Food Waste

Ted Talk Project

What is 'Food Waste'?

Food waste is food that is discarded or cannot be used. The causes of food waste is immense, and occurs at the stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption.

Statistics and Facts:

About how much food do we waste anyways?

As of 2013, half of all food is wasted worldwide, according to the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME). Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).

How much do I contribute to the waste?

The average household creates about 1.28 pounds of daily waste, equal to 14 percent of the family's food purchases. More than 50 percent of thrown-away food items were purchased for a specific meal or special occasion that never happened.

So what? Food is biodegradable...

Rotting food also releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

How Does Food Get Wasted? How Can We Stop It?

In your home:

Key issues contributing to food waste include:

  • Supermarket promotions
  • Packaging
  • Poverty
  • A diminished cultural focus on the preparation and management of food
  • Household size

Across the industry, supermarkets may actively throw out only a tiny percentage of the overall waste and consumers buy too much because of supermarket packaging and promotions. So, unless there is a more efficient way of packaging products then they are helping us waste. But, In the USA, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which are the largest source of methane emissions

In the USA, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month

Think Smart.

  • Be a smart shopper and think about what you are buying and when it will be eaten.
  • Become aware of how much food you throw away since wasting food is often times subconcious.
  • Plan meals and use shopping lists.
  • Bring your leftovers home from restaurants in reusable containers.

Eat Smart.

  • Become a more mindful eater. Eyes bigger than your stomach?
  • Request smaller portions and become a leftovers guru.

Save Smart.

  • Save your food, save your money and save the environment.
  • Donate to food banks and become a conscious consumer.

What's the difference between labels?

Sell by- The sell-by date is the last recommended day you should buy a product in the store, but you can eat it several days to a week after.

Use by- This is the date through which the item will be top-quality.

However, according to food scientists, if stored properly, most foods stay fresh several days longer than the use-by date, even meat. Of course, if you note any off odors, textures, or colors, don't risk it.

Best by- tells you when to eat (or freeze) a product for the best quality

Companies that are taking an initiative!

The French’s Food Company has launched their We Promise initiative. As part of this effort, French’s is donating the equivalent of one meal* to a person in need through Feeding America for every specially-marked bottle of French’s ketchup or mustard sold. French’s will help provide a minimum of 12 million meals* as a result of this campaign.

*Runs May 1, 2016-November 30, 2016. French’s will donate $0.09 per specially-marked bottle sold, with a minimum of $1.1 million provided to Feeding America. $1 helps provide 11 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

Feeding America is excited to continue its partnership with The Cheesecake Factory in the fight against hunger. From July 29, 2015 through July 28, 2016, The Cheesecake Factory will donate $0.25 to Feeding America for every slice of Salted Caramel Cheesecake sold. The program will generate a minimum donation of $375,000 which will be split 50/50 between the national office and food banks. Since 2009, The Cheesecake Factory has donated more than $3.5 million to Feeding America.

What is the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act of 1996?

On October 1, 1996, President Clinton signed this act to encourage donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to individuals in need. This law:

  • Protects you from liability when you donate to a non-profit organization;
  • Protects you from civil and criminal liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the recipient;
  • Standardizes donor liability exposure. You or your legal counsel do not need to investigate liability laws in 50 states; and
  • Sets a floor of "gross negligence" or intentional misconduct for persons who donate grocery products. According to the new law, gross negligence is defined as "voluntary and conscious conduct by a person with knowledge (at the time of conduct) that the conduct is likely to be harmful to the health or well-being of another person."

To encourage the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals by giving the Model Good Samaritan Food Donation Act the full force and effect of law.