Pingree introduces bill to reduce food waste, create energy

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Maine U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is calling for a comprehensive plan to reduce food waste.

The Democrat says her proposal will help farms, retailers, restaurants and schools waste less food. She says it will also divert high-quality food to food banks and turn non-edible scraps into energy or compost.

Pingree’s office says 40 percent of food produced in the country is wasted and uneaten food costs $161 billion annually.


Whenever I see a news headline about governments trying to mandate composting in some form, I get excited but I also worry what is being pitched.  Is she really worried more about wasted food instead of emissions and soil infertility?

I can’t tell if these people genuinely think that incineration (‘waste to energy’ as it’s deceptively called) is a good idea.  In this case, she may be (hopefully) referring to an indoor closed anaerobic facility where methane is properly captured and utilized on site to power the plant.

While I’m always in favor of outdoor large scale aerobic windrow setups, I have seen plenty of issues with those when they aspire to accept way too much material.

Either way, I’m noticing an upward trend in composting as a vital goal that will chip away at our climate and soil fertility issues.  It’s not a bad thing- we have to go that direction.  There’s two options:

Landfill + organics =  methane and displaced nutrients/materials

Compost facility + organics = CO2 and nutrient-rich soil

Which sounds better for the future?

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