective in reducing the water footprint. Current efforts to reduce the food waste stream within the processing chain are minimal and clear benefits to food manufacturers are not well defined and almost non-existent. The food industry must get more involved with local and federal agencies to understand the impact of reduction strategies in the food waste stream. To efficiently feed humanity in 2050 and beyond, innovative technologies must be developed, and new societal norms must be adopted, that support food waste mitigation and management across all stages of the food processing continuum. These efforts should help improve access to nutritious food, lower energy-to-food ratios, and optimize the reduction of food waste streams.

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