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What a WWI Poster Can Teach Us About #FoodWaste 

By Rose Hayden-Smith
via the UC Food Observer web site

There’s an increasing awareness of the negative impacts of food waste. A quick reminder of what’s at stake:

10haydensmith p19jh073u6et71lstppflvbh5 725x1024In a guest blog post for UC Food Observer, UC researcher Wendi Gosliner (part of the team at UC ANR’s Nutrition Policy Institute, a cutting-edge unit that’s using research to transform public policy) shared this observation:

“Food waste presents a major challenge in the United States. Estimates suggest that up to 40% of the food produced nationally never gets consumed, causing substantial economic and environmental harms. Wasted food utilizes vast quantities of precious land, water and human resources, yet rather than nourishing people, it feeds landfills, producing methane gasses that poison the environment. Much of the food waste (43%) occurs at the household level.”

What History Can Teach Us

Here’s my take on food waste. It goes back in part to lessons I’ve learned from studying World War I (WWI), when the American government set food conservation goals (along with goals for local food production via Liberty – later Victory – Gardens). I’m a big proponent of both reducing food waste and producing more food in communities via school, home and community gardens.

Big point: the World War I poster included in this post has advice we’d be well served to heed today.

It’s an iconic poster from World War 1. Food…don’t waste it. The image is regularly shared on Twitter and Facebook.

Period piece or photoshopped image?

The original was produced in 1917 by the United States Food Administration, under the direction of the newly appointed food “czar” – Herbert Hoover.

Read the entire article on the UC Food Observer web site here:

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