Businesses find new opportunity in food that once went to waste

Restaurants and retail account for an estimated 40 percent of wasted food, one of the reasons California passed AB1826, which went into effect April 1. The bill requires supermarkets and other food companies that produce a certain amount of organic waste to compost or otherwise recycle it, rather than send it to the landfill.

Bay Area shoppers will soon be able to get, at Whole Foods stores, the fruits and vegetables that usually left to rot because they don’t meet typical supermarket cosmetic standards.

Of the estimated 62.5 million tons of food Americans waste annually, much more is generated in homes, stores and restaurants than farms, but the loss at farms is more suitable for reuse. The issue will gain more attention with an Earth Day-oriented national ad campaign called “Save the Food” debuting today from the Ad Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council and aimed at getting people to reduce food waste at home.

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