The statistics on food waste—a third of food produced worldwide is left to spoil—are too alarming to ignore, especially when we consider that 900 million people go hungry on a daily basis. The salient question now is no longer how we got to this point, but rather how we can evolve from here.
Grist points out that one important step toward change is to address how aesthetics got in the way of sustainable business practices. One company called FoodStar has started collecting fruit and produce “one quality level below what grocery stores traditionally buy,” which would have otherwise been slated for the landfill. The failure to “meet exact cosmetic criteria, including specifications for size, color, weight, and blemish level” means that “as much as 30 percent of fresh produce does not make it off the farm,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. FoodStar partners with grocery stores like Andronico’s in Northern California to present shoppers with the opportunity to buy these fruits and vegetables at a discounted price.
Meanwhile, Greatist highlights the United Nations campaign called “Think, Eat, Save,” which is meant to raise food-waste awareness among consumers, retailers, and the hospitality industry. The main idea is to provide info and resources, like tips on reducing waste. The campaign may also include initiatives to “encourag[e] food companies to use less packaging and to consider less restrictive expiration dates.”