FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ruben Morawicki, an associate professor of food science in the U of A’s Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and with the System Division of Agriculture, recently presented speeches on food sustainability and food waste in Japan.
Morawicki was participating in the International Food Ingredients & Additives Exhibition and Conference/Health Food Exposition Conference and he was the keynote speaker at the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Japan Chapter of the Institute of Food Technologists.
Morawicki’s presentations were “Efforts of Food Sustainability in the United States” and “Food Waste in America.”
In his first presentation, Morawicki talked about how the primary issue in food production sustainability a decade ago was efficiency improvement, especially in processing. Now, the primary focus is renewable energy.
“Since the price of wind and solar technologies is coming down significantly year after year, buying or producing your own renewable energy is becoming more and more feasible,” Morawicki said. “Using renewable energy is one of the best ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting GHG emissions is very important because most big players in the food industry are on board with the 2015 Paris Climate agreement.”
His second presentation revealed that an estimated 30 to 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. goes to waste, with half of that coming from the residential sector.
“Food waste uses valuable resources to produce the food, including water, energy and fertilizers with the emission of greenhouse gases,” Morawicki said. “More resources are needed to dispose of ‘food waste,’ including landfill space, fuel and more emission of greenhouse gases.”
The event drew food scientists and food technologists from the food industry and the academy. Morawicki was recommended to deliver the keynote address by the Institute of Food Technologists in Chicago.
Morawicki was a senior research scientist at Tyson Foods Inc. before joining the faculty in Bumpers College’s Department of Food Science in 2006.
“We live in a world with limited resources and a changing climate,” Morawicki said. “As the world population continues to increase and natural resources decline, we need to make a better use of these resources and minimize our environmental impact.”
About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences