Updated: May 23
All over the country communities are realizing the seriousness surrounding the issues of food waste and are taking action to reduce it.
Now it's the Hudson Valley's Turn!
ANNOUNCING THE HUDSON VALLEY FOOD WASTE CHALLENGE Up to 40% of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten. Wasted food is a major contributor to multiple environmental and social problems, and it's happening here in the Hudson Valley.
Although food waste occurs throughout the food supply system, household food waste is the biggest culprit. According to ReFED, US households waste 76 billion pounds of food a year. This means that food waste is costing the average household and estimated $1800 a year.
WHAT IS THE FOOD WASTE CHALLENGE?
The Hudson Valley Food Waste Challenge is a way for the community to make a difference together. Individually, each of us may feel we can't make a big enough difference when it comes to climate change or solving food insecurity. Here is the thing, if we all do this together, positive, lasting changes will be made!
ABOUT THE CHALLENGE
The challenge will start on September 20th, and last for six weeks. It is designed to first help you gain an awareness about the amount of food you are already throwing away. Then you will learn simple, doable methods to reduce your waste. By making small shifts in how you shop for, prepare, and store food, you can save time and money, and make the world a better place.
HOW THE FOOD CHALLENGE WORKS
Early Registration begins, August 2nd, and is $20* per household. The challenge will leverage the power of social media and your cell phone to keep it interactive, fun, and easy to fit into a busy lifestyle.
You will be receiving what you need to significantly reduce your food waste through an online toolkit, short videos, text messages and emails. You will stay connected with the community, share their experiences, and see what others are up through hashtags, stories, and live videos.
Through short videos you will also hear from local chefs, farmers, other food experts and other surprise guests (celebrities