How food waste relates to climate change

Global food waste accounts for about 10 percent of our greenhouse emissions. That’s something that the majority of the public doesn’t realize, even if they’re eco-friendly.

Helen White, a special adviser on household food waste for British charity Waste and Resources Action Program said, “A huge number of us are concerned about climate change – over 80 percent of us have concerns around it – but only 30 percent of us are actually making the connection that food waste feeds climate change.”

The ugly cost of food wastage doesn’t just spread forward from our kitchen to the refuse-disposal system (and indeed the planetary ecosystem). It also spreads back through time: All the food we acquire has its own history, its own carbon footprint, the labor, production and transport costs of getting food from the farm to the fork.

But this thought doesn’t poke us in the eye if it doesn’t punch us in the pocket.


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