Food Waste Starts at the Farm
When we think about food waste we often reflect on the food that goes in the trash can directly from our plates. As it turns out the food waste problem starts much further up the chain at the farm. Each year millions of tons of food go in the trash because these items are misshapen. Supermarkets simply won’t sell “ugly” produce.
A group in the UK called Feeding the 5,000 is bringing awareness to this issue. In November they hosted the first public free meal made entirely of misshapen ingredients. The end product was a delicious curry, with ingredients donated directly by local farmers.
Due to current regulations in the UK consumers can’t access these unsightly goods. However, Feeding the 5,000 hopes that this event will inspire the public. As one participant stated, “Children aren’t getting enough quality food and obesity is a major issue. If the government cannot afford to provide free school meals for everyone, then why not find a way to get all this healthy food that’s being wasted delivered to schools and help cut down the nation’s obesity rate? If all the food that’s here today was destined for landfill, something is seriously wrong with our society.”
The same policies and issues surrounding food exist in the U.S. as well. Across the country there are small efforts being made but at the end of the day we need a coordinated effort to make sure food resources are managed effectively. From the farm to preparation and finally disposal we need a comprehensive food waste management system.