Image credit: Steve Ryan, used under Creative Commons license.
We know that food waste impacts climate change and squanders precious water. And yet stores continue to throw out astounding amounts of perfectly edible food every day. Now pressure is mounting on at least one major store chain to make a change, with over 30,000 people signing a petition to get Trader Joe's to donate their waste food and adopt a zero waste policy. But will they succeed?Orchestrated by award-winning film maker Jeremy Seifert—producer of the food waste documentary Dive!—a campaign has been building at petition site change.org to tell Trader Joe's to stop wasting their food, donate soon-to-expire products, and implement a company-wide zero food waste policy.
With over 30,000 signatures gathered to date, the chances are good that somebody somewhere at Trader Joe's HQ is listening. But the campaigners are not picking on the store chain because it's the only one wasting food:
Some individual Trader Joe's stores already donate their soon-to-expire food to homeless shelters, food pantries, and other hunger relief organizations. However, as Seifert notes, no company-wide food waste policy exists, and many of the corporation's more than 350 stores throw thousands of pounds of edible food into the dumpster.
Trader Joe's is hardly the only supermarket with a food waste issue, but Seifert hopes that a commitment from the progressive grocer will have a domino effect throughout the industry. The filmmaker and activist plans to launch campaigns asking Whole Foods, Von's, Safeway, and other national supermarket chains to also put zero-food-waste policies in place.
Head on over to the Trader Joe's food waste petition to add your voice to the crowd.