Fighting Food Waste In New Jersey

As much as 40 percent of the food produced for human consumption in the U.S. goes to waste.
Every time we toss food in the trash, we toss part of our paychecks there, too. And we take food away from those who need it most. Finally, more food waste in landfills means an increase in methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

Not all the corn grown at Dawn and Andrew Buzby’s Salem County farm looks perfect.
“When people go to their farmstand, they want perfection,” said Buzby. “But just because it’s not perfect, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. The taste, the flavor are still excellent.”
Once a week during the farm’s peak growing season, volunteers from PhilAbundance canvass the cornrows, picking corn that wouldn’t work for retail or wholesale but can still be used. The nonprofit then takes the corn right to its facility and distributes it to people in need all over the Philadelphia-Southern New Jersey region.
Since partnering with PhilAbundance in 2013, Buzby Farm has donated more than 230,000 pounds of produce, all gleaned from its fields.
“Otherwise, it would all get mowed over,” said Buzby.
ShopRite, as well as other New Jersey supermarkets, donate much of their surplus foods to food banks.

The Courier-Post will partner with the Farm & Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill and other community organizations to offer a special tasting, farm tour and community conversation about reducing food waste, on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at FireWorks Gallery in South Camden.
With a menu orchestrated by Chef Todd Fuller of Farm & Fisherman, the event will include a Scrap App tasting of appetizers that illustrate the need for us to utilize more of what we purchase and cook. There will be a tour of urban farming spaces led by farmer Jon Compton of the Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET), an urban farming internship program in South Camden. And also included will be a special beer brewed exclusively for the event by Tonewood Brewing Company, using produce from the CFET orchards.
Advance tickets are $40 or two for $75 in advance; $20 for Camden City residents. At the door, if available, tickets are $45. Proceeds will benefit CFET. Camden FireWorks art gallery is located at 1813 South Broadway. There will be free parking.

The state of New Jersey has set a goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

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