Food Waste and Food Access

The University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture has accepted SUSTAINABILITY as one of the core principles guiding our programs.  Toward this end, we help students learn to grow and sell food in a manner more consistent with the multiple, interconnecting objectives of economic vitality, environmental integrity and social justice.

One of the areas we have identified as needing more attention however relates to food waste and food access, which are two sides of the same coin.  To help us think about these issues, the following visuals were contributed by Mary Bell.

bell-research-poster

Click here to see a pdf (expandable) version of the poster above

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For details on how Massachusetts will approach this issue, see:

Massachusetts Food Action Plan

According to ME Food Systems Innovation Challenge program….

Several reports indicated that locally, nationally and globally, 30–40% of food produced for consumption is wasted every year. Food waste has significant implications for the economy, the environment and growing problem of food insecurity.

Economically, food loss and waste in US costs $165 billion per year. Globally, Forbes estimates the loss at $1 trillion per year.  Environmentally, the impact globally of approximately 130 billion tonnes of food waste is a massive resource drain, using 45 trillion gallons of fresh water and generating about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Globally over 800 million suffer from hunger and food insecurity and of that 48 million are in the US.

Reducing food waste could create economic opportunity and growth, conserve water, reduce greenhouse gases and eradicate the problem food insecurity and hunger.

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