Food waste is a major problem. It squanders precious water resources. It has a profound impact on climate change. And in a world where far too many people go hungry, it just seems morally bankrupt to be throwing away perfectly good food.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Activists, non-profits and businesses around the world are gearing up to tackle food waste and feed the hungry.
Here are some cool examples from the UK.Fighting loneliness with unsold produce
As I wrote about earlier this week, UK-based charity FoodCycle has set up food hubs across the country where it pursues its Triple-donation model for fighting food waste. Supermarkets and other retail outlets donate food that would otherwise go to waste. Businesses and community groups donate kitchen space. And volunteers donate their time, getting trained to serve meals to marginalized and at-risk communities.
Creating jobs by making chutney
Chutneys and preserves have always been a great way to avoid waste and make use of less-than-perfect produce. As Bonnie posted previously, London-based Rubies in the Rubble sources excess and soon-to-be-wasted produce, and uses it to create high-end chutneys and preserves, using that business to provide employment opportunities to those who need them most.
Gleaning ugly veggies. Feeding hungry people.
We've already written about Californians gleaning fruits and vegetables and using them to feed the hungry. In the UK, too, food waste activists are getting together to harvest crops that might otherwise not get sold, and they are delivering those crops to charities who can use them to create meals in low income communities. The Gleaning Network is just one project organized by Feeding the 5000, which also organizes gigantic free community meals created entirely from waste.
Feeding food waste to pigs
If you told one of your ancestors you were going to feed food waste to pigs, they'd simply laugh at you: why aren't you doing it already? The Pig Idea, another project from Feeding the 5000, aims to reform legislation banning the feeding of food waste to pigs that was brought in after the foot and mouth outbreak in Britain. It seems like a no brainer as far as we're concerned.