Food Waste

Trashtalk’s participation at two recent events highlighted the fact that one of the biggest sources for food scraps is food waste.

First, Trashtalk was invited to present at the October 9, 2013 Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Breakfast (see presentation here).

After our presentation, one comment/question was about Trashtalk’s use of a half-eaten apple as an image for food scraps recycling. “Why is Trashtalk using an image of wasted food as a symbol for food scraps recycling? Trashtalk doesn’t want to promote throwing away a perfectly good apple does it?!”

appletrashplant

A good question that got us thinking about the underlying issue of the causes of food waste.

Second, at the recent Metro Vancouver Zero Waste conference, two key presentations again highlighted the problem of food waste as the principal source for food scraps. Dr. Richard Swannell of WRAP (a UK non-profit devoted to reducing waste) presented the findings of their 2011 report that estimates that of 7.2 metric tonnes of food waste in the UK in 2010, 4.4 mt was “avoidable” and 1.4 mt was “possibly avoidable”. The point being that residents of the UK – and other Western nations like Canada – are throwing out billions of Euros worth of edible food each year.

Locals Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin, makers of The Clean Bin Project (Zero Waste for a Year!), spoke of their new film due in 2014 titled Just Eat It. The film will reveal how much edible food is wasted all along the food chain: from farmers, shippers, producers, retailers and consumers.

Their film will be a local take on another documentary called Taste the Waste that I saw two years ago at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Stunning fact:  “The food thrown away in Europe and North America would be enough to feed all the hungry people in the world three times over.”

Not to mention the environmental costs of producing and dealing with such waste.

Something to think about the next time you are recycling your food scraps.

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