According to the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, upwards of 60 million tons of food waste is created each year, with 40 million tons going to a landfill.

The restaurants of the MojoFuco Group are working to reduce food waste with new initiatives in 2017. On Sundays, beginning on February 19, Balzac will offer complimentary plates with a drink purchase. The unique dishes will be created from kitchen scraps and leftovers from the week, and be offered from 10:00 p.m. until close or the prepared food is gone.

“We want to do our part to bring awareness to the issue of food waste along with nurturing and nourishing our fellow industry family” said Balzac’s Head Chef Ronnie Oldham. “Too many kitchens waste too many useable and delicious ingredients. This is a way for us to utilize and prepare these ingredients, which will change depending on what is left over from the week. It’s an exciting challenge for our kitchen.”

Balzac celebrated its tenth year as one of Milwaukee’s best wine bars, located at 1716 North Arlington Place. It was created from the philosophy that great wine, great food, an atmosphere should be available to everyone.

According to the USDA, losses in food service operations such as restaurants, cafeterias, fast food, and caterers, contributed to the loss of 86 billion pounds of food in 2008, or 19% of the total U.S. retail-level food supply.

Approximately 4% to 10% of food purchased by restaurants becomes kitchen loss, both edible and inedible, before reaching the consumer. Another significant portion is served but never eaten. Plate waste is a significant contributor to losses in food service, resulting primarily from large portions and undesired accompaniments. On average, diners leave 17% of meals uneaten and 55% of these potential leftovers are not taken home.

  • Approximately 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes to waste.
  • Roughly one third of the food produced in the world every year, approximately 1.3 billion tons, gets lost or wasted.
  • Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons).
  • Over 97% of food waste generated ends up in the landfill.
  • 33 million tons of food makes its way to landfills each year.
  • Every ton of food wasted results in 3.8 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Consumer and foodservice food waste is the largest source of food loss in the marketing chain.
  • Food waste that goes to the landfill breaks down anaerobically and produces methane, which is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
  • In 2008, the EPA estimated that food waste cost roughly $1.3 billion to dispose of in landfills.
  • In 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food-insecure households.
  • A typical food product is handled an average of 33 times before it is ever touched by a consumer in the supermarket.
  • Less than 3% of food waste was recovered or recycled as composted in 2010.
  • Food loss costs a family of four at least $589.76 annually.
  • Food waste has increased from about 30% of the available food supply in 1974 to almost 40% in recent years.
  • A single restaurant in the U.S. can produce approximately 25,000 to 75,000 pounds of food waste in a year.
  • Food waste comprises about half of a restaurant’s waste stream.