Friday, September 9, 2011

No, Not Shamu

Some depressing statistics to brighten your day:
  • Forty to fifty percent of all food ready for harvest in the United States never gets eaten.
  • The United States spends about 1 billion dollars a year just to dispose of food waste.
  • Americans throw away 6,000 tons of food every single day.
This information simply blew me away. Just this morning I threw away half a box of moldy strawberries and a very wilted head of lettuce. That was time, money and precious nourishment straight in to the garbage. Not only does food waste squander the time, energy, and resources used to produce that food, but it overwhelms our landfills and contributes to global warming by releasing methane as it decomposes. Makes you think twice about tossing your leftovers, doesn't it?

Any action, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. While I try to cut back on wasted food by cooking less and using leftovers more, I was thrilled to see that my city is also trying to do its part. The Phoenix Convention Center is one of the largest convention venues in the U.S. To lessen it's environmental impact and encourage sustainability, it is implementing the use of the ORCA (no, not Shamu,) also called the Organic Refuse Conversion Alternative (ORCA) machine. The ORCA is a food waste disposal system which biologically converts organic food waste into a nutrient rich liquid through an accelerated decomposition process.

Though picturing a giant whale noshing on Phoenix's food scraps is a bit more fun, the ORCA is actually just a large stainless steel box capable of handling up to 2000 pounds of scraps a day. A composter on steroids if you will.  I applaud PCC's innovative solution for handling their food waste and hopefully,  they will set the standard amongst other Phoenix businesses. Score one for the environmentalists!

And don't most fabulous giveaway ends this Sunday. Head on over and enter. Who doesn't like free stuff??


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