This time of year we see a lot of resolutions around food: Eat less of the bad stuff, try more of the good stuff, spend less on eating out, cook more at home. I am here to challenge you to make a different kind of food resolution for 2015.
Instead of worrying so much about what is already on your plate, focus instead on losing pounds in your garbage bin (or compost bin for those of you who are one step ahead of the rest). That’s right, I am talkin’ ‘bout kicking those wasteful, problematic food habits goodbye this year!
You may be thinking to yourself – wait, Claire, what wasteful, problematic food habits do you think I have? Well, dear reader, I am glad you asked…
- 40% of the food we produce in America doesn’t get eaten
- American consumers spend $371 per person per year on food that gets wasted
- If we wasted just 15 percent less food, it would be enough to feed 25 million Americans
- Almost half of all food waste produced in the United States comes from consumers
We have a problem with food waste, and each and every one of us has a responsibility to do something about it. There is no doubt that waste happens on farms, at grocery stores, and restaurants. (I am proud to say we at Bon Appétit are working hard to fight waste in our cafés and throughout our supply chain.) But this problem cannot be solved without the participation of consumers.
So I am issuing a challenge to you — not just any challenge, but THE #ScrapBucketChallenge. Similar to the “ice bucket challenge” — which unless you live in Antarctica, you’ve seen on Facebook —the idea is to raise awareness around the issue of food waste either by recording yourself dumping food scraps on yourself and/or by donating to organizations fighting food waste.
The idea for the challenge came out of the Zero Food Waste Forum, which was the kick-off for a national movement to end food waste in the United States. Since the challenge was issued in October of 2014, many individuals and organizations have shown their support including the National Resource Defense Council and the Food Recovery Network.
Food waste is one of the most hidden but solvable environmental issues of our time, and what better way to pull back the curtain and shed light on our wasteful habits than by collecting our food scraps, taking a good hard look at what we are wasting, and then dumping it on ourselves? Well, perhaps we could think of a few alternatives, but come on, this is a fun one!
Our Bon Appétit team has taken the challenge. Will you?