Reducing Food Waste the Focus of Bowie State’s Food DayOctober 10, 2018
(BOWIE, Md.) – Recovering excess food waste before it ends up in landfills is the focus of this year’s Mid-Atlantic Food Recovery Summit & Food Day at Bowie State University on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center, Wiseman Ballroom. Hundreds of Food Day celebrations will take place around the country to raise awareness about how communities and individuals can improve their diets and advocate for better food policies.
Sponsored by Bowie State’s Department of Natural Sciences, Maryland Department of the Environment and U.S. Environment Protection Agency, this year’s event incorporates a specific focus on goals developed for the mid-Atlantic region around food recovery, or the practice of gleaning food that would otherwise go to waste and finding a useful purpose for it, including use in emergency food programs. Each year, Bowie State’s Food Day event brings together experts in government, community advocacy groups, and student and faculty researchers.
Many local and state governments are working to implement programs to reduce food waste. From discarded leftovers to spoiled produce, food waste amounts to about 37 billion tons – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says about 94 percent of that waste ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. Effectively managing food sustainably not only saves businesses and consumers money and reduces waste, but it also provides a bridge to those who do not have enough to eat and conserves important resources for future generations.
The event’s keynote speakers, representing expertise from the environmental advocacy and business communities, will discuss new goals for food waste reduction and the opportunities to spur innovation, entrepreneurship and new partnerships.
The keynote speakers are:
- Thomas O’Donnell, an environmental scientist and an EPA sustainability coordinator, specializing in the agency’s Sustainable Management of Food Program. He is the primary architect of the award-winning Urban Surplus Food Recovery Model, involving a whole community approach for preventing food waste.
- Patty Bubar, the acting director of the Department of Environmental Protection in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she oversees the county’s policy and direction for environmental programs. She will focus her talk on discussing Montgomery County’s 70-percent waste diversion goal.
- Alexandra DySard, the environmental & partnership manager for MOM’s Organic Market and a board member for the Maryland Pesticide Education Network and the Trash Free Maryland.
Also as part of the event, Bowie State biology students will showcase their faculty-guided research that focuses on ways to add value to wasted fruits and vegetables by extracting the healthy components, known as phytochemicals. The long-term implications are to develop a way to enhance the value of the inedible parts of fruits and vegetables that are discarded as waste.