Responding to the Issue of Food Waste
The Boston Globe recently published an article about community initiatives to combat food waste:
“After years of encouraging residents to recycle their paper, plastic, bottles, and cans, more cities and towns are turning their attention to the next boulder in the waste stream: leftover food.
State environmental officials said there is a growing interest in creating residential programs for composting or food waste diversion since commercial restrictions went into effect in 2014.”
The article also points to new and innovative opportunities to help fight this crisis, such as in schools:
“[Marybeth] Martello said the next challenge is collecting food waste in the schools that is not edible and keeping that from the landfill. She said a pilot program is in the works and could launch in the fall.”
In response to the article, Janet Carpenter penned the following commentary underscoring the importance of one critical tool not mentioned that also has the potential to help address food waste: GMOs.
As your recent article suggests, community-wide efforts to reduce food waste and address hunger are critical to reducing the negative environmental impacts of our food systems and increasing access to adequate nutrition. That’s important now and will become even more so in the future with projected population increases that will only stress this already fragile system more. One way to help address a coming food crisis on a global scale is genetically modified crops and the seeds for addressing this crisis are best planted now.
GM crops have already increased yields and reduced the environmental impact of farming, where they have been deployed, especially in developing countries where hunger is more prevalent. However, there is much unrealized potential for available GMO technologies that could be beneficial in countries where they are not currently grown, as well as from technology that is still in development.
The genetic modification of crops, with traits such as pest and disease tolerance, stress tolerance and enhanced nutritional characteristics can contribute to meeting the challenge of feeding the world’s growing population in the decades to come.
To learn more about the potential support GMOs can lend to the fight against food waste, visit GMO Answers.