FOOD WASTE REDUCTION INITIATIVE
World Food Day is October 16th. Food is a vital part of our daily lives, and worldwide, we are wasting more than 30% of it, according to a report from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. OPUSD’s Environmental Education and Awareness Committee believes the topic of food waste is important to explore with students, and the discussion should continue outside the classroom with friends and family.
To raise awareness of this issue and hopefully to reduce the amount of our personal food waste, the EEAC invites you and your family to watch this informative short clip about food waste and then take this quiz to find out what kind of food waster you are!
In high-income countries such as America, a combination of consumer behavior and a lack of communication in the supply chain triggers high levels of food waste. Something is not right with our food system when close to 50 million people live in food insecure homes in the U.S., while 40% of the American food supply ends up in a landfill.
Food waste also has a huge negative impact on our climate, our scarce water supply, agricultural land and biodiversity. Here are some startling facts:
- More than 6 billion pounds of fresh produce go un-harvested or unsold each year. All the energy and cost put into that land is wasted.
- Each year, food that is produced but not eaten is responsible for adding 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the planet’s atmosphere, which is equivalent to twice as much as ALL of the world’s air traffic.
- Each year, food that is produced but not eaten guzzles up a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of the Mississippi River.
- All of the world's nearly one billion hungry people could be lifted out of malnourishment on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK and Europe.
What you can do to help:
- Plan grocery shopping efficiently and avoid over-purchasing
- Freeze surplus items
- Do not over-react to “best-before dates”
- Pack lunches you know your children will eat in the right portion sizes
- Put pressure on retailers to sell imperfect (yet entirely edible) fruits and vegetables
- Take this Food Waste Challenge to learn more!
Events are planned to educate about this issue in all schools as follows:
· In classroom lesson on the topic, including samplings of “imperfect” produce on Tuesday
· Sampling of soup made from “imperfect” produce on Thursday
· School announcements on the topic
· New library books on the topic
· This topic will be discussed throughout the year by our Garden Specialist
· Morning announcements and videos on the topic
· Poster contest about the topic addressing “the issue and solutions” and results displayed around campus
· Recycling Club will present blind taste-testing of “imperfect” produce on Thursday
· Using their lunch accounts on Friday, students will have the opportunity to donate to Food Forward, a local non-profit that rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste and connects this abundance with people in need
- On Monday, 10/24, the “Our Future” student club will show videos on the topic in G9 during lunch
- On Monday 10/24, the “Our Future” student club will host a guest speaker from Food Forward, a non-profit that rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste and connects this abundance with people in need during period 7 in G9
I Value FoodSustainable America
Food Forward – Gleaning Non-Profit
Food Wastage Footprint (UNEP)
Why Does Almost Half of America’s Food Go to Waste
Tossed Out: Food Waste in America
Waste: The Environmental Cost of Food Waste (UNEP)
Expired? Food Waste in America
Feeding the 5000: NYCTED TALKS
The Global Food Waste Scandal
Let’s Really Feed the World/The Real Junk Food Project
Food Waste Tips
Waste Free Lunches
8 Tips for Reducing Food Waste
5 Easy Tricks to Reduce Food Waste
16 Foods That’ll Regrow From Kitchen Scraps
Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your FoodprintResearch and Articles
FAO Summary Report: Food wastage footprint: Impacts on natural resources
UNEP News Centre: Food waste harms climate, water, land and biodiversity – new FAO report
NRDC Issue Paper
The Huffington Post: We Waste an Insane Amount of Food. Here’s What You Can Do About It.