Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

258 people think this is good

Discuss

  1. {{attachment.file.name}}
  1. {{fields.video_link.url}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Your video is ready to post!

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Please enter a valid URL from YouTube or Vimeo.

Embedding has been disabled for this video.

{{c.errors.other}}

Posting comment...

  • Zoë Wong-Weissman

    Wonderful article! The organization I work with, Feeding Forward, works to stop unnecessary waste of perfectly good food and uses it to feed the hungry. Feeding Forward has already launched its iPhone app and website to streamline food donation. Individuals or businesses can donate their excess food, which is delivered to human service agencies (like homeless shelters) that feed those in need. Check it out: feedingforward.org

  • Adam Winski

    Really great article! Many amazing comments as well. I'm particularly interested in the recipe ideas below as I recently founded What's for Supp (www.whatsforsupp.com) to make it easy for people to order in ingredients to cook dinner. I'd be happy to utilize mis-shapen fruits/vegetables and would be so interested in others thoughts on good ways to help address this incredibly important issue.

  • Greg Keith

    Good article, and I agree with many of the points, but short on action items. Here's some suggestions:
    - In your own home, you might be able to keep chickens, like Karen suggests. We have 12, and all our food scraps go to them, and come back as the best eggs we've ever eaten.
    - Compost! If you garden, your food waste could be creating healthy soil. Composting is easy, and depending how much effort you put into it, you can have "black gold" in as little as three weeks.
    - Do you eat out at restaurants a lot? Ask your favorite restaurant if they're working with Feeding America (www.feedingamerica.org). Feeding America will help coordinate pickup of food from restaurants and get it to your local food bank. Even here in affluent Boulder, Colorado, our local food bank (Community Food Share) is very heavily used, and many people in the community depend on it.
    - Volunteer at your local food bank! It's fun, and you'll be helping people directly in your own community.
    - Start growing some of your own food! Even if it's just some tomatoes in self-watering containers on your apartment balcony or herbs on an indoor windowsill. It will give you a great appreciation for good food, and it might lead you to gradually increasing acts of independence from a broken industrial food system...

    • Adele Peters

      Thanks for sharing these! I especially love the suggestion to start growing your own food. This post is part of a series, and future posts will go into more detail on solutions as well.

  • Danny Flynn

    I'm def. one of the 60 percent of Americans who throw out food prematurely because of confusion over expiration dates...Hopefully not so much going forward after reading they're more like suggestions. I def. agree that simple clarification (or education) in the messaging (Sell By Date, Use By Date, "Best if used by" date, etc) would spare a lot of unnecessary waste...

  • Karen Gould

    Now, this isn't a solution for everyone, but it works great in our household: chickens. All of our food waste is fed to the chooks, who recycle it into eggs for the table and manure for our vegetable garden - which in turn provides more food for us and scraps for the chickens. Anyone with a small backyard can keep hens (you don't need a noisy rooster to get eggs).

    The herb problem below is a good point - who needs an entire bunch of basil? An apartment block near me has a communal herb garden. You can just pick your dinner herbs on your way in from work. A nearby church tends communal herb beds just outside a school, so parents can pick the herbs from dinner on their way home. No packaging, shipping, refrigeration or waste required.

  • Aria McLauchlan

    I think the stores in big cities, especially NYC, need to cater for shared and single-person households, and our tendency to cook & shop for one meal at a time, by offering smaller, individual portions. Particularly for produce, I regularly find myself with a huge bunch of basil when I only need a few leaves, an entire tub of baby spinach I'll never get through by myself in a week, and so on. This would, I believe, dramatically reduce the waste of perishable goods.

    • TreePeople

      Maybe you can ask friends and neighbors to share the big bunch of basil? Or freeze what you don't use? And cook all the spinach at once, refrigerating half of it for another meal? Packaging food into smaller portions just constitutes, well, more packaging...! Independent greengrocers ought to offer their individual customers the option to buy smaller quantities.With luck, you'll find people in your neighborhood to buy with, cook with, and brainstorm with.

    • cruxcatalyst

      I think you've made a critical point here Aria - we've designed our cities around separate-ness (http://bit.ly/15IErWy) and yet we would benefit socially, financially and environmentally from design that enables us to do more things together. One of the best examples I have seen is MamaBake, which was started in Australia three years ago - big batch collaborative cooking turns a chore into a social occasion for busy women, and gains them back precious time on weeknights. It also means cooking in bulk = less food waste! Find out more at www.mamabake.com

  • Shawna Brown

    "Or if your smart fridge could tell you that the broccoli you bought last week really should be eaten today, AND suggest a recipe for it." YES! The recipe part would be great!

    Thank you for the post. I recently threw out a bunch of food that had gone bad in my fridge. I thought, "how could I better get rid of this?" But, I should have thought, "how do I prepare my meals and cook so that I minimize the amount of waste I produce."

    • Adele Peters

      I love the recipe idea, too. What if your fridge could tell you what you could have for dinner based on what you have on hand? Even if someone doesn't have a smart fridge (and I'm guessing most people don't), I wonder if grocery stores could develop apps to help people remember when to eat food and suggest recipes...so many people already use loyalty cards that track what we buy, why not put it to use for the greater good?