Food & Food Waste
Wasted food is the contributor to global greenhouse gases, mostly in the form of methane. Really.
The three biggest contributors to climate change right here in the Bay Area are from our food & food waste, our buildings & the energy we use, and our transportation.
The good news is that the solutions already exist.
We hear a lot about "carbon" when we talk about the climate, but far worse than carbon dioxide is methane gas, also known fossil gas, or "natural" gas - the same gas we cook with. Methane is also produced by rotting plant material, like food that gets thrown out and ends up in our growing landfills.
FIRST, WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:
SAVE MONEY BY BUYING ONLY WHAT YOU WILL EAT
Food is a personal and cultural choice. It connects us and sustains us in many ways: friends & family, our neighborhoods & restaurants, grocers, farmers markets, and our local economy.
If you buy only what you'll eat, you'll throw out less, you'll save money, and there won't be any more science projects in the back of your refrigerator!
"If food can be saved, we'll save it."
Try Imperfect Foods, delivered right to your door: fresh, often organic, and often cheaper than grocery store prices. You decide what you want and place your order. Perfect!
If you typically don't finish leftovers, try preparing less food to begin with.
EAT A PLANT-RICH DIET
Changing your diet is both a personal and a cultural decision. Plant-rich diets tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart conditions.
If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and it's not just "cow burps", but how they're raised, grazed, and sent to market.
If you don't want to give up meat entirely, consider eating more vegetables anyway, and just a little less meat. Try a "Meatless Monday", and buy meat that is raised humanely & sustainably. The cows will thank you.
COMMIT TO COMPOSTING
If you have scraps from cooking prep or scrapings from the plates after the meal, put them in a compost pail - on the counter or in your refrigerator or freezer. Empty pail contents into your green can with other green waste and soiled paper. Composting is now required for homes and businesses, so make sure that you're using that green can. You'll be keeping those scraps out of the landfill, lowering the methane emissions, and helping the state reach its landfill diversion target.
On average, our food travels 1,500 miles before reaching our dinner table.
If we buy food that was grown and produced in our region, we're supporting our local economy. "Buying local" increases the financial security of our farmers by creating a consistent market for their products. It means our food traveled a shorter distance to our plates. It's fresher, the transportation costs are reduced, not to mention the greenhouse gas emissions from shipping it across the continent, or flying it in from another country.
Everyone can buy at local farmers' markets, including those receiving
CalFresh benefits. Learn more at CalFresh Market Match.
SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES,
FROM THE FARMERS TO THE MARKETS TO YOUR WHOLE COMMUNITY
This, not that.
If you still have food you won't use:
The SF Marin Food Bank & other community food distribution organizations accept donations of non-perishable and unexpired food items. Whatever grocer or farmer you support, the idea is to reduce waste. Shop for food with intention and eat with pride and sustainability. As the old saying goes: "Waste not, want not."
we sow the seeds for equity, health, and sustainability through our food system here in the Bay Area?
everyone had access to fresh fruits and vegetable for better nutrition?
growing food reduced our carbon footprint instead of expanding it?
the folks who produce our food had good working conditions and fair wages?