How to Use Food Waste for Fertilizer

A $4.6 billion plant will make ammonia ‘the fuel of the future’ – but with a twist By Dan Whitcomb PublishedWednesday, July 30, 2014 If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may…

How to Use Food Waste for Fertilizer

A $4.6 billion plant will make ammonia ‘the fuel of the future’ – but with a twist

By

Dan Whitcomb

PublishedWednesday, July 30, 2014

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may also know that I’m a huge fan of using food waste for fertilizer. It makes food production cheaper and healthier.

Now, more than three years after my original post from last fall, I can report to you that my love for food waste is also a love for new uses for our broken food. At least that’s the case in the Midwest.

The Midwest is a region we tend to visit more than anywhere in the US — especially in the fall when farmers market baskets are filled with fresh fall fruits and vegetables. But even in the Midwest, we’ve discovered new ways to use food waste for a much different purpose: fertilizer.

In fact, I had the opportunity to visit an innovative new fertilizer company in Illinois — Prairie Farmland, a new company started by people who are all members of the local food movement.

The idea of using food waste to make fertilizer is simple: the stuff that goes to waste is the most nutrient-dense part of the food crop and the best way to get that nutrients back into your soil.

“Prairie Farmland is dedicated to ensuring that our members have an abundant and successful year. We accomplish this by having a focus on ‘farm to table’ and making our members lives more fulfilling. Our farms are well cared for, and we are committed to community service. The focus is on bringing products and customers together into a cooperative where we can all share in farm success.”

Prairie Farmland’s newest product is the ammonia solution. The solution is made from food waste left over from manufacturing the fertilizer. Instead of storing the food waste for free, Prairie Farmland recycles the waste and sells the food scraps as fertilizer. Prairie Farmland’s fertilizer products are made from 70 percent food waste.

“By recycling the leftover nitrogen from our manufacturing

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