Food waste fertilizer could benefit crops

Professor Edwin Lewis, UC Davis.
Professor Edwin Lewis, UC Davis.

UC Davis soil ecologist Ed Lewis conducts field trials on new “green” fertilizer.

March 24, 2014
(from The Guardian)

Professor Edwin Lewis, who studies soil ecology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis, has been examining a new “green” fertilizer made from grocery store food waste, according to an article in The Guardian

Food waste typically winds up in a landfill, contributing to methane emissions and creating water quality concerns. Instead, a startup company uses an aerobic digestion process to break down the organic matter obtained from grocery stores into a liquid fertilizer. 

The company believes their fertilizer stimulates additional root growth and allows plants to better absorb nutrients.

Lewis is studying the fertilizer’s impact on crop yields, soil health, and water quality. Last year, he conducted field trials on various crops. While the results have not been peer reviewed, the fertilizer does appear to improve crop yield.

“We did about 40 trials,” he said. “In most of them there was some improvement.”

(Read the full article by independent journalist Erica Gies published in The Guardian, February 20, 2014.)

Media contact:
•    Edwin Lewis, Dept. of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis, 530-754-7659,