In this post, we read, listen, act, and reflect on December's topic: food waste. This article has been adapted from our sustainability newsletter, so please sign up for it to stay in the loop.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
It's the holiday season, and we all know what that means: eating and eating and eating till we can eat no more. And eating again anyway.
If you haven't disposed of your Thanksgiving leftovers yet, good: $293 million of food waste happens after this holiday for turkey alone. That's right - this pesky bird (jk, our wasteful habits) is expected to have an annual waste amount of 200 million pounds.
In December, we have a chance to redeem ourselves. I'm sure you'll get some time to eat, drink, and be merry with family/friends, giving you the perfect time to make conscious food choices.
Here's what we learned from Feeding America:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. It is important to know that though hunger and food insecurity are closely related, they are distinct concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level.
That's not all...
There's more than enough food to feed the world, making food waste the world's dumbest problem. It's time to find local solutions to this global problem
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
Here's a little morning misery for you to make your Wednesday woes even more woeful. By 2050, we're going to need to increaes our global food production by 50% if we want to feed the new 2.2 billion humans we're anticipated to welcome. However, we simply do not have the resources to do that.
* Cue mass species extinction *
Just kidding. Actually, I'm not kidding, but I do know there's something we can do about our impending doom: waste less food. That butt-end of the bread we all hate? Saving it may just save the human race. #TeamButt
Today's podcast episode is actually not about the extinction of the human race; it's about community and fun and beer! As Tristram Stuart, the star of today's Changeletter said, "if you want to change the world, throw a better party than the people destroying it."
To kick off our party, here's a 30 minute episode on how we can solve food waste from Solvable, a podcast to understand how world leaders think and tackle global challenges. I've only ever listened to this one, but I think I've found my new favorite show. (You can click the image below to play it.)
Tristram talks about how food waste is a problem we can all solve in our homes - over 50% of food waste comes from households - and how we can do it by drinking beer.
This is not a drill.
If you want to know more about how solvable this problem is, I'm recommending another episode, "Food Waste and Climate Change" by Deliciously Ella. The hosts interviewed Tessa Clarke, a co-founder of Olio.
Here are eight things I learned from the episode:
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
Here's what you said last week about what you throw away the most and some recipes based on that.
Third place: rice
Second place: milk
First place: spinach/salad
Bonus: There is literally a whole article on how to waste less lettuce. It's got five tips including salad substitutes like thawed frozen peas, canned corn, and fresh basil from your own lil plant.)
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
I'm saving you time and money with this week's reflection.
I discovered a company called Ends + Stems, and they have this awesome template for a food waste audit.
Click the photo below to open up the template for the food waste audit! It's super simple, only takes a week, and can save you lots of money, depending on how much your household throws away each week.
All you have to do is pick a week, print the sheet (or make your own), and get your household on board. Easy peasy!
Ends + Stems also has a "what's in your fridge" recipe finder. You don't even have to Google your own recipes!
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
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