Food waste is not only linked to our country’s vexing  hunger issue but also has important impacts on climate change.  It is estimated that 30-40% of our food process, from production to the table, ends up in local landfills. Produced by Anthony Bourdain, Wasted is a new documentary looking at solutions to reducing food waste.  Bourdain states that “Chefs are way out in front on hunger issues and food waste issues.”  He is concerned with “how obscene it is to waste the amount of food that we do”.

This documentary is now showing in Tempe at Harkins Valley Art.  Check for showtimes now before it leaves the theater!  This is currently the only theater in Arizona showing this important film.

Attacking this problem is a priority across Arizona.  Waste NOT, a local non-profit in the Phoenix metro area delivered 3 million pounds of food last year that would have gone into the landfill,  providing food to numerous frontline hunger organizations.  The Food Recovery Program, spearheaded by Cornucopia Community Advocates, was launched earlier in 2017 in Yavapai County with a focus on the Verde Valley and the Prescott area.  The Borderlands Food Bank  is committed to providing accessibility to nutritious fresh produce in Santa Cruz County, other cities in Arizona and into Mexico.    Borderlands transports 30 million pounds of produce to those in need.   There are many ways to work together on issues around climate change.  Partnering with other organizations can have significant impacts on both local hunger needs and the long-term health of our planet.

Food justice is a priority agenda item for AZIPL.  As an interfaith community, we are clearly concerned about the ravaging effects of local hunger.  And, committed to reducing greenhouse gases, this presents a unique opportunity to spur activists around both issues to work together to meet this challenge.  Food waste is so important that a recent report on reversing global warming, Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, ranks food waste as the 3rd highest solution to reducing greenhouse gases.  And what is number 4? Our food choice.  The Western diet, in particular, needs to be more focused on a plant-rich diet, not meat.  So, it is not just the burning of fossil fuels.  Food and agriculture represent huge impacts on climate change and the environment.  We have the individual power to reduce that impact by our food choices as individuals and as a society.

Check out the new documentary, “Wasted”.  Take a look at the new report, Drawdown.  There is hope out there; we just need to act on it.