Food Waste

A large part of Zero-Waste greatly focuses solely on plastic, but did you know that in the U.S. alone 1.3 billion metric tons of perfectly edible food is tossed out a year[1]. Keep in mind, 800 million people face food insecurity and this unfathomable amount of waste puts a strain on us both economically and environmentally[2].

What is food waste?

First of all, what exactly is food waste? By the literal definition it is the waste of food that occurs during the different stages of growing, harvesting, processing, retailing, before finally making it to you and spoiling. This is a huge waste of resources, money, time and honestly is a slap in the face to starving individuals. Frankly, food waste is an outrage. It is easy to place the blame on the system, but 50% off food waste happens in our OWN kitchens[3].

Why it’s a problem:

It's pretty obvious why food waste is a problem...but just too really, really, REALLY get the point across here are some facts:

  1. With our natural resources being steadily depleted we are using 20% of the land to grow food, 4% of energy and 25% of our water (we only have 2.5% fresh drinking water- 1% is actually easily accessible)[4] and this is all wasted on tossed food.
  2. Wasted food costs MORE energy to dispose of because it then needs to be driven to get buried in a landfill, where it will break down and release into methane gas[5].
  3. 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide is released from food waste[6].
  4. Stores make up 2% of food waste[7].

So what can we do to fix this?

There are so many ways to solve this global issue and I will most definitely write another blog on tips for food saving, but in this blog, I want to introduce you all to OLIO. Note: I am not sponsored in any way from OLIO, but I love what they are doing and want my own community to benefit. So without further adieu, OLIO is an app you can download for free! It connects you with your neighbors and local participating business to share food (and other household items)! Whether you have too many leftovers, don’t like an item you bought, or changing your diet -no matter the reason, rather than throwing it in the bin- give it to someone who wants it. It is super simple to use, take a photo of the item, add a description, where and when this item is available for pick up then bam, done. Let’s share things that we have an abundance of, not waste them. For more information, visit their website or download the app. Comment below and let us know if you join, and as always good luck!

 

 

 

[1] https://nerc.org/news-and-updates/blog/nerc-blog/2017/09/26/how-the-world-can-cut-food-loss-and-waste-in-half?gclid=CjwKCAjw2MTbBRASEiwAdYIpsXpzhODTJRtyX34Bp1my2ButwPF6SMipEtHzNtv1CM_6pqVTBVKAVxoCdC0QAvD_BwE

[2] https://olioex.com/food-waste/the-problem-of-food-waste/

[3] https://sustainableamerica.org/blog/what-is-food-waste-and-why-does-it-matterwhat-is-food-waste-and-what-can-we-do-about-it/  

[4] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/ [5] https://www.triplepundit.com/2014/10/food-waste-bigger-problem-think/

[6] https://foodtank.com/news/2015/06/world-environment-day-10-facts-about-food-waste-from-bcfn/

[7] http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/UK%20Estimates%20May%2016%20%28FINAL%20V2%29.pdf

 

 


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