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Watch: How Ugly Vegetables Get Turned Into Renewable Energy

An energy company transforms food waste into methane

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America's food waste problem can't be overstated: More than one-third of all food intended for human consumption in the U.S. is thrown out each year, and only a small fraction of that waste gets recycled.

A Colorado energy company is striving to make a dent in that by turning food destined for the trash into energy: Unwanted produce and recalled food is collected from restaurants and grocery stores and transported to a bio digester and composting site, where it's then transformed into renewable methane gas (AKA the stuff that powers your water heater and your kitchen stove).

Meanwhile, others have found ways combat food waste by putting surplus ingredients on restaurant menus or transforming them into other edible products, such as a bakery that uses spent grain leftover from breweries and a company that turns blemished fruit into juice.

The Perennial Plate — Waste Not [Vimeo]

U.S. Lawmakers Attempt to Tackle Food Waste [E]

Meet the Entrepreneurs Making Food Waste Edible (and Profitable) [E]