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Converting Supermarket Waste To Animal Feed, A Sicilian Startup

On the Italian island of Sicily, young entrepreneurs have launched a project aimed at reducing waste of fresh produce by finding alternative four-legged consumers.

Going sour
Going sour

MESSINA — Beyond the piles of food we've bought that wind up getting wasted are the mountains of waste from those who do the selling. By some estimates, the average citizen throws away half a kilogram of purchased food, and major supermarket chains regularly toss 60 to 70 % of their fruit and vegetables and 25 to 30 % of their packaged goods, once the expiration dates have come and gone.

In the Sicilian city of Messina, Giuseppe Galatà, an animal lover and construction engineer, has built on a new way for supermarkets to reduce waste: turn past-their-prime fruits and vegetables into animal feed. La Repubblicareports on Galatà's project, called Saved, which has landed the support of the University of Messina, and substantial funding from Italy's Ministry of Education, Universities and Research as a Smart City project.

Instead of dumping excess fruits and vegetables, the Save project encourages supermarkets to collect them and send them off to be treated and dehydrated, following procedures established after certified tests carried out by the Sicilian university. The resulting feed is suitable both for cows that have just given birth, and their calves.

The silage technique used acidifies vegetable mass and yields a fruit and vegetable mix containing 18% protein, a much higher share than that found in traditional animal feeds and one more conducive to healthy animal growth, La Repubblicareports.

Though the start-up is based in Sicily, Galatà, a native of northern Italy, has teamed up with the University of Ferrara and the University of Parma further north for boxing and packaging solutions.

So far, all the excess food turned to feed has been collected thanks to an agreement with the Despar supermarket chain in Sicily, but Save's supporters hope the project will expand. Galatà notes that in wasting less food, commercial vendors will save tax costs less trash to be collected, and so will pay lower taxes. Farmers, meanwhile, will be able to buy locally produced animal feed whenever they like, and communities will be able to improve their overall waste management and recycling performances.

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What To Do With The Complainers In Your Life — Advice From A South American Shrink

Argentines love to complain. But when you listen to others who complain, there are options: must we be a sponge to this daily toxicity or should we, politely, block out this act of emotional vandalism?

Photo of two men talking while sitting at a table at a bar un Buenos Aires, with a poster of Maradona on the wall behind them.

Talking in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Martín Reynoso*

BUENOS AIRESArgentina: the land of complainers. Whether sitting in a taxi, entering a shop or attending a family dinner, you won't escape the litany of whingeing over what's wrong with the country, what's not working and above all, what we need!

We're in an uneasy period of political change and economic adjustments, and our anxious hopes for new and better leaders are a perfect context for this venting, purging exercise.

Certain people have a strangely stable, continuous pattern of complaining: like a lifestyle choice. Others do it in particular situations or contexts. But what if we are at the receiving end? I am surprised at how complaints, even as they begin to be uttered and before they are fully formulated, can disarm and turn us into weak-willed accomplices. Do we have an intrinsic need to empathize, or do we agree because we too are dissatisfied with life?

Certainly, agreeing with a moaner may strengthen our social or human bonds, especially if we happen to share ideas or political views. We feel part of something bigger. Often it must seem easier to confront reality, which can be daunting, with this type of "class action" than face it alone.

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