The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and their partners just launched a new campaign to help the world get out of its immense food waste predicament.
“In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
“Aside from the cost implications, all the land, water, fertilizers and labour needed to grow that food is wasted – not to mention the generation of greenhouse gas emissions produced by food decomposing on landfill and the transport of food that is ultimately thrown away,” he added. “To bring about the vision of a truly sustainable world, we need a transformation in the way we produce and consume our natural resources.”
“Together, we can reverse this unacceptable trend and improve lives. In industrialized regions, almost half of the total food squandered, around 300 million tonnes annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption,” said José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General. “This is more than the total net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa, and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 870 million people hungry in the world.”
The campaign targets the entire food chain, focusing on both food loss — which occurs mostly in harvesting, processing, and distribution — and food waste, which typically occurs at the retailer and consumer end of the chain.
It seeks to create and evolve a global vision for reducing this waste and create an information-sharing portal to consolidate information from other campaigns, like The SAVE FOOD Initiative, Feeding the 5000, WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), the Zero Hunger Challenge, and many other diverse programs that share the goal of a world with less food waste.
To activate us to make a difference, Think, Eat, Save shares their top ten tips for reducing our own foodprints:
- Shop smart. Plan ahead, make a grocery list, and stick to it.
- Eat “funny fruit.” A little blemish here or there never hurt anyone.
- Understand expiration dates. “Sell by” doesn’t mean “Use by.”
- Zero down your frig. Store food properly, and eat what’s there.
- Use your freezer. Freeze extra food, and shop from your freezer weekly.
- Request smaller portions. Sometimes there is a secret menu – you just have to ask.
- Compost. Not only is this good for the planet, it’s good for your plants.
- Apply the FIFO rule. ”First In First Out” is just common sense, right?
- Love leftovers. Use them to create new dishes — or just to take a night off from cooking.
- Donate. Take your extras to food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens.
To learn more, get your food-wastin’ butt to the Think, Eat, Save web site. Start THINKing about the impact your food waste has. EAT consciously, using your brain, heart, gut, and hands with the intent of reducing waste. And SAVE — hungry people, the planet, your body’s health, and your hard-earned money.
It’s inspiring to see food waste increasingly highlighted in the news and supported by campaigns like this. Are you actively trying to reduce your own foodprint? Where do you find the most helpful resources? What hints can you offer our readers? We’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.
Image Credit: www.thinkeatsave.org