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The Ugly Truth About Food Waste In America
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Click here to listen to the story.

Author Jonathan Bloom and Dana Gunders, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, recently appeared on National Public Radio’s ‘SCIENCE FRIDAY,’ with host Ira Flatow to talk about a problem that is getting more and more attention: food waste. Click on the graphic to listen to the story.


FLATOW: (Are) there any engineering challenges to creating a new system to deal with all these wastes?

BLOOM: Well, a lot of places aren’t necessarily doing it themselves – a lot of cities, that is. They’re usually sending it off to composting facilities. But there’s a real opportunity there for municipalities to create their own. You know, they would save a whole bunch on actually having to ship it somewhere.

But even more than composting, I love to see an increase in anaerobic digestion, and that’s basically just harnessing that methane gas to create energy. So you hear a lot about waste-to-energy plants, which is kind of a euphemism in that they’re just burning stuff. But – and they’re not all that efficient at capturing the energy. But anaerobic digestion is a much better use of that food waste and, you know, we’ve put all those resources into producing our food. Why not treat our food waste as, in fact, another resource?

FLATOW: Oh. So instead of a landfill, you engineer this giant building where you throw the stuff into it, it gets digested, and out comes methane that you’re going to use later.

Jonathan Bloom’s book, “American Wasteland,” is available at

BLOOM: Yeah. You can use it to power a building’s heating or cooling system. You can turn it into electricity and send it to the grid. There’s a whole bunch of uses.







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