Last week I had the joy of engaging in Feeding the 5000-DC, a massive event where food which otherwise could have been thrown off was consumed and fed to taxpayers of Washington, D.C. Just like a similar event in New York City per week before (which attained 10,000 dishes ), tens of thousands of people showed up. And tens of thousands of tasty foods were servedmade out of misshapen veggies, unsold rice, stalks, and other absolutely edible but normally wasted food pieces.
Occasions like Feeding the 5000 convince me we are on the up swing of a developing movement. It is a motion which understands that something dramatic has to be achieved to halt the travesty of reducing your food footprint and squander for the interest of people and Earth.
Champions of a Cause
Feeding the 5000 is the brainchild of Tristram Stuart, founder of the NGO Feedback. Stuart is among Champions 12.3, a exceptional coalition of leaders in government, the private sector and civic society specializing in inspiring ambition, mobilizing actions and accelerating progress toward achieving Target 12.3 of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This goal seeks to halve food waste in the consumer and retail levels by 2030, while also decreasing food reduction along manufacturing and distribution chains.
From left to right: Andrew Steer (WRI), Tristram Stuart (Feedback), and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Photo by Craig Hanson/WRI
A number of fellow Champions also played roles in the Washington and New York occasions. Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), donned a chef’s apron and exhibited recipes for gazpacho and a sausage, together with unsold berries. WRI’s Andrew Steer educated the viewer of the importance of the challenge (see the listing of details below). And associations led by additional Champions helped encourage the events, such as Judith Rodin of The Rockefeller Foundation, Gina McCarthy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Achim Steiner of both UNEP and Rhea Suh of NRDC.
From Problem to Solutions
By now you Might Have already read a few of those large amounts about food reduction and waste:
An estimated one third of food is wasted or lost in the farm to fork each year worldwide;
This amounts to approximately $940 billion each year in economic losses;
Lost and wasted food absorbs one-quarter of all of the water used by agriculture;
It takes property area the size of China to increase; and
It contributes 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If food reduction and waste were a nation, it would function as third-largest emitter, behind China and the United States.
What we need are now alternatives. Listed below are 3 starter ideas I believe would help accelerate activity on reducing food reduction and waste:
1) Set targets.
The very first step is for states, cities and businesses to establish food reduction and waste reduction goals consistent with SDG Target 12.3. Targets set vision, and dream inspires actions. Nations like the United States are already top in this respect, together with the USDA and US EPA placing the country’s first-ever food waste target –a 50 percent reduction by 2030. The leaders of both of these agencies are actually Champions of SDG Target 12.3.
Industry associations are also are putting goals. The Consumer Goods Forum–representing 400 retailers, producers and service suppliers across 70 nations –has resolved to decrease food waste from penis surgeries by 50% by 2025.
Could not it be good if all important U.S. cities put their own reduction goals?
2 ) Measure to handle.
Secondly, the old adage that”what gets measured gets managed” ought to be implemented to food reduction and waste.
Many nations, cities and businesses now don’t measure how much or where food has been wasted or lost. Moreover, there’s a lack of consensus about the definition of meals reduction and waste, in addition to challenges in the way to quantify it.
Measuring food reduction and waste, however, has become simpler. Only 3 weeks from today, WRI Together with UNEP, the FAO, WBCSD, the Consumer Goods Forum, EU FUSIONS and WRAP will start the Food Loss and Waste Protocol. The Protocol provides globally consistent definitions, credible procedures for measuring food reduction and waste, and clear approaches for reporting outcomes.
3) Take action.
Ultimately, most of us must do it. In nations the United States, this means things such as:
Making it much easier for secure, unsold food to get on the plates of those needing;
Standardizing food date tagging practices so people do not throw off safe, edible meals;
Reducing portion sizes; and
Encouraging retailers to provide, and customers to consume food also frequently contemplated”imperfect” (think bumpy berries or misshapen strawberries). Ugly food is amazing –and healthy –to consume!