World hunger is on the rise, despite the work of people and organizations (such as the UN and World Bank) to tackle this problem. The global spend to make worldwide access to food possible reaches into billions of dollars. By looking at this problem, one could easily assume that there’s a shortage of food. But that’s not the case. The problem is food waste. These food waste quotes can inspire us to think about how much food we waste and could prevent from going to landfill.
The world produces enough food to keep everyone alive today well fed. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, we have enough food to feed 10 billion people1. However, this food doesn’t get to everyone because of the wasteful behaviours of some. This waste starts from the level of the farmer to us, the consumers.
Ultimately, we discard and waste about ⅓ of the food grown for human consumption. These numbers aren’t good. Many of us have the financial comfort to never notice the effects of food waste. But there are people whose access to food depends on the consumption habits of others. Food waste is also damaging to our environment and farmlands.
Our societies may normalize waste, but these 20 food waste quotes remind us that we need a completely new attitude. To end world hunger and food inequality, we need change.
Award-winning author and speaker, Tristram Stuart is also an expert on the social and environmental impacts of food. Stuart wrote the highly regarded WASTE - uncovering the Global Food Waste Scandal & The Bloodless Revolution - A Cultural History of Veganism, (both on amazon) He is a global advocate for the prevention of food waste. In 2009, in dedication to his advocacy, Stuart raised awareness on the prevention of food waste by feeding about 5000 people. The meals included smoothies and curry from cast-off vegetables and other food that were to become waste. He took the food and made it useful for others.
Stuart also established a charity group that had replicated this gesture in many other countries. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) supports his group and its efforts. His food waste quote reminds us of the several benefits of cutting food waste to both people and the planet.
Thomas Keller (amazon) is one of the most outstanding chefs in the world. Many know him for his culinary expertise. He is a winner of several highest decoration/awards in his field; he has won the Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor, “Chef of the Year '' Award by the Culinary Institute of America.
Unsurprisingly, Keller is an advocate against food waste. He believes that many households in urban areas do not have a good understanding of the quantity of food they need to prepare and eat satisfactorily without waste. He opines that it is wiser to eat everything that you cook, so you do not have to discard them in the waste bin. One of his many tips to reduce food waste.
British Politician, Hilary James Wedgwood Benn has been a Member of the British Parliament since 1999. The government also appointed Benn as the Secretary of State for Environment for Food and Rural Affairs. It was his responsibility to handle food-related issues among which are food and raw material waste.
Benn proposed the "zero waste nation" in which there was no waste of food and raw materials which contributed to the modern zero waste movement. He advised that people find other uses for these resources. We should only discard and bury items that don’t have alternative uses. This food waste quote reminds us that food is as precious as the metals and other materials that we tend to manage more carefully.
American politician and writer, Timothy John Ryan was a former US presidential candidate. He is serving as the U.S. Representative from Ohio. Ryan is an advocate for the conservation of natural resources and the prevention of food and raw material waste. He also pointed this out in his book with a new vision for the Americans.
Ryan explained the importance of real food; it is not just about agriculture and nutrition, but a way of life that ties us to our communities, which is the joy of living.
South African businessman, philanthropist, and restaurateur Kimbal Reeve Musk owns a community restaurant, The Kitchen Restaurant Group, with several outlets in the US. He is a restaurateur with a passion against food waste.
A few years ago, Musk established a nonprofit organization to give kids an understanding of healthy eating, food and lifestyle choices, and waste prevention. Musk and his group have a plan to curb waste by growing food as close as possible to the point of use whilst growing awareness of the benefits of buying local.
British anthropologist and primatologist, Dame Jane Morris Goodall is a world-renowned Chimpanzee expert. In 1960, she went to Tanzania Gombe Stream National Park to study the behaviour of Chimps and proceeded to spend nearly 60 years on this work.
Owing to her experience during World War II, Jane follows through on a cause against food waste as she has experienced what it means to have food scarcity. To prevent waste, we need to take only as much as we can eat, as waste can lead to scarcity.
Marcus Samuelsson is an Ethiopian-Swedish award-winning chef and restaurateur. He currently heads Red Rooster in Harlem, New York as the Head Chef. Samuelsson’s grandmother inspired him to be a chef; because of her, he feels like he has been cooking all his life.
Samuelsson’s experiences growing up taught him to love and appreciate fresh local foods. In addition to being a world-class chef, he is also an advocate against food waste. He believes in well-cooked food with the extraction of all possible flavours to give the best-tasting experience.
American film director and screenwriter, Zal Batmanglij is a firm believer in Freeganism; consumption of minimal resources mostly by recovering wasted items such as food. Batmanglij believes in zero waste. Dumped foods and waste materials have alternative uses, only if we can see the need.
We usually see items dumped in the bin as waste because of the assumption that anything discarded must have no worth. However, Batmanglij noted that a perception shift would make us see food waste in a different light. Good food is often tossed out to make space for more food. This perception shift will go a long way in curbing food waste.
Jonathan Bloom is an American consultant and journalist, and the owner of the website, ‘Wasted Food’. He also wrote the book titled American Wasteland. Bloom is an advocate for the prevention of food waste and he regularly speaks and consults on this.
Bloom says that we should teach kids about the dangers of food waste in schools and in restaurants. This food waste quote reminds us that although many of us are against waste, we don’t realize how much we already contribute to it.
American researcher, Nina Vsevolod Fedoroff is an advocate against food waste. She believes that in many places in the developed world, people are wasteful about food as we waste more than twice what we eat. The food shipped around the world also contributes to climate change. The negative effects of overconsumption which leads to food waste are all-round.
Dana Gunders is an American writer and food scientist who works with the Food and Agriculture unit of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Gunders wrote a book "Waste Free Kitchen Handbook" (amazon) on curbing food waste where she offered guides on food management from the point of purchase to utilization. She described America's food waste as a situation where someone goes to a grocery store and discards the purchases made at the parking lot.
Italian activist, Carlo Petrini, established the International Slow Food Movement. This is a global movement aimed at encouraging the slow pace of life, good food, and defending regional traditions. This movement has grown to embrace a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people, politics, and culture.
In 1980, Petrini took part in a campaign against McDonald's opening near the Spanish Steps in Rome and eventually helped to create and develop the Italian non-profit food and wine association known as Arcola. Petrini’s food waste quote reminds us that some are more affected by food waste than others.
There are several aspects to the problem of global hunger. Yet, by changing our food behaviours, we the consumers can reduce this problem to a non-threatening level.
So buy the ugly fruits and vegetables before sellers have to throw them out. Only order as much as you can eat. Patronize local farmers and reduce the global food trade so that people in other regions will have access to the food grown in their backyards. Recycle food waste where you can. Learn more and improve your food habits. Food is a precious resource, so treat it that way.
|Eric Holt-Giménez, Annie Shattuck, Miguel Altieri, Hans Herren & Steve Gliessman (2012) We Already Grow Enough Food for 10 Billion People … and Still Can't End Hunger, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 36:6, 595-598, DOI: 10.1080/10440046.2012.695331|