Food Conscientiousness Can Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is an on-going affair that plagues all parties involved with the food system in either a direct or in-direct manner. My group’s interest in food waste arose when we heard the stat that 15% reduction in food waste could feed 25 million more Americans each year. To put that into another context, that means that food insecurity in the U.S. would be reduced by half. Reducing the food insecurity in our own country will also in-directly benefit developing countries who often feel increased food insecurity pressure by our consumption habits; a result that happens due to food production being ramped up, and excess food from developed countries being dumped into those less developed. The dumping of excess food affects, but is not limited to, market prices and thus the livelihoods of people in developing countries.

We wanted to assess the impacts that food waste has, as well as discovering ways to reduce food waste that could be shared with a larger audience than just our class. Our attempt to achieve this resulted in the creation of a video that interviewed four representatives of the food system; our professor Karen Litfen, the organization Imperfect Produce, another professor at UW Sally Brown, and an employee of UW’s food services at Conibear Shellhouse Elliot Norris. We asked a range of questions relating to food waste, and each person’s perspective contributed to the conversation in a beneficial way and provided some food-for-thought on how we as student’s can contribute to food waste reduction. One form of advice came from Elliot who suggested, “knowing what you are going to eat, and self-controlling what you are purchasing at the grocery store can help to reduce how much you’re throwing out”. The average person will throw away anywhere from a 1/3 to 2/3 of what they purchase at the grocery store, and so being more consciously aware of what you are buying, like Elliot suggested, is one way that we can immediately begin contributing to reduced waste.



I have included the link to our video as I feel that it could be useful to watch if you are someone interested in the issue of food waste, and feel inclined to hear about how you can minimize your waste footprint.

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