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Why one company is determined to eliminate food waste in order to combat climate change

Why one company is determined to eliminate food waste in order to combat climate change

Why one company wants to end food waste to tackle climate change
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We are currently in the midst a climate crisis. Overpopulation, urban sprawl and carbon emissions are pushing the planet to the edge of ecological collapse. According to the Sixth Assessment Report(AP6) Recently released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) The key to avoiding disaster is to reduce excess carbon dioxide.2) emissions to zero before mid-century.

The net effect of this, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will be an average global temperature increase to 2.7 °F (1.5 °C) between now and 2100. This will still cause major disruptions to the world’s ecological system and many humanitarian emergencies. However, these changes will be at least sustainable.

The second scenario, where carbon emissions remain unchanged between now and mid-century, will result in an average temperature increase of 3.6 °F (2 °C). This scenario will cause more ecological, humanitarian, and geopolitical crisis than the first.

This may seem like an impossible task for many. The guilt associated with not doing enough can be overwhelming. In reality, there are many things that individuals and communities can do that will make an enormous difference.

Many organizations have gathered to combat the feeling of “ecoshaming” by offering solutions, even if they are imperfect. One of these is Imperfect Foodswhose mission it is to eradicate food waste, which is one of climate change’s greatest drivers.

You can get healthy and sustainable food delivered to your door, which would otherwise be thrown away by producers and farmers for not being “perfect”.

Imperfect Foods combines eco-friendly methods that reduce vehicle emissions, reuse and recycle packing materials, and allows for cooperation with local farmers. It is one of many businesses that aims to change how people view, buy, and treat food.

Waste not

Imperfect Foods was born out of a simple observation. Millions of tons of fruits, veggies, and other foods are toss away every year in North America. This extends beyond food that has past its conservatively-estimated “best before” expiry date and includes foods considered cosmetically flawed.

Maddy Rotman is the Head of Sustainability for Imperfect Foods. This was explained to Interesting Engineering via Zoom

“We founded Imperfect to save the ugly fruits and vegetables. We felt it was wrong for them to be thrown aside simply because they looked different. From there, Imperfect was sourcing tiny lemons, small apples, knobby carrots and oversized sweet potatoes. [etc.]They were deemed unsellable or imperfect by conventional retail. These items would be either left in the field, composted or tilled under and/or landfilled.

In 2018, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) published the “The Wasted Food Report“That was the estimated value In 2018, the industrial, residential and commercial sectors generated 103 million tonnes of food waste. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided further details.

According to the United Nations Environment ProgramAccording to the UNEP, roughly 30% of all food in America (worth approximately $48.3 billion) is wasted each year. This is a shocking statistic from a humanitarian point of view, especially when one considers how many people around the globe are facing chronic food insecurity and undernourishment. 820 Million).

Even worse is the loss of lives each year due to starvation. around 9 million deaths in 2018 and claimed the lives of around 3.1 million children each year. These figures are all the more alarming when you consider how much wasted food contributes towards climate change.

This is due to the fact that agriculture is energy-intensive and takes a lot of resources. According to Food and Agricultural Organization(FAO), which is managed by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), agriculture worldwide The equivalent of 10.25 Billion tons (9.3 Billion metric tons) of CO was produced.2Emissions in 2018

This includes the burning of fossil fuels, methane emission from livestock, and deforestation and land usage. On the other side, landfills are well-known for emitting methane gas from organic waste and decaying food.

Why one company wants to end food waste to tackle climate change
Source: UNDESA

According to the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program(LMOP), landfill emissions account almost 17% for anthropogenic methane annually produced in the U.S. In 2020, they accounted for the equivalent of 120.5 million tons (109.3 million metric tons) of CO2 emissions.

*Project Drawdown, a San Fransisco-based non-profit, aims to help the world reach net-zero greenhouse gases emissions and then reduce them back to preindustrial levels (aka. “drawdown”).

A significant contribution

Fortunately, the nature and severity of the problem point to solutions. According to Project Drawdown*, about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste. Drawdown estimates that if food waste was eliminated, there would be 90.70 gigatons of excess CO (Gt).2The atmosphere would not be altered between now and 2050.

This is consistent with the latest strategies. IPCC Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. As the report summarizes, ensuring that average global temperatures do not exceed 1.5°C would entail that anthropogenic CO2Emissions to be reduced to 25-30 Gt by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050.

