Around one-third of Asia’s food waste goes to the rubbish heap of history. It is a general humanitarian duty, as well as an excellent business practice, that can unlock a treasure of underutilized value hidden in food waste.
It has a lot of financial benefits attached to it – organizations outside Asia are also working towards this goal. The UN revealed shocking information about $2.6 trillion in annual food waste.
Expenses involved are badly impacting the Asian economy, let alone the humungous carbon spur that has the potential to destroy the ecosystem. One cannot separate food wastage from carbon traces. It provides plenty of room for industrialization and market throughout Asia.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), defined by the UN, have provided guidance on how to half the food waste by 2030. Unfortunately, this seems like an unattainable goal for many concerned companies.
There is a strong link present between the efforts to go carbon neutral and the underutilized side streams. Asia’s smart upcycling practices are inspiring lots of food producers & processors to fully utilize side streams like corn cobs, banana stems, husks, hulls, spent grain, etc. This is promoting the notion of a circular economy as well.
Asia’s upcycling efforts are perhaps novel but its traditional techniques like fermentation have always been there. Notably, Customers are taking interest in the upcycled products as the demand for alternative protein multiplies in Asia.
More measures need to be taken to reduce food waste at the farms, as well as on the domestic and retail levels. Anyhow, agrifood waste creates a golden opportunity for valorization which means increasing or enhancing the capital.
The Future of Food Upcycling in Asia is a research paper that delves deeper into the worth of Asian agri-food waste. It elucidates that food waste can easily be collected from facilities that deal with agricultural commodities.
Valorization can provide benefits to all stakeholders involved, such as the investors, policymakers, and other organizations that advocate a circular economy. Additionally, it was found that these initiatives are opening ways for a sustainable environment with the help of efficient agricultural technology.
This calls for Asian corporates, governments, and startups to make workable policies to wean off the current and future hurdles. It is only after a proper framework is formed that the agrifood waste potential can be unlocked with newer and safer opportunities. Nature is in dire need of strategic food production methods that do not subject further harm to the planet.