The Food Waste Crisis: Implications for Branford
October Lecture Series Will Discuss Issues, Share Ideas and Options
Branford-based Living Wisely and Well Steering Committee is sponsoring a series of three upcoming talks on the food waste crisis in Connecticut and its implications in Branford. The public is invited to learn more during evening programs set for Wednesday, Oct. 11; Wednesday, Oct. 18; and Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church on the Branford Green.
“Food waste is relevant to every household in Branford,” said Steering Committee member Malaine Trecoske. “Considering that Branford residents pay taxes to send our food waste to a plant in Preston [CT], which burns our municipal solid waste, and also considering the environmental impacts of wasted food, reducing food waste makes sense.”
The series opens on Oct. 11 with an overview of food waste in the state. Sherill Baldwin of the Sustainable Materials Management Department of CT Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection will speak on “The Food Waste Crisis in Connecticut.”
The series continues on Oct. 18 with a dual-speaker event covering two topics. Trecoske, a UConn master gardener and a founding member of Branford Community Gardens, will cover options in Branford for how to deal with food waste with her talk, “What to do with Your Banana Peels in Branford.”
Trecoske’s talk will include the financial and environmental incentives for reducing food waste, along with how to reduce food waste in the home through composting options, learning about foodstuffs to purchase that help avoid food waste, and more.
Also on Oct. 18, Erica O’Brien, Branford High School (BHS) culinary arts teacher, will discuss her topic, “Sustainable Food Practices in Sweden — and at BHS.” In Sweden, food waste is at about 1% nationally, compared to U.S. levels of roughly 30 to 40%, according to O’Brien, who recently visited Sweden on a grant to study the country’s food waste practices.
The series concludes Oct. 25 with “Working Together to Reduce Food Waste — A Panel Discussion by Forward Thinkers.”
“We will have a panel of people who are involved with food waste management in their organizations or businesses,” said Trecoske.
The panel will include Sharon Huttner, Turtle Bay Condominiums Sustainability Chair, who is implementing a food waste management program at Turtle Bay; Judy Barron, Executive Director of Community Dining Room, where ideas for sustainability practices are incorporated; Maria DeSarbo, vice president of Carbonella and DeSarbo, a company which is implementing successful sustainability programs; and Carolyn Russell, Senior Director of Food Strategy and Procurement at CT Foodshare. The panel will be moderated by Tyler Bowne, the Town of Branford’s Sustainability and Compliance Manager.
For those who are interested but cannot attend the October lecture series in person, each event will also be livestreamed at youtube.com/@trinitychurch1872/streams.
“Our committee hopes Branford residents find ‘food for thought’ in these talks on food waste reduction,” said Trecoske.