Fighting food waste

Big and small projects to combat food waste are popping up all over the world. They’re full of ideas about how you can help.

GLOBAL Think, Eat, Save

In 2011, UNEP partnered with the FAO and Messe Düsseldorf to launch the Think Eat Save campaign to offer tips and ideas for rethinking how we use food. The programme offers consumers, retailers, leaders and citizens tips and advice for preventing waste.

GLOBAL Food security

At the end of 2013, three organizations – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – teamed up to launch a $2.7 million project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, to tackle food loss in developing countries, starting in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. The projects will focus on staple grains and pulses to address such issues as ineffective harvesting and handling, storage moisture levels and pest damage.

GLOBAL Feeding the 5000

A British campaign with global aspirations, Feeding the 5000 aims to raise awareness of food waste by holding events that feed the public with delicious meals using only ingredients that would otherwise have been binned. At a recent event in Marseille, France, volunteers gathered enough discarded food to feed more than 4,000 people with a vegetable curry made from produce deemed too big, too small, or too funny-looking, and rice that was past its expiry date but perfectly edible. In 2013, they also provided a dinner for delegates to UNEP’s Governing Council entirely made from discards of the Kenyan export food industry.

China Clear the Plate,

A government initiative to save food, Clear the Plate encourages restaurants to cut serving sizes, and a media campaign educates the public about improving food habits. Meanwhile the Chinese military has started to pickle surplus vegetables and recycle undercooked rice by incorporating them into new dishes.

Netherlands Save Food from the Fridge

Founded by Korean designer and food-preservation expert Ji Hyun Rhou, this passes on traditional methods for keeping food fresh for longer without the need for modern technology.

USA Sanford and Son

This father-and-son business run by Ray Sanford and his son Nigel makes organic compost as well as biodiesel from food waste gathered from residents and restaurants, and distributes the compost to urban farms.

ITALY Last Minute Market

Last Minute Market reclaims food from farmers, grocery stores and processing centres and donates it to more than 40 communities in need. http://www.lastminutemarket

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This post is also available in: French, Spanish