The new laws won’t punish businesses for tossing out waste food, but instead offer incentives for donating. Grocery stores, bars, and restaurants that sign up would be given lower garbage collection fees in exchange for contributing to food pantries.
France passed a law last year fining supermarkets for throwing away leftover food. The French activists who pushed for that law want a similar one for all nations in the European Union.
UN Serves Lunch Made From Food Scraps to 30 World Leaders. Chefs usually fret over what to serve world leaders at the United Nations, but for this group discussing hunger and climate change, a fitting menu was prepared from food scraps, leftovers, and produce that normally end up at the dump–a “Landfill Lunch” that provided food for thought.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, French President Francois Hollande, and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala were among 30 leaders Sunday who dined on a lunch made entirely from food that would have been thrown away by stores or restaurant.
Former White House Chef Sam Kass and fellow Chef Dan Barber cooked up the vegetarian spread featuring a salad made out of vegetable scraps, veggie burgers made from leftover pulp from juicing, and a “cocoa husk custard” dessert created with parts of cocoa beans usually discarded when making chocolate. The meal was designed to call attention the problem of food waste as leaders met for the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, emphasizing importance of agriculture as an often overlooked aspect of climate change.
Roughly a billion tons of edible food waste, about a third of the food produced worldwide every year, is discarded — some of it simply because it doesn’t look good on store shelves or on a restaurant’s plates. That wasted food ends up in landfills where it produces greenhouse gases. “Food production and agriculture contribute as much to climate change as transportation,” Ban told reporters after the lunch.
He said the dinner conversation revolved around ideas to fix climate change and poverty. Ban said the consensus among diners was that the UN must “strengthen resilience to climate impacts, with a focus on the poorest and most vulnerable.”
In a related plan, private efforts are stepping up with UK supermarket chain Tesco announcing just last week it will donate unused food from it’s 800 stores to any charity who wants it.
The “Food for Fines” program runs through December 18. Last year, the innovative effort took in 6,200 cans of food for more than 600 citations — worth about $14,000.
Letters from children that begin “Dear sandwich makers” line the wall, attesting to the gang’s more than two years of service.
When the video and story were published in the local paper and in a popular website, Stuff.co.nz, a flood of public support and offers have followed. People have volunteered to help grow the project, grow veggie gardens, send honey, avocados, margarine, eggs, books, money. Tattooed gang members have been left speechless, including Jamie Pink their leader, “the angry man with a soft heart.”
“I wanna say thank you so much for the support. I’m not sayin’ we’re angels and that, but we’re not bad people. We didn’t expect this.” Interviewed by the newspaper, Jamie Pink said he was fed by gang members when he was young and remembers them as generous people who looked after him and his mum when they had nothing.
Yes, he says, it should be the parents responsibility, but some kids just have “crappy parents.”
This is not recruitment, he says. ”If we thought like that, we’re not worth existing, to be honest with you.”
This reminds us of what the Black Panthers attempted in Oakland California before they were eliminated by law enforcement. Speaking of which...
Police officers went above and beyond their duty to help an elderly, disabled man who hadn’t eaten in two days. The 79-year-old called the Mount Pleasant Tennessee Police Department as a last resort after, he says, a caretaker took off with his social security check.
Four officers spent $160 out of their own pockets to make sure he had food for a month, until his next check arrived. They then showed up at his house with armfuls of groceries. Afterwards, they started a food pantry at the station, just in case they can help other people in similar situations.
“We’re out here to take care of the public at large and that doesn’t always mean stopping a car,” Patrolman Mark Billions told WKRN News. “Sometimes it’s us doing little things like this.”
Clarence Blackmon had returned home to an empty refrigerator after months of cancer treatment. Too weak to walk and with no family in town, he called 911 and told the operator was hungry.
Instead of telling the 81-year-old he was tying up an emergency line, she solicited the help of two officers, and the group showed up at Blackmon’s house in Fayetteville, North Carolina to deliver the groceries and fixed him a ham sandwich.
“I’ve been hungry,” Hinson told WTVD. “A lot of people can’t say that, but I can, and I can’t stand for anyone to be hungry.” Since then, donations have been pouring in for Blackmon, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be going to bed hungry anytime soon.