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EPA Recognizes Outstanding Food Recovery Challenge Participants

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the accomplishments of 13 organizations and businesses participating in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.

In 2015, more than 800 governments, businesses and organizations participated in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. Participants include organizations such as grocers, restaurants, educational institutions and sports and entertainment venues, who together kept more than 690,000 tons of food from being wasted. These efforts reduced carbon emissions equivalent to taking approximately 86,000 cars off the road for a year and saved businesses up to $35 million in avoided waste disposal fees.

“The waste reduction efforts of this year’s award winners, as well as all Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers, are leading the way for the United States to meet the national goal to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030,” said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “These Food Recovery Challenge award winners are reducing food loss and waste within their communities to make America a healthier, more sustainable nation. They are leading by example and have reduced their climate footprint, helped communities and achieved cost savings by taking actions based on EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy and sustainable materials management best practices.”

In the United States, wasted food carries significant economic and environmental costs. Food accounts for the largest share of the municipal waste stream, with roughly 77 billion pounds discarded each year. The estimated value of food that goes uneaten each year is $161.6 billion, costing the average family up to $1,500. Uneaten food and other organic materials in landfills decompose and generate methane, a significantly harmful greenhouse gas. Landfills are one of the largest sources of methane emissions produced from human activity.

To reduce their food waste, Food Recovery Challenge participants use creative practices such as:

  • Recovering food from farmers’ markets
  • Creating food waste volunteer programs in high schools
  • Giving college students the option to choose what goes on their plates
  • Using tools to improve portion control and meal forecasting
  • Adding infrastructure to more efficiently distribute perishable produce

Read the full article here.

Read EPA’s blog post by Mathy Stanislaus here.

‘Farm-to-Court’ Food at the NBA’s Greenest Arena

Sustainable America
By Amy Leibrock

Executive Chef Michael Tuohy's goal is to source 90 percent of Golden 1 Center's food within 150 miles.

Executive Chef Michael Tuohy’s goal is to source 90 percent of Golden 1 Center’s food within 150 miles.

The Sacramento Kings’ new Golden 1 Center, which Paul McCartney christened last week with a two-night run, has just set the bar very high for sustainability in sports.

The arena just earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest certification, LEED Platinum, a first for an indoor arena. The 17,500-seat venue is powered completely by solar energy and features smart temperature controls that harness the area’s cooling delta breeze. It was constructed with regionally sourced materials and almost all of the materials from demolishing the site’s previous buildings were recycled.

Perhaps the most buzzed-about sustainability feature of the new arena is its so-called “farm-to-court” commitment to sourcing 90 percent of its food from within 150 miles. Michael Tuohy, executive chef for Legends Hospitality, the food service provider at the Golden1 Center, is working with area farms to procure local ingredients for everything from standard sports venue eats to the more elevated offerings fans have come to expect recently. In other words, yes you can still get nachos, but the cheese is from a local creamery.

Read the full post here.

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Levi’s Stadium, Home of the 49ers, Unveils Rooftop Farm

CNN Money
By Parija Kavilanz

What do football and farming have in common?
Levi’s Stadium.

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Photo courtesy of San Francisco 49ers.

The home of the San Francisco 49ers has unveiled a new urban farm on the roof of the football stadium. It’s expected to generate 150 pounds of produce each week that will be used to cook up food items for club spaces and private events at the stadium.

The Faithful Farm, as it’s called, isn’t a small garden patch either. It occupies 4,000 square feet of the eco-friendly stadium’s 27,000-square-foot green roof, which features a variety of plants native to the Bay area. The roof also has solar panels used to generate renewable energy.

Some of the 40 different crops on the farm include tomatoes, summer squash, eggplants, peppers and zucchini. Plus, there’s an herbs garden with basil, sage and lavender.

Some of the produce will be given to organizations, such as the Salvation Army, that help people in need.

“Our green roof helps reduce heating and cooling requirements within our suite tower and carving out this small portion to grow crops further minimizes our carbon footprint by reducing our reliance on outside food sources,” Jim Mercurio, 49ers vice president of stadium operations and general manager, said in a statement.

The setup for Faithful Farm is somewhat unique: the rooftop is above the 9th floor that was built specifically for the farm.

While Faithful Farm is the first NFL vegetable garden, it’s a part of a growing trend at stadiums. There’s already a rooftop farm on the third base side of the Red Sox’s Fenway ballpark in Boston.

Read the full story here.

Photo courtesy of San Francisco 49ers.

Photo courtesy of San Francisco 49ers.

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