Rethinking Food Waste

When you think about just how much food you eat during a given week, it's easy not to realize how much on our plates we don't eat...  According to The Real Junk Food Project, "It is estimated that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally each year; this amounts to nearly 40% of global production."  The following individuals and organizations, however, have started contemplating this issue and options to help reduce the impact of food waste.  Each of these is a pretty insightful, resourceful, and incredible project.  Check them out for inspiration and food waste mindfulness!

this box of fruits and veggies was given to us by generous friends when they had more than they could eat this summer

The Real Junk Food Project
This first one is a project and café in England.  According to the about page, they "intercept perfectly edible food that would otherwise not make it to plate and serve it as meals in the café or distribute it through our food boutique."  In addition to reducing waste and creating something positive from what would have been thrown away, they operate their café with a "Pay-as-you-feel (PAYF) policy."  Check out this YouTube video from March 2014 to see them in action and this article from last week on Skipchen, the Real Junk Food Project café.

A College Student & His Cafeteria
This short video clip is particularly inspirational for anyone who has ever felt like they've witnessed something they could help to change.  This student, noticing how much food goes to waste in his college cafeteria, he organized a group at his school to coordinate delivery of the school's leftovers to area churches, homeless shelters, and other community centers in need.  Since beginning in 2011, it's become a nationally-recognized non-profit, with opportunities to become involved in your area.

Food Cycle US
According the their "About Us" page, Food Cycle connects small, organic farms to public schools, in order to promote good health, awareness, and thought about healthy habits and the food we eat.  To get involved, you can donate or help support and volunteer via their website.

Food Bank Locator
This locator is organized by state to help you locate a local food bank.  You can donate foods yourself, donate money, or volunteer your time and assist with operations (including packing boxes or grocery/ food delivery).

Update: Even organizations like NASCAR are seeing how much food we waste and how to initiate a (big!) change.  Check out the Richmond International Raceway's program as part of NASCAR's Race to Green initiative.

With beautiful projects and organizations such as these, it's hard to imagine food waste across the globe has gotten so bad.  A great place to start is in your own home.  If you start to eliminate the waste there, you can start to see it in other settings. 

On this webpage, the EPA provides the following tips to help reduce food waste in your home:

Benefits of Reducing Wasted Food

Ways to Reduce Wasted Food

This post is not intended to make anyone feel bad about how they've organized their fridge/ shopping habits/ life; it is, however, intended to encourage everyone to rethink how to reduce food waste.  Every little bit helps.

Would you try "intercepted" food at a café like Skipchen? 

Have you ever helped reduce food waste in your home? 
What works well?

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