In summary, the greatest thing people can do for the planet is to reduce how much food they throw away. Although this may seem daunting (and can sometimes lead to shame), there are simple things people can do together that will make a difference. As Rotman explained:

“When we source food that was going to go to waste, we avoid the greenhouse gases of growing more food as well as the end of life of food landfilling. All the food we have saved is actually free from the energy, emissions, soil use, water, and labor required to grow more food. That’s the connector. If all our customers are able to collectively buy food that would otherwise have been wasted, this is how they can save more food while reducing greenhouse gasses.

Their work is compatible with complementary carbon removal and carbon capture strategies. These and other strategies are the subject matter of the IPCC AR6 Working Group III Report – titled “Climate Change 2022 Climate Change Mitigation” – This was released in April this year.

In 2015, Imperfect Foods began by Delivering fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go waste. They grew between 2019 and 2021. Their product range will include meats, roots and legumes. Their fulfillment centers are now also available in thirty other states throughout the U.S.

Rotman stated that groceries are fresh, delicious, and sometimes imperfect but they’re a fair price for farmers, customers, and the environment. Rotman said that eliminating food waste is our core purpose. It’s the most sustainable and sustainable thing you can do. We are also mindful of the whole fabric of sustainability.

How it works

It is easy to understand. Prospective customers create an account online with Imperfect Foods. This allows them to indicate their food preferences as well as any nutritional or special considerations (such allergies, weight loss goals, etc.).). The recommendations are based on a selection of affordable, sustainable, seasonal, and local foods that meet the customer’s needs.

The customer chooses which items they want delivered every week to their home. These are delivered by one vehicle that delivers to multiple locations within a community. This delivery method does not allow excess CO2Emissions by reducing the number people who make multiple trips to the grocery shop – similar to carpooling.

The food is also delivered using 100% recycled boxes. The delivery truck also returns packaging, hard-torecycle plastic insulation, gel cooler packs and other items from customers. Maddy stated that the ultimate goal is to not only prevent waste but also correct the systemic problems that allow it.

“When we first started, we thought it was the food that was flawed. We discussed imperfect carrots. We also showed the scars on the oranges. What we discovered is that it’s not the food itself that’s flawed. It’s the system. The system makes it easy to waste perfectly good food. While people want to reduce waste, the system makes it very difficult to create new habits and behavior. We want to make saving food easy.

A number of resources are also available to those who sign up to receive deliveries. One feature that is particularly interesting is the Storage GuideThis site offers tips and tricks on organizing food (e.g., where to put it in the fridge, how you can organize counter space). They also post recipes on their blog. The Whole CarrotThis website provides tips and tricks to help customers make their groceries last longer.

This is a place where users can “crowdsource” solutions to help create a community of food savers. Rotman explained that this is in line with their philosophy of “using all.” [food]”Including the greens.” He points out that carrots can be put into either of two ways. [a]You can make veggie broth at your home using broth, but you can also make pesto or chimichurri. Our team can help you find creative and fun ways to reduce food waste at your home.

This is consistent with the company’s goal to be a leader in its industry. A net-zero carbon corporation by 2030. It is also consistent with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, a collection of 17 global goals that will be achieved by mid-century. Imperfect Foods is specifically helping to fulfill that need. Goal #2: End World HungerIt states:

“After decades of steady decline, the number of people who suffer from hunger – as measured by the prevalence of undernourishment – began to slowly increase again in 2015. Current estimates indicate that a staggering 62 percent of people in the United States are currently suffering from hunger. Nearly 690 million people are currently hungry, which is 8.9 percent of the global population. – up by 10 million people in one year and by nearly 60 million in five years.

“The world is not on the right track to eliminate hunger by 2030. If current trends continue the number of people who are hungry will rise. [will]More than 840 Million by 2030… Potentially, 25% of a billion people are on the brink of starvationIt is imperative that we act quickly to provide humanitarian aid and food to the most vulnerable regions.

Global levels of malnutrition are on the rise and they are expected to continue to rise as the world population grows. According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs(DESA) Projections: An additional 2 billion people will be added to the world’s population by 2050. About 10 billion.

To meet these needs, the UN Sustainable Development Goals emphasize that profound changes are needed in the global agricultural and food system.[i]To help alleviate hunger’s perils, it is vital to increase agricultural productivity and produce sustainable food. 

Imperfect customers have saved 44 million lbs (20 millions kg) of food by their efforts in 2021 alone. They have saved a total of 145.823,731 lbs (66 millions kg) of food since the company was founded in 2015. This is even more impressive when you consider how their service has also decreased greenhouse gas emissions.

With their unique delivery methods, you can purchase and sell food that would otherwise go unused. Imperfect Foods prevented the equivalent to 20,663 tons CO2From being released into space in 2020 to 25,620 tonnes in 2021. These accomplishments have earned the company its BCorpAccreditation is reserved for industry leaders who promote an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy.

