Imagine you have a basket of fruit on your counter, a bounty of vegetables in your fridge.
You have the best of intentions to cook tasty meals with these ingredients. Apples and bananas baked into oatmeal. Fresh tomatoes and asparagus tossed in pasta. You’re off to a strong start, making that pasta for dinner on Monday, but on Tuesday you opt for takeout to try a new Thai restaurant down the street. On Wednesday, you’re caught late working at the office, and on Thursday you forgo your leftovers to instead say yes to a dinner invite to catch up with a good friend. Next thing you know, it's Friday and you’re leaving town for the weekend — and all that fresh produce and leftovers are left to languish in your kitchen. Your enthusiasm and good intentions have nonetheless turned into food waste. It’s a situation that our busy lives can easily create, even when we have the best intentions.
You’re not alone in your predicament — the USDA estimates that 25% of fresh fruits and vegetables consumers purchase from the grocery store end up going to waste in their homes (source).
In fact, the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that ⅓ of all food produced for consumption is lost or wasted between farm and fork. At Apeel you’ll hear us talk a lot about these stats. We’re actually really into ‘unwasting’ food because of the sheer amount of food we waste, and its outsize impact on everything from water usage to climate change.
You may have heard that (1) there’s a lot of food waste and (2) it’s a big problem for climate change. But why exactly is that? Where are the 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from food waste actually happening (source)? How come reducing food waste is the #1 most impactful action we can take to reduce the world’s GHG emissions (source)?
Let us break it down for you.
Through this blog series, we're going to demystify the connection between food waste and climate change by taking a journey back in the supply chain and showing you what happens (or doesn't happen) when you unwaste the food you purchase. Not just the GHG emissions from throwing that apple, banana, tomato, or asparagus in the trash and forgetting, but all the environmental impacts that are created before the food turns into food waste. Tune in next month to learn more!