From grabbing a quick bite at a hotel breakfast buffet to tasting local snacks on the road, food is an integral part of the travel experience. Sometimes it’s just a necessity, and sometimes it is an experience in and of itself.
But along the way, there are bound to be more than a few morsels that end up in the garbage.
A bite here and a serving there don’t sound like much, but food waste — and its environmental impact — adds up incredibly fast. In fact, according to the WWF, one-third of all food produced is wasted, either in the supply chain or thrown away. That’s the equivalent of 1.8 billion tons of food that never reach a person’s stomach.
Despite this excessive food waste, 821 million people go hungry every day!
And, as if this disparity isn’t worth critical concern in and of itself, the actual production and distribution of food has enormous environmental impacts. The WWF reports that the food industry is responsible for about 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Further, agriculture has caused 73% of all deforestation and land conversion.
To say that food production and waste — and its counterpart, hunger — are critical and urgent problems the world needs to address is an understatement. Doing so is paramount to getting ahead of the climate emergency. In fact, according to Project Drawdown, if humanity collectively stopped food waste and loss completely, we would eliminate 8% of our total carbon emissions. It is the biggest single action we can take to cut carbon emissions.
This is an excerpt from an article by JoAnna Haugen, originally published on rooted.