The United Nations recently made that unconventional menu choice to drive home an important message at its Sustainable Development Summit. About 30 world leaders dined on food often wasted shortly after the adoption of new sustainable development goals.
On that “menu”? A commitment to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses, by 2030.
This is outstanding news. With the inclusion of this goal, reducing food waste is recognized as an important part of the UN’s global sustainable development plan. We’re pleased to see food waste continue to gain attention, nationally and globally, and to witness governments and groups around the world taking action. Now, our challenge is to meet this ambitious – yet attainable – goal over the next 15 years.
As a first step, the UN must recognize the avoidance of food waste as a climate mitigation strategy to unlock policies and resources to do something about it. Did you know that if you measured food waste as a country, it would be the world’s 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases? When we do our part and stop being #FoodFoolish, we can find solutions because no other climate strategy saves greenhouse gas emissions, feeds more people, saves more water and promotes national security for developing nations than avoiding food waste. We can solve this.
Thanks to the UN for recognizing that a dialogue on sustainable development must include strategies to waste less, feed more. And for making perhaps the strongest statement in support of the cause without using any words at all.