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Food waste causes climate change. Here's how we stop it

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Earth School

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Food waste both in America and across the world is a massive problem for climate change, the environment, and hunger. By addressing food waste in farms, grocery stores, and at home, we could potentially feed billions of people and curb the massive emissions generated to make food and from the food waste that ends up in the landfill. Food waste is the world's dumbest problem - let's solve it.

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A global issue

Food waste is one of the world's dumbest problems. Solving the food waste problem would tackle two wicked problems: climate change and world hunger. Canada and Egypt are taking creative approaches to the problem. Read up on 5 other countries that are leading the world with policies and actions to combat waste.

Some Inspiration

Below is a top ten list of folks combatting food waste in innovative ways at a systemic level:

Leah Penniman is a Black farmer and co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, which works to end racism in the food system and create equitable access to healthy food.

Tristram Stuart is a British environmental activist and author who founded Feedback to tackle food waste at every level of the food system.

Karen Washington is a Black urban farmer and activist who co-founded the Black Urban Growers (BUGS) and works to empower communities of color to grow their own food.

Dana Gunders is a food waste expert who authored the Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook and works with the Natural Resources Defense Council to promote sustainable food systems.

Bryant Terry is a Black vegan chef, food justice activist, and author who promotes healthy, sustainable, and culturally relevant food.

Selina Juul is a Danish activist who founded the Stop Wasting Food movement and works to raise awareness about food waste and its impact on the environment.
Niaz Dorry is a Wabanaki Nation member and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance executive director, which works to promote sustainable fishing and protect the ocean.

Doug Rauch is the former president of Trader Joe's, who founded the Daily Table, a non-profit grocery store that rescues surplus food and sells it at affordable prices.

Nikki Silvestri is a Black environmentalist and the founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, which provides consulting services to organizations working on food systems change.

Jonathan Bloom is the author of American Wasteland and a food waste expert who writes and speaks on reducing food waste.

What you can do

You can join or donate to organizations like Food not Bombs, an all-volunteer movement that recovers food that would otherwise be discarded and shares free vegan and vegetarian meals with the hungry in over 1,000 cities in 65 countries in protest to war, poverty, and destruction of the environment. You might adjust your own diet in healthy ways to reduce your ecological footprint. You can plan your meals, make a shopping list, and only buy what you need. You can also store food properly to make it last longer and donate any excess to local charities. Businesses can get involved by reducing portion sizes and using surplus food to create new dishes.

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About Earth School

We can save the world. Speed and Scale shows us how to unlock a cleaner, healthier and safer future by laying out a roadmap that will get us to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. How’s it going to work? We need to electrify transportation, decarbonize the grid, fix food, protect nature, clean up industry and remove carbon. To learn how we’re going to do all that - and to learn how you can take action now - explore this page.

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