Food Waste is Scary!

By October 30, 2023Article

As Halloween draws near, it’s important to reflect on why food waste is more concerning than any ghost story. The squandered resources, environmental implications, and the persistent presence of hunger in our community are all tangible concerns that, upon mitigating food waste, can dissipate as well. 

It’s scary to recognize that nearly one-third of the world’s food production meets an unfortunate end, contributing to environmental degradation and wasteful resource use. In our beloved 412 area, we witness the local impact of this challenge, with a substantial amount of perfectly good food ending up in landfills each year. Around 35% of the wasted food is simply thrown out by supermarkets, shops, and households. Much of it is still perfectly fit for eating!! Talk about a horrifying truth.

165 billion dollars worth of food gets thrown out every year. In the U.S., this works out to $371 spent per person on food that winds up being wasted!

More than 66 trillion gallons of water go toward producing food that’s lost or wasted. In context, more than three times as much surface water and groundwater is wasted each year due to food loss & waste than the average annual flow of the Nile River (source).

The land devoted to producing wasted food is roughly 5.4 million square miles, which would make it the second largest country in the world behind Russia. That’s an area equivalent to Central America, Mexico, plus the lower 48 states and a big part of Canada used for nothing but producing food we don’t eat.

Global food waste is the 3rd top greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S. Food waste primarily produces methane, a pollutant at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

In the midst of these shadows, we find purpose and hope. Our mission is to rescue this surplus food from local businesses, ensuring it doesn’t meet an untimely demise, but instead, reaches those in need.

From our incredible fleet drivers on staff, who pick up bulk donations from donors to distribute around the city or deliver to The Good Food Project to turn into meals, to the hundreds of incredible #FoodRescueHeroes who volunteer their time every week to pick up and drop off this surplus food to local nonprofits – each one of you is a piece of something greater: putting more food within reach. 

This Halloween, we extend our gratitude to each person who has supported 412 Food Rescue, helping shine a light in the darkness, transforming this ghost story into a tale of meaningful change.

Happy Halloween, and may the spirit of generosity continue to guide us toward a future where wasting food becomes merely a ghost of the past.

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Volunteer with the 412 Food Rescue app

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Volunteer with our Good Food Project & Grocery Bagging