Energy consumption in the food supply chain (FSC) of modern societies represents a major problem given decreasing supplies of fossil fuel resources, climate change concerns, and growing population. This two-part article explores the “twofold energy waste” generated by food losses and waste (FLW): nutritional energy and “embodied energy” used to produce the food. The paper demonstrates how twofold energy waste has a significant impact on USA's national energy balances. In Part A the upstream segments (production, transport, and processing) of the United States FSC is analyzed, while the downstream segments (distribution, transport, home consumption, and out of home consumption) is discussed in Part B. In combination, the two parts consider all direct and indirect energy consumed in food produced for domestic use. From 2001 to 2015 the average energy use in the upstream FSC was 5800 ± 150 PJ (about 5.6% of total energy use), while FLW were estimated as 19.5 Mt, generating a waste of 144 PJ of nutritional energy and 145 PJ of embodied energy. The cost of this wasted energy reached almost 1.7 billion constant 2015 $. Animal products represent only 24% of the FLW mass but generate 57% of the embodied energy waste. Appropriate food waste reduction policies are briefly discussed. These policies could achieve a twofold energy saving that could contribute to reduce the United States fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gases emissions.

Impacts and costs of embodied and nutritional energy of food losses in the US food system: farming and processing (Part A)

Pagani M.;De Menna F.;Vittuari M.
2020

Abstract

Energy consumption in the food supply chain (FSC) of modern societies represents a major problem given decreasing supplies of fossil fuel resources, climate change concerns, and growing population. This two-part article explores the “twofold energy waste” generated by food losses and waste (FLW): nutritional energy and “embodied energy” used to produce the food. The paper demonstrates how twofold energy waste has a significant impact on USA's national energy balances. In Part A the upstream segments (production, transport, and processing) of the United States FSC is analyzed, while the downstream segments (distribution, transport, home consumption, and out of home consumption) is discussed in Part B. In combination, the two parts consider all direct and indirect energy consumed in food produced for domestic use. From 2001 to 2015 the average energy use in the upstream FSC was 5800 ± 150 PJ (about 5.6% of total energy use), while FLW were estimated as 19.5 Mt, generating a waste of 144 PJ of nutritional energy and 145 PJ of embodied energy. The cost of this wasted energy reached almost 1.7 billion constant 2015 $. Animal products represent only 24% of the FLW mass but generate 57% of the embodied energy waste. Appropriate food waste reduction policies are briefly discussed. These policies could achieve a twofold energy saving that could contribute to reduce the United States fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gases emissions.
JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION
Pagani M.; De Menna F.; Johnson T.G.; Vittuari M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/711929
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