Did you know this week is Food Waste Prevention Week. I have a few thoughts I would like to share with my readership today.
A relevant update on food waste: In the United States (source: Feeding America) it is estimated 119 billion pounds of food is wasted which equates to 130 billion meals and more than $408 billion. Food goes to waste spanning numerous lifecycle stages during its journey from farm to plate (or landfill) – every stage of food production and distribution to our homes. Greenly, an organization providing climate change technology solutions projects over 30% of food globally is lost or wasted each year. In addition to stressing the social impact of food waste, given the number of hungry people in the world, they emphasize the environmental impact of food waste which is huge source of GHG (greenhouse gas emissions). A recent Nature Food study revealed 9.3 gigatons (sounds like a huge number!) of carbon dioxide is associated with food loss and waste which they estimate is half the total carbon released by the global food system annually. Note: Their current study’s estimate is double the amount of their previous research findings.
The Food Waste Prevention Week movement began in 2021. It now has grown to 500 plus organizations (a.k.a. partners) across the food, business, government, and education sectors collaborating to educate and encourage cultural change to reduce food waste to address food insecurity, and support a healthier environment. Their portal provides informative webinars for viewers about food waste, as well as educational content. I highly recommend taking time out to visit their site.
Ubuntu the title of this post is a word I learned recently when I watched a Netflix sports documentary about a championship basketball coach. Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning “humanity to others” the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity; we all belong to a greater whole and when we are weaken, others are also weaken. My point being, we are all impacted by the toxicity of the planet – coronaviruses, the climate crisis, pollution, consumer waste, etc., etc., etc. The Food Waste Prevention Week movement is a noteworthy starting point, but it will take more than one awareness week and 500 plus partners to address food waste or any other planetary issue. It will take strong leadership and 24/7/365 Ubuntu.
Fine piece. I am especially distressed when parents over order at restaurants for small children, instead of sharing, and leave enormous amounts of uneaten food on departure. This heightens the pain of seeing homeless hungry individuals on our streets.