Food Waste Practices That Hurt

Tristram Stuart is a dumpster diver, and he’s proud of it.

TristamStuartatFeedthe5000The environmentalist, author, and speaker is passionate about the cumulative food waste practices of individuals, institutions, and businesses. In a compelling presentation at a TED Conference in May of 2012, delivered with typical knowledge and enthusiasm, he hit on themes common to his activism.

  • Western countries grow 3 to 4 times more food than they actually need for nourishment.
  • Waste occurs at every point in the production to consumption chain. Ten percent never makes it out of the fields. Twenty percent is fed to livestock and two thirds of that is lost to the life processes of the animals. Twenty percent ends up in trash cans. We eat less than 50 percent of what we grow.
  • Cosmetic standards are a scandalous cause of waste. Crops go un-harvested because of cosmetic blemishes that make them unfit for marketplaces.
  • Offal consumption has halved in the UK and US over the last 30 years. Social norms condemn valuable nourishment to landfills or incinerators.
  • 40-60 percent of fish caught for European markets is discarded at sea, never making it to the docks for sale.

SImple slogan from Tristram: Eat food, don’t waste it.

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