Food Waste In Farm

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Food Waste Definitions
Large amounts of nutritious produce go to waste in farm fields, get discarded as imperfect for markets, or perish at various stages of the food supply chain. A report by the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) details the substantial opportunities for waste throughout the food supply chain. Food waste starts at the farm, for reasons such as weather (droughts or floods), pest infestations, damage by machinery, and blemishes or irregular sizes making the food less than perfect for distribution to market. Additional waste occurs in the processing stage due to improper handling, improper temperature control, compliance with food safety regulations (such as food exceeding its “sell-by”
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Food losses begin on a farm even before a commodity moves into the marketing system. For example, periodic preharvest losses occur due to severe weather conditons such as droughts and floods. Most of these commodities are not recoverable for human use. However, much of the food lost at harvest are often well suited for recovery efforts. But due to economic factors tht affect producers’ willingness to bring their pdoctu to market oftentimes leave the recoverable food wasted. For example, minimum quality standards for fresh produce set by State and Federal marketing orders to reduce produce that will lower prices and the consumer demand for ideal looking produce often results in the removal of safe and edible produce from the food marketing system. Because of this, many farmers harvest selectively, leaving small, misshapen, or blemished produce in the field since these producets would most likely be discarded in the processing plant. Harvesting losses on the farm can also be from a result of technological factors such as increased mechanization and equipment malfunction. These losses are often a tradeoff between field efficiency of lower production costs and faster operation and therefore increased yields. (Food Loss). Farmers may combat food waste on the farm through solutions such as using leftover crops as fertilizer of animal feed. Harvesting losses are also reduced through gleaning efforts, in which volunteers collect leftover crops from farmers fields where is is …show more content…
Food loss at the processing stage may be due to technical issues such as insect infestations in storage, imodle, stored at an incorrect temperature, deteriation, or impromper transportation and handling. Perishable food is more likely to be lost at this point rather than non-perishable food. Food safety regulations inacted by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service diverts some product from entering the consumer side of the food supply chain. For example, food that has reached the sell-by date while still in the supermarket is an important compoentn of food loss. However, some of these items such as day old bread from a bakery are potentially recoverable. Non-perishable foods such as canned fruits, cereals, and pasta may get discareded because of crushed, dented, or otherwise damaged packaging and expired shelf dates. In developed countries, an estimated 12% of fresh produce is lost in transition from production to retail sites with a range from 2% to 23% for individual commodities (Kader,

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