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Decomposing Food Waste Essay


Through the analysis of Gupta and Gangopadhyay, it was noted that food waste was one of the leading preventable contributors towards the sheer amount of trash that winds up in many of the today’s landfills (Gupta and Gangopadhyay, 14). It is defined as preventable since through its very nature as a biodegradable substance; it could be put towards other uses aside from merely being a by-product of human consumption.

Do note though that studies such as those by Kelleher explain that the nitrogen released by food waste is actually a wasted resource that could be put to better aside from merely letting it escape into the atmosphere or letting it languish in a garbage dump (Kelleher, 36). Kelleher explains that nitrogen is an important component in soil health as well as can be utilized as a method of energy production.

Mirabella and Sala describe modern-day landfills as a wasted asset since the amount of food waste that goes into them could be utilized to power homes or develop nutrient-rich soil that could aid in creating vegetable gardens for families or in providing cheap fertilizer for farmers (Mirabella and Sala, 28). It is based on this that this paper will delve issue of nitrogen being released from food waste and how it can be put to better use.

Environmental Benefits

The recycling of food waste has environmental benefits related to the decrease in the amount of garbage in local landfills, protection of underground aquifers as well as ensuring the continued health of the soil (Emerson, 25). The inherent problem with food waste is that it contributes significantly to the amount of pollution found in many of today’s landfills.

Combined with the fact that the tainted liquids from food waste have a very real possibility of getting into local aquifers through the soil, it can be seen that it is necessary to establish some method of addressing such an issue. This can be done through home-based methods of recycling and proper consumption of biological food products. Emerson explains that more than 60% of modern-day processed food goes to waste since it is not properly consumed by grocery shoppers (Emerson, 25).

These products often end up in the landfill after they have passed their expiration date. It is based on this that in order to reduce the amount of food waste in today’s landfills, today’s shoppers should only buy the products that they can consume within the immediate future rather than allow such items to expire within their cupboards.

Soil Benefits

Since food waste is easily biodegradable, it acts as an effective means of producing a cheap and sustainable fertilizer for households and farms. First and foremost, what must be understood is that the process of decomposition helps to break down food waste into its basic properties, which enables it to be easily absorbed into the soil.

Decomposition not only results in the release of nitrogen, which is a necessary component for creating healthy plants but also helps to create a “mush” like substance that is rich in minerals, vitamins, and healthy bacteria that aids in creating a fertile soil mixture (Comber and Thieme, 1197). Taking these factors into consideration, some of the potential practices that could be implemented to put food waste to good use would be to create compost piles.

A compost pile can be described as a collection of different items that are in the process of decomposition. Through such a process, natural fertilizer has created that aids in the growth of a variety of plant species. As such, in order to decrease the reliance of households and farms alike on artificial fertilizers, it is recommended that a shift towards the use of compost piles is to be implemented.

Not only would this help to reduce the amount of food waste in garbage dumps, but it would also help farmers to save money on the amount of fertilizer and water that they use on their crops.

Health Benefits

Some of the benefits that come with recycling food waste come in the form of preventing bad doors from landfills, enabling the creation of natural recycling and promoting the proliferation of beneficial soil-based organisms. One of the problems with allowing the current wasteful practices involving food waste to continue is that it promotes the spread of foul-smelling odors from landfills.

Not only that, farmers often utilize a variety of chemicals in the nutrient mixes that they give to their craps that actually kill beneficial soil-based organisms (Comber and Thieme, 1197). It is based on this that by reducing the amount of food waste the enters into our local ecosystem, we can help to reduce the increase in the size of today’s landfills as well as create a better environment that is more beneficial for soil-based organisms, such as worms, that promote good soil health.


Overall, this paper has shown that food waste is one of the leading preventable contributors towards the sheer amount of trash that winds up in many of today’s landfills. As such, since it is preventable, we should act in limiting its proliferation through recycling and more natural methods of crop fertilization.

Works Cited

Comber, Rob, and Anja Thieme. “Designing Beyond Habit: Opening Space For Improved Recycling And Food Waste Behaviors Through Processes Of Persuasion, Social Influence And Aversive Affect.” Personal & Ubiquitous Computing 17.6 (2013): 1197-1210. Print

Emerson, Dan. “Federal Agencies Get With The Food Recycling Program.” Biocycle 54.6 (2013): 24-25. Print

Gupta, Rahul, and Sumita Gupta Gangopadhyay. “Urban Food Security Through Urban Agriculture And Waste Recycling: Some Lessons For India.” Vikalpa: The Journal For Decision Makers 38.3 (2013): 13-22. Print

Kelleher, Maria. “What Is Waste Food?.” Biocycle 54.8 (2013): 36. Print

Mirabella, Nadia and Serenella Sala. “Current Options For The Valorization Of Food Manufacturing Waste: A Review.” Journal Of Cleaner Production 65.(2014): 28-41. Print

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"Decomposing Food Waste." IvyPanda, 31 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/decomposing-food-waste/.

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IvyPanda. "Decomposing Food Waste." March 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/decomposing-food-waste/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Decomposing Food Waste." March 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/decomposing-food-waste/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Decomposing Food Waste'. 31 March.

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