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Wasted Food Means Wasted Opportunity to Feed Our Soul


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John Mandyck, a member of our Corporate Council and author of Food Foolish, opened his blog to Barton Seaver, the Program Director for our Sustainable Seafood and Health Program. 

Barton is one of America’s leading voices for sustainable food systems, who believes that bringing people together around a shared table may be the best way to understand the importance of protecting one of our most basic needs – food. In this thoughtful blog piece, he offers his unique perspective on the future of food.

Food waste is a problem that affects us all. It not only represents a wasted opportunity to feed the hungry but also has a significant impact on the environment. In this article, we will explore the scale of the problem, its causes, and the impact on the environment and society, as well as the solutions available to reduce food waste.

Globally, approximately one-third of all food produced is wasted, with an economic cost of over $1 trillion annually. Developed countries are responsible for the majority of food waste, with consumers and the food industry being the biggest culprits. Confusion around food labeling and expiration dates also contributes to the problem.

The environmental impact of food waste is significant, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. It also exacerbates the issue of food insecurity, with millions of people going hungry every day. Food banks and charities play a crucial role in providing meals to those in need, but donations and food redistribution initiatives are also essential.

Solutions to food waste include education and behavior change, initiatives by supermarkets and the food industry, and policies aimed at reducing waste. As individuals, we can also take steps to reduce food waste, such as meal planning and portion control, as well as getting involved in community action and advocacy.

Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH

Aaron Bernstein is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

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