FWDS: Campaign launched to reduce food waste; encouraging solutions offered

Number 4 in the Food Waste Disposal Series.

Hydroponic growing technique
Hydroponic growing technique

“Food is the single largest component of solid waste in U.S. landfills, and about 25 percent of our nation’s fresh water is used to grow food that gets trashed,” declared the Natural Resources Defense Council in its “NRDC and Ad Council Launch New ‘Save the Food’ National Public Service Campaign: Major National Campaign Directed at Reducing Wasted Food from Largest Source—Consumers—Aims to Help Save Money, Water & Energy” Apr. 20, 2016 press release. “On top of that, if global food waste was a country,” the NRDC continued, “it would have the largest carbon footprint after the U.S. and China, as a result of carbon pollution created from growing, cooling, transporting and disposing of uneaten food.”

That’s profound and reducing this waste is key. This includes finding ways to remake leftovers – call it leftovers makeovers, if you like. Then there are the notions of proper storage of different foods and meal- and shopping-plan development. It’s all good.

The NRDC in the release references an excellent resource: It is called “SaveTheFood.com”.

‘Follow that strawberry!’

At the SaveTheFood.com Web site, there are a whole slew of resources. Also and expressly for T.V., shown on the Web site is a public service announcement (you may check out the video here) which tracks the progress of a package of strawberries from farm, to grocer to consumer to, unfortunately, the trash can with hardly any of the package’s contents being eaten. Plus, there is more; way more.

Comments the NRDC on the PSA: “The TV ad chronicles the life of a single strawberry—from the farm to the supermarket to its ultimate destination: the trash,” while SapientNitro’s Chief Creative Officer of North America Gary Koepke submits that “‘[t]he Save The Food campaign not only highlights the amount of food we waste in America, but also the effort and resources it takes to bring food into our homes.” SapientNitro developed the “Save The Food” public service announcements pro bono.

The uneaten food problem is huge. How huge? In the U.S. each year, Americans are throwing away 40 percent of all purchased food, with consumers accounting for 40 percent of the total wasted. And, there is a hefty price tag for the food left uneaten as it costs us better than $160 billion annually, according to the NRDC.

Correcting, improving that deficit situation is something that is definitely doable.

The correction factor

“The [Save The Food campaign] is the latest step in a national trend to examine and reduce food practices that result in waste. This past September [2015], the Obama Administration announced the nation’s first-ever food waste reduction goal, calling for a 50 percent cut by 2030; days later the U.N. set a similar target internationally. A report released last month [March] by ReFED—a collaboration of over 30 business, government, investor, foundation and nonprofit leaders—identified consumer education campaigns as one of the best ways to cut U.S. food waste and put the country on track to its reduction target.

Meanwhile, NRDC President Rhea Suh in the same press release summed the situation thus:

“‘The more food we save, the more we can share with hungry Americans, the more we can reduce climate pollution, and the more water won’t go to waste.’”

The “Save The Food” initiative, “a major national public service campaign to combat food waste from its largest source—consumers, who collectively waste more food than grocery stores, restaurants or farms,” incidentally, was launched Apr. 20th by both the Ad Council and NRDC in Washington, D.C.

The hope: The initiative encourages consumers to lessen the amount of wasted food and, in turn, can save energy, money and water as a result, not to mention help air and the environment at the same time.

Department of corrections: Regarding the referenced PSA, it was originally stated that the entire contents of the referenced package of strawberries went completely uneaten. The statement replacing the original now reflects the actual situation.

Image above: NASA/Kennedy Space Center

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