In this age of technological superiority inequality of wealth and resources is really just a distribution problem. Some geographic locations have too much, others not enough.
While we debate farming techniques, nutrition guidelines, and charitable strategies for feeding the starving, these problems are often geographically removed from us and therefor don’t seem so pressing. Yet there is one giant problem that that touches every single person in first world nations in real life every single day: food waste.
No one in the world is anything less than horrified at food waste. It evokes guilt, shame and outrage across the board. On this we can all agree, because food waste touches us all.
In a thought-provoking article from the slightly-sensational UK newspaper, The Independent claims that half of the world’s food is thrown away daily. Perhaps more interesting than the article itself are the readers’ comments. Inadvertent crowd-sourced journalism at its best, impassioned readers fill the comment section with their own personal testimony on food waste.
In this TED talk, Author and activist Tristam Stuart estimates that there are nearly one billion malnourished people in the world, and that the approximately 40 million tonnes of food wasted by US households, retailers and food services each year would be enough to satisfy the hunger of every one of them.
If you learn nothing from this video, please note at 11:40 how to store lettuce.
Before we go vilifying all supermarkets, please note that all 280 branches of UK supermarket chain Waitrose are now sending unavoidable waste to anaerobic digestion plants or composting facilities. Such treatment curbs greenhouse gas emissions and produces energy and fertilizer. Perhaps not feeding the hungry, but it is a giant and important step in wasting less.
And a new London-based corporate food waste recycling company is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 579 tons and diverted 1,000 tons of food waste from landfills with their efforts.
Does this issue pique your interest? Think of Meaningful Mag the next time you’re out to eat and the basket of bread goes untouched and thrown away and your server sets before you a plate of food big enough to feed two (or three) people. We’re working toward grassroots solutions that you can implement daily to spark incremental change.