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 madeÂ it to aÂ plate. Now he’s on a mission to keep food out of landfillsÂ â€“Â five thousand lunches at a time.
It Started With Pigs
Tristram Stuart found his pathÂ 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 aroundÂ his Sussex home — perfect toÂ 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.Â “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 rescuedÂ food is gathered before it leaves the supermarket, and transformed into thousands of free lunches handed out inÂ colourfulÂ urban pop-up festivals.
Vancouver hosted its first Feeding the 5oooÂ (pdf) event this spring, with Metro Vancouver participation.
Learn Why Effective CampaignsÂ Succeed
Stuart’sÂ knowledge of the food waste world is a valuable resource for anyone seeking expertiseÂ to guide their own efforts to implementÂ food waste solutions. HisÂ experience in-the-trenches offers valuable specifics for success with programs you can launch in your own community.
MarkÂ your calendar to attendÂ Metro Vancouverâ€™sÂ Zero Waste Conference onÂ Thursday, October 29, 2015, forÂ a full day of compelling discussion on zero waste and the circular economy. Weâ€™ll showcase leaders from a broad range of backgrounds, offering their perspectives, tackling vitalÂ issues,Â and makingÂ zero waste principles aÂ top-of-mindÂ priority for industry, government, and consumers.Â Tristram will be delivering the specialÂ mid-morning SPARK Talk discussing Food Waste in the Supply Chain.
This yearâ€™sÂ opening keynote speaker is Bill McDonough, renowned for his ground-breaking work onÂ zero waste principles. McDonough, along with Dr. Michael Braungart, is a cofounder ofÂ the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and the co-author ofÂ Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things andÂ The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability â€“ Designing for Abundance
Register forÂ Metro Vancouverâ€™sÂ Zero Waste Conference
Thursday, October 29, 2015,Â Vancouver Convention Centre East