Trashing Food Waste: What’s Your Perspective?
By Lily Michelson

Did last week’s blog post challenge your perspective on food waste? If you still #hungerto learn more, today’s PERSPECTIVES essays will highlight some of the ways current activists and organizations are reducing both food loss and food waste to create a healthier, more sustainable food system. From food packaging to food banking, and individual action to mobile action, our featured essays showcase the complexities of food losses and the diverse actions that can help solve the problem.

But first, let’s clarify one crucial distinction: what do we mean when we talk about food loss versus food waste? When we use the term food loss we are referring to a decrease in edible mass that occurs throughout a given part of the supply chain. Food loss can occur at the production, post-harvest, and processing levels. Conversely, food waste occurs at the very end of the supply chain and is based on the actions of a consumer or retailer. Food waste refers to the leftover food scraps you discard in the kitchen garbage, or the large supermarket dumpster that contains all of the food that customers didn’t buy.


To kick off the series, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides some jarring facts about food loss and food waste here. The ONE campaign, an advocacy organization that fights global poverty, substantiates these statistics with a submission on post-harvest losses in the supply chain. If you’re curious about your role as a consumer in improving the supply chain, make sure to read the article here. Finally, all readers should consult The Global FoodBanking Network’s essay to learn more about the integral position food banks occupy in reducing overall food losses.

To complement our essays with a visual aide, check out the video below and learn about some steps you can take to reduce your food footprint.

#Hungerto inspire action in others?

The Think.Eat.Save, a project of the Save Food Initiative, provides a great resources for spreading food waste awareness. Along with a handy ten-step guide  that encourages individual action, Think.Eat.Save offers a multi-lingual campaign pack to help increase awareness via social media and grassroots activism.

In the spirit of #WFD2013, we encourage all readers to register an event and share a zero-waste meal among friends and family.

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