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Food Waste Champions

While the Everyday Food Waste Hero, like you and me, are the key to tackling global Food Waste- there are some extremely inspirational high profile heroes out there. Their stories and initiatives give hope for the future and are breaking new ground (so to speak)!

It is worth learning more. They are creating urban farms in shipping containers, changing the way grocery stores sell on a national scale, are partnering with local farmers to secure the future of “Real Food” and more

Why do they do this? Food waste is a huge problem:

  1. Globally, 1.3 biliion tonnes of food is wasted every year,

  2. 793 million people are undernourished, and yet more than 2 billion people are overweight.

  3. High-income countries, such as Australia, have seen the greatest increase in obesity rates.

  4. The generation of food waste is not only wasteful but expensive – Australians discard up to 20% of the food that we purchase.

I thought I would share a bit about the heros I personally find inspirational in my own journey. These amazing people have dedicated- not a few minutes each day- but much of their lives to combating Food Waste. The list of inspirational people is long and growing (maybe one day- you will be on there!). Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order.

Tristram Stuart (@tristram_stuart)

Tristram Stuart is a National Geographic explorer who has worked for several years towards ending hunger everywhere around the world.  Western countries waste up to half of their food – this is the injustice Tristram has dedicated his career to fixing.  He was the winner of the international environmental award, The Sophie Prize, in 2011.  Tristram is the founder of Feeding the 5000, a food-waste awareness campaign where 5000 members of the public are given a free lunch using only ingredients that otherwise would have been wasted.

In his book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal, Tristram shows how changing the systems that result in food waste could be one of the simplest ways to reduce pressure on the environment.

Selina Juul (@selinajuul)

Selina Juul is known for her work on the Food Waste Movement in Denmark.  She is the driven founder and spokesperson of ‘Stop Wasting Food Denmark’, a non-profit movement against food waste.  The goal of is to spread the message that it is economically irresponsible to dispose of edible food at any point in the food production chain, from producers to shops and restaurants to homes.  She has managed to significantly shift the social norms around food waste in Denmark since 2008 and these are some of her achievements:

– She was able to lead the reduction of food waste in Denmark by 25% in 5 years;

– Rema, a supermarket chain in Denmark, have axed 2 for 1 offers and instead offers discounts for purchasing single items;

– She has led the introduction of doggy bags in Danish restaurants; and,

– She continues to work with local governments and schools towards a better food waste future.

Sarah Wilson (@_sarahwilson_)

Sarah Wilson is an Australian TV presenter, media consultant and passionate blogger about giving up sugar and using up every bit of food. She is the author of the world’s first zero waste cookbook, Simplicious Flow (which we are giving away as part of our Trash and Treasure competition!).

Sarah is so passionate about food waste that she is even infamously known to take home leftovers and carcasses from other diner’s plates at restaurants!

Sabine Spindler (@wastewarrior)

To many, Sabine Spindler is known as the Waste Warrior.  Sabine’s German heritage certainly informed her instinctive no-waste behaviour. “It has a lot to do with my German history. My grandmas survived the Second World War, which created a non-nostalgic background of not wasting food. That was passed on to my parents and then to my generation,” says Sabine.

Sabine is the head chef at Sydney’s Cornersmith cafes (@cornersmith) and her inventiveness is impressive.  She’s turning discarded steamed milk into ricotta and fermented pineapple skins into Mexican soda drinks.  While you are looking up Conersmith- also take inspiration from their pickling and bread chef Pauline Mak (@ppmak) if you’re on Sabine’s trail!

Kimbal Musk (@kimbalmusk)

Kimbal Musk’s start up, Square Roots (@squarerootsgrow), wants to reduce food waste by growing food as close as possible to the point of use.

Square roots installs modules which are hydroponic farms in reclaimed shipped containers that can grow certain vegetables around the clock and without pesticides.  The modules have pre-set lighting and irrigation systems and can be set up anywhere, enabling access to fresh ingredients locally for use in restaurants or shops.

The thinking is that raising at least some crops close to where they will be eaten helps reduce the food damage and spoilage that occurs during transportation.  Growing food in a tightly controlled microclimate also means those crops can have better flavour and yield than counterparts that are grown on traditional industrial style farms. The portability of the idea is also making farming accessible to younger generations of could-be-farmers that want to live in cities.

This is only the tip of an iceberg of amazing people doing amazing things.

If you’re keen on reading more on food waste champions and the exceptional things they are doing- check them out here:


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