Combatting “eco-shaming”

A second problem in eliminating food waste is the guilt and shame that are often associated with it. Similar to other environmental efforts there is the widespread belief that simple solutions are not sufficient, leading to feelings like helplessness and a lack commitment. This is why we have oRotman said that Imperfect Foods is designed to shift the focus from eco-shaming to simple solutions that anyone can take part in.

“All our farmers want a place to grow their food, and all of these customers want the opportunity to help eliminate food waste. [They]You want to know how you can make your business sustainable? This is what you can do. This is a great way to be involved without feeling guilty, not feel bad, and not feel pressured about what the world says. You can shop and consume, and we’ll help eliminate food waste at your home.

Imperfect Foods conducted a survey of more than 1000 people in honor of Earth Month. The majority of respondents stressed the importance and importance of sustainable living. 74% of those surveyed admitted to feeling guilty and shame about the amount of food waste they had created in their homes.

Additionally, 35% of respondents felt that they were under too much pressure to be perfect. Rotman says the key to overcoming these feelings is to help individuals realize that there are simple and effective ways to overcome them.

“We all want to be better. It feels so easy from a philosophical perspective. But it’s really difficult when you get down and dirty. These shameful and pressured attitudes are not going to help us reduce food waste. We need to develop new habits and skills to store sweet potatoes and cook leftover greens in your fridge.

“We must be honest, accepting of all the challenges, and ‘perfectly imperfect. We are pursuing this goal with consumers, community, as well as all the imperfectionists who are or will be a part of it. [The question is]How can we not shame anyone? We can meet you where you’re at and build a community with ‘perfectly imperfect’ people who can help us eliminate food waste.

A growing movement

Many companies have made sustainability a core business model in recent times. Some companies are general while others are more specific and targeted. There are, for example, WtrmlnThe founders of Cold-Pressed Juice Company created, a cold pressed juice company after realizing that hundreds of million of pounds of watermelon were regularly left in the fields due to being deemed “too attractive for sale”.

The company was launched in 2013 and has since expanded its offerings to include other fruits and produce, which also experience significant waste such as strawberries, ginger and cherries. There’s also Renewal Mill, a “climate-friendly bakery” that produces nutritious flour and snacks from Tofu and soymilk productsThese are usually thrown away. 

The brewing company is also included. RegainedTakes the by-products from beer-making (proteins, fibers, and micronutrients), and turns them into flours, baking mixes and pastas.SuperGrain+” bars. The international brewing company also offers this service. Toast AleIt uses surplus bread (one the highest food waste categories) in order to make its line of ales.

Companies are seeking to use developments in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other technologies to eliminate food waste. One good example is Winnow Solutions, a company that aims to make the food sector (one of the biggest sources of food wasted) more efficient through its Analytics platform that identifies waste and suggests improvements.

Advocacy groups work to educate the public about the issues and offer solutions at the local (and global!) level. These include the Food Recovery NetworkThe organization specializes in creating recovery programs on college campuses to eliminate food waste from dining halls. Forgotten Harvest, which distributes surplus food from grocery stores, markets and restaurants to caterers, farmers, wholesalers, and emergency food providers in Detroit.

These and many other businesses are living proof of how Climate Change solutions can be simple and effective. They also demonstrate that even though we are imperfect, we can make positive changes that lead to something new.

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According to a survey of 23 countries, the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism ProjectClimate Change Awareness is on the Rise. The majority of people in developed countries believe that the climate is stable or not anthropogenic (human-made). Less than 10%Except for the U.S. where it’s 13%

The important issue of encouraging action on climate changes is not only about combating climate change denial but also the important issue of combatting climate change denial. Many people feel powerless to make a difference when it comes to climate change, a pervasive existential threat. According to a recent poll, the majority of people feel that they can’t make a difference in regards to Climate Change. Pew Research CenterThese feelings are quite common.

The poll, which surveyed residents of 17 developed countries spanning North America and Europe, found that 80% of respondents were open to making lifestyle changes. However, only 56% believed the society was doing an adequate job in addressing Climate Change. And, even less (46%) expressed confidence that international efforts are being made.

Groups like Imperfect Food help people realize that they don’t have to be perfect to live sustainably with the natural world. Individuals can collectively make big changes by making small changes.

Imperfect Foods is hosting a webinar to discuss food waste and how you can eliminate it. Food Waste WeekEvents San Francisco, Portland, SeattleStarting May 16ThTo 22nd. For more information, check out Imperfect Foods‘ website, Project Drawdown, and “15 Quick Tips to Reduce Waste” by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, (UNFAO).

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