“80% of the world’s hungry are directly involved in food production”
This colorful depiction of our current state and crises brings central attention to the two sides of food waste: beginning of supply chain spoilage due to challenges with storage, refrigeration and transport in developing countries and the high level of end use waste in industrialized nations. The juxtaposition of these issues framed by the opening statistic is fascinating when considering how low agricultural exposure there is typiclally with the demographic involved in the latter wastefulness. Perhaps this points to parts of the system that could lead to leverage points, and while we mull over behavior change, for now what do we do with our present waste stream to reduce its amount and capture value from inevitable food waste?
First, make the system visible – Finland has recently done so with the Foodspill I project documenting its progressive low level of waste in distribution:
Compare for example to Canada:
With a much higher percentage of household generated waste, policy efforts to effect change in this sector are beginning to bring momentum through small but substantial changes such as in Vancouver BC. Messaging to participants is as key as the policy enactment is itself and creative ways to frame the conversation continue to be needed.
“There’s no question that waste is an opportunity. Waste has incredible energy potential, and if that potential can be harnessed in a way that doesn’t unleash pollution, it can be transformative on a national scale.’’ ~ Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator
Exciting state specific policy is being formed in the U.S. to address commercial food waste, with breaking news out of Massachusetts. The impact this could equal is illustrated by numbers captured in 24 hour waste audit at one Illinois Whole Foods.
Beyond compostable matter, associated packaging is an interesting component of food waste these efforts will have to address. What if the possibility of less to no packaging waste existed? Or does it? Enter the upcoming Austin, Texas grocery: