The Food Waste Fiasco

Rob Greenfield and “The Food Waste Fiasco” 2014

The work of Rob Greenfield provides a highly visual example of the amount of food waste which can be wasted just from grocery stores if there is little or no effort made by society to distribute it to the needy.

Certainly, in the UK in recent years the redistribution of edible food waste from stores has been reduced substantially including selling it at reduced prices in-store, and sending this food to “food banks”.

It may be that such moves mean that the following example of US food waste no longer applies just as in the UK. However, the following excerpt remains an example of just how much waste food can be dumped in wealthy societies.

Rob Greenfield [adventurer, environmental activist, entrepreneur] cycled across the USA … in the summer of 2014. In the first half of the ride … promoted a happy, healthy, carefree and waste-free existence.

He left home with $2,000 in cash, no credit cards, and upon arrival in Madison, Wisconsin donated his last $421 to a non-profit.

He then vowed to travel without money the rest of the way to New York City and eat solely out of dumpsters at grocery stores and convenience stores to draw attention to, and find solutions for, food waste.

In major cities he held Food Waste Fiascos in which the edible food he found in dumpsters, was displayed in one spot to show how much of it there is.

Greenfield said, “The stats are enormous – $165 billion worth of food thrown out each year, or about half of all the food we produce – but it’s hard for people to wrap their head around numbers.

Seeing a beautiful display of a couple thousand dollars’ worth of perfectly good food pulled from dumpsters near them does the trick, though”. via


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