In the U.S., 40% of food is wasted. Food that gets thrown out decomposes in landfills which generates methane – emissions that trap more heat in the atmosphere and catalyze climate change. Food, when wasted, is also a lost source of nutrition for communities facing food insecurity.
The Duke World Food Policy Center sought to mobilize a movement to reduce food waste – amongst consumers and across the food supply chain. I developed tools to appeal to people’s emotional connection with food, share science-based facts, and promote concrete actions that every individual can take. “Food love and waste” in the age of climate change became my platform.
I presented to community groups and at conferences across North America to advocate for changes to the food system and policies that enable local solutions. For example, the creation of safe food sharing fridges in communities; extending the shelf-life of nutritious foods with better packaging and distribution; greater access to composting and more.
These calls to action, enacted by communities, were informed by interviews I conducted with 50 supply chain stakeholders across the national food system, the results of which were published in a paper I co-authored in Science of the Total Environment.