Hidden behind spotless grocery aisles, perfectly proportioned vegetables, and a confusing array of best before rules, Tristram Stuart discovered a world of waste. Most of it perfectly edible food that never made it to a plate. Now he’s on a mission to keep food out of landfills – five thousand lunches at a time.
It Started With Pigs
Tristram Stuart found his path to food waste activism through a teenage entrepreneurial streak. Armed with the idea of raising pigs and selling the meat, the fifteen year old Stuart soon discovered a wealth of food being thrown away by the stores around his Sussex home — perfect to repurpose as feed for his pork-bellied investment. But it also piqued his interest. Soon he was delving deeper into the issue of food waste and discovering just how systemic the problem is.
“I noticed we were hemorrhaging out food,” says Stuart in his TED talk on food waste. “And I’m not talking about rotten food being thrown away, but rather perfectly edible food.”
Stuart’s TED talk ends with a blunt finale. “At the moment we are trashing our land to grow food that no one eats.” But his honesty is matched with action.
Tackling Food Waste With Multiple Campaigns
His interest in food waste spawned a prize-winning book, Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal (Penguin, 2009) and the organization Feedback, with awareness campaigns such as Stop Dumping, The Pig Idea, and The Gleaning Network. One of the organization’s signature events is Feeding the 5000, where rescued food is gathered before it leaves the supermarket, and transformed into thousands of free lunches handed out in colourful urban pop-up festivals.
Vancouver hosted its first Feeding the 5ooo (pdf) event this spring, with Metro Vancouver participation.
Learn Why Effective Campaigns Succeed
Stuart’s knowledge of the food waste world is a valuable resource for anyone seeking expertise to guide their own efforts to implement food waste solutions. His experience in-the-trenches offers valuable specifics for success with programs you can launch in your own community.
Mark your calendar to attend Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference on Thursday, October 29, 2015, for a full day of compelling discussion on zero waste and the circular economy. We’ll showcase leaders from a broad range of backgrounds, offering their perspectives, tackling vital issues, and making zero waste principles a top-of-mind priority for industry, government, and consumers. Tristram will be delivering the special mid-morning SPARK Talk discussing Food Waste in the Supply Chain.
This year’s opening keynote speaker is Bill McDonough, renowned for his ground-breaking work on zero waste principles. McDonough, along with Dr. Michael Braungart, is a cofounder of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and the co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance
Register for Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference
Thursday, October 29, 2015, Vancouver Convention Centre East