"Wasted food is a massive issue, globally, and right here in Maine. Forty percent of the food produced for human consumption in the United States is wasted every year...The 133 billion pounds of food that’s wasted annually in the U.S. could fill Gillette Stadium more than 700 times. This wasted food is worth more than $160 billion, and 97% of it ends up in landfills, where it breaks down anaerobically and produces millions of pounds of methane gas, which is more damaging to the climate than even CO2...But food waste isn’t something that only matters on a national scale. It affects Maine and Mainers in important and troubling ways." - Excerpt from NRCM Testimony in Support of LD1534, "An Act To Address Hunger, Support Maine Farms and Reduce Food Waste"
In 2015, a Mitchell Center multidisciplinary team identified eliminating food waste as the single most important issue to ensure a more sustainable waste system in Maine.
In 2019, a new interdisciplinary team was funded to help identify triple-bottom-line solutions to end wasted food in Maine.
Following the Mitchell Center research approach, our team worked with Maine’s major food businesses and organizations including retailers, distributors, farmers, manufacturers, hospitality, hospitals, schools, Congresswoman Pingree’s office, and others to identify stakeholder-driven food waste solutions that would deliver major economic, social and environmental benefits for Maine. We combined this with best-practice research looking for successful global, national, and regional solutions to end food waste. Finally, we utilized the Maine DEP Food Recovery Hierarchy to ensure that our solutions followed the reduction/recovery/recycling hierarchy.
Click on each solution area below to learn more!
Recent FRM News
Media highlight Food Rescue Maine
Media report on Mitchell Center, Readfield food recycling partnership
BDN reports on Mitchell Center food recycling partnerships
Pen Bay Pilot, Irregular advance ‘Maine Food-Too Good To Waste’ campaign
WABI reports on food waste solutions summit
WABI reports on Mitchell Center food recovery project
Food Waste is a Maine Issue…
Forty percent of food produced is never eaten.
For Maine’s rural farms and communities, the food waste challenge is even greater; Statistics show 1/3 of edible crops are plowed under machinery annually on farms.
Transportation difficulties, weather challenges, the demise of Maine’s food storage, and processing infrastructure all lead to additional food losses beyond the farm.
…that Costs Mainer’s in Multiple Ways…
If food waste were a country it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Food waste comes with not only environmental costs, but social and economic ones as well. Food Rescue MAINE hopes to help address these costs through triple-bottom line, researched solutions that aid in reducing Maine’s food waste by 50% by 2030!
…But YOU Can Be A Part of the Solution
In order to reduce food waste, Food Rescue Maine has launched several initiatives in order to reach Maine’s goal!
We use researched, best practices-based, and stakeholder consulted solutions:
- Enable all Maine producers to simply measure and track food usage
- Building a centralized Maine “Food Rescue” software system
- Creating educational programs and communication efforts to teach, engage, and promote real world action
- Build Maine’s food handling and processing infrastructure
- Assist producers with donation education and incentives
- Remove food waste from landfills, support producer waste diversion
We’ve already begun implementing these solutions! So far Food Rescue Maine has:
- Launched several Food Rescue pilots
- Begun building the food waste tracker
- Diverted food waste from landfills
- Built education programs
Be A Part of the Solution with Food Rescue Maine!
Learn the costs associated with Food Waste!
See our Six Solutions that Food Rescue Maine is implementing to help reduce food waste!
Interested in getting involved? Learn all the ways to reduce food waste here!
Check out our blog for biweekly updates on all things food-related!
Check out our resources for Maine elementary teachers