Did you know, when food goes to the landfill, it’s similar to tying food in a plastic bag? The nutrients in the food never return to the soil. Once this food gets to the landfill, it then generates methane - a greenhouse gas 23 times as potent as carbon dioxide in trapping heat within our atmosphere. So, that sandwich you made and then didn’t eat yesterday is increasing your personal—and our collective—carbon footprint.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 30% of food is wasted globally across the supply chain, contributing 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of its impact on global warming.
If you follow me or know me, then you will know that I am a vegan zero waste chef. I started making small daily impactful choices to eliminating my waste 16 months ago (which you can read all about in my Life As I Know It).
I am passionate about waste: wasted food, plastic waste, and wasted potential.
(MORE: LIFE AS I KNOW IT - MAX LA MANNA)
The first place I looked when making this change was in my bin. The moment that changed my life forever was when I saw wilted spinach and kale in the bin because I had poorly managed my time and stored my produce improperly, resulting in wasted food. Not to mention the fact that my apartment building had a compost bin, but I wasn’t educated on how to use it.
I had to make a change. I was tired of seeing food end up in a landfill. I no longer wanted to contribute to the harmful environmental impacts of loss and wasted food. I don’t want to see perfectly edible or inedible food go to waste because I failed to not cook my food in time or store it properly. I couldn’t walk by another homeless person begging for food and money knowing that I had just chucked food away. I couldn’t be lazy anymore. I couldn’t make anymore excuses. I had to make a change.
If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of its impact on global warming.
It’s now been 500 days and counting that I have diverted food from ending up in landfill and what I now know is that food is precious and sacred and should never be wasted. By diverting food from landfill, we can reduce the amount of methane produced and therefore reduce our climate impact. We can also save resources like water, energy, labour, land, transportation and much more – not to mention save money by not throwing away the food that we have bought!