Food waste from supermarkets generally ends up in a landfill, helping no one. Here’s an innovative way to turn this organic food waste into liquid fertilizer.
This process takes a waste product and turns it into a useful product, liquid fertilizer. The full article talking about this sustainable process is below.
By Scott Jenkins |
Large supermarkets routinely waste 500 lb of food daily from past-due produce, deli and meat scraps and other sources. A new process developed by California Safe Soil (CSS; McClellan, Calif.; www.calsafesoil.com) converts the nutrient-rich waste food into a liquid fertilizer for farmers.
After a series of grinding steps, the waste food enters a ribbon-blender digester, where enzymes are added to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the organic waste into amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids. The mixture then undergoes mechanical emulsification and pasteurization processes. The liquid product, containing oil- and water-based nutrients, is stabilized with phosphoric acid, and can be used to fertilize root systems of farm crops. The solid portion of the organic waste is used in pig feed.
“The liquid fertilizer, known as Harvest-to-Harvest (H2H), adds organic matter to the root zone of crops and stimulates the growth of beneficial soil microbes, which generates additional root growth. Plants take up more water and fertilizer, and increase flowering and fruiting,” explains CSS founder Dan Morash. “It also reduces the need for nitrate fertilizers on farms, which reduces farm runoff and algae blooms in nearby bodies of water,” Morash says.
Food waste is collected from supermarkets in insulated totes and buggies and is processed locally, because the CSS process generates no waste streams or nuisance odors, Morash points out. Liquid fertilizer has advantages over solid compost, because it can be dripped into the root systems using existing irrigation systems, rather than staying on the soil surface, he adds.
Custom Biologicals manufactures a number of biological products for use in green and sustainable farming.