Closing the loop
Feb 21, 2012
Developing food for the future isn’t just about creating new food, it’s also about eliminating waste and inefficiency, as this story highlights.
Like a small city, the University of Missouri trucks in tons of food each day to feed thousands of people. At the end of the day, all of the orange peels, food scraps, used paper napkins and other leftovers leave campus to be dumped in the Columbia landfill. With more than 8,500 meals served per day, and an average of 4.5 ounces wasted each meal, more than 250 tons of food waste ends up in the landfill each year.
To Tim Reinbott, superintendent of the MU Bradford Research Center, a unit of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, this process is inefficient. He’s creating what he calls a “closed loop” system where food grown at Bradford is served by Campus Dining. Then, that food waste travels back to Bradford to make compost to fertilize the crops grown there. The new food, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and many other vegetables, then goes to Campus Dining, starting the cycle all over again. More…