Food Insecurity in the News: Food Bank Limitations, Eat Ugly, USDA Makes Food Center Stage

Our recent reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Food Recovery—Bridging the Gaps via NERC, Northeast Recycling Council

Retail food donation_edible manhattanThis issue is near and dear to us at Community Plates. Food banks are important, but they have limitations. This is why our direct transfer of fresh food is a critical piece to the food insecurity puzzle:

One thing that I recently became aware of is that many food banks do not collect from restaurants. Grocery stores often have nonperishable food—canned or packaged food—that can be donated if it nears its “sell by date.” Food Banks may also be able to accept produce and even baked goods from grocers. However, because most food banks usually act as distributors of nonperishable food to local food rescue organizations, such as soup kitchens, they typically do not handle smaller quantities of perishable food donations. Restaurants are more likely to have cooked, unserved food leftover.

Save the Planet – Eat Ugly via New York Times

The efficiencies in farming, packaging and transportation that could come from consuming such fruits and vegetables, instead of throwing them away, could eliminate one billion tons of carbon emissions a year, Mr. Chabanne contends, and save 210 million tons of food a year.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that a third of the world’s food fit for human consumption each year does not reach consumers.

Food waste: The big issue for 2016 via Nation’s Restaurant News

sweetgreen x Blue Hill - wastED Hero_0

Sweetgreen offered a WastED salad, developed in partnership with Blue Hill, in its New York restaurants.

Social issues, and the food trends that can emerge from them, often simmer beneath the surface of mainstream consciousness, quietly gestating among the interested few before bursting, almost fully formed, into the public eye.

I think in 2016 that issue will be food waste. And the food trends associated with that look to be more interesting than you might expect.

Hunger costs US extra $160bn a year to treat chronic illnesses – study via The Guardian

Hunger and malnutrition cost the United States an extra $160bn a year in the treatment of chronic health conditions, according to a report released to coincide with Thanksgiving that exposes the consequences of “food insecurity” among poorer American families.

The study, commissioned by Christian charity Bread for the World, is believed to be the first to apportion a share of the long-term costs of illnesses such as diabetes that are linked to a lack of access to affordable, nutritious food.

In Paris, the USDA Puts Food and Climate Change Center Stage via Civil Eats

shutterstock_climate_ag-680x390The government agency has released a new report assessing the impacts of climate change on global food security and the U.S. food system. It takes a detailed look at how—between now and the end of this century—the changing climate will affect farming and food distribution around the world. These impacts will touch virtually everything we eat, from grains to fresh produce, fish, meat and dairy products.