This month on our blog, we’re going to focus on food waste. Why? Because there are nearly one billion malnourished people in the world. And, the 40 million tons of food wasted by US households, retailers and food services each year would be enough to satisfy the hunger of every one of them. EVERY ONE OF THEM!
Why are we wasting so much food when so many are hungry? At AmpleHarvest.org, we don’t have answers to all of the reasons why, but we do have a solution. Just share it. We make it easy. You can find a pantry near you on our website that is ready to accept fresh food donations (in addition to the usual non-perishables). For farmers, and home or community gardeners, this means that when you have more food than you can eat, you can share it with those in need.
But, food waste is not only a hunger issue it’s an environmental issue. When food is thrown away, it ends up in landfills where it generates harmful methane emissions. June 5th has been declared World Environment Day by the United Nations Environment Assembly, and while the they offer all kinds of ideas for taking action to help the environment, reducing global food waste is one of the most important parts of that. (We’re also loving the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge which we’ll talk about in a later blog post).
Throughout the year, the USDA is encouraging all Americans to reduce food waste at home, school and work. Their 2014 Food Waste Challenge offers tools and resources for tackling food waste in all areas of our lives. They have also teamed up with the EPA which offers some helpful tools for tracking and reducing food waste at businesses and restaurants–because wasted food is also wasted money and resources! (Check out this incredible video that shows the staggering costs of global food waste).
One of our favorite food waste challenges is Tristram Stuart’s Feeding the 5000 which, among other things, involves creating thousands of delicious meals from food that would have otherwise been thrown away. Learn more about this awesome work next week when Tristram shares a guest blog post here at AmpleHarvest.org/blog.
The rest of the month we’ll be posting about some fun ways to reduce food waste by using your smartphones and your own backyard. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for taking on this global problem, so post your comments and let’s make a difference in June!