Project Drawdown ranks reducing food waste as the third most significant strategy for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately one-third of all food produced globally goes to waste. For many individuals, reducing food waste might simply mean better shopping and meal planning. But since food waste occurs from farm to fork, that also means there are numerous other opportunities for improvement. According to a study by the Center for Behavior and the Environment, composting and reducing food waste are among the seven most impactful actions that individuals and households in the United States can take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
In developed countries, most food waste occurs after it has reached the market or consumer. Four of the stories in this collection (see below) highlight how technology, innovative chefs and legislators are helping spur a cultural shift in the way consumers think about wasting food. In Britain, top chefs have started a movement to cook with "expired" foods; in France, lawmakers recently passed legislation prohibiting supermarkets from throwing food away; and one new app connects people who want to share extra food with their neighbors, while another calculates the cost of waste in commercial kitchens. In developing countries, most food waste occurs before reaching the consumer, and new technologies -- like the ones described in the Wasting Less of Africa’s Harvest -- are being developed to preserve food longer and combat waste. This solution is one of the Drawdown Ecochallenge actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is featured in the Campus Ecochallenge.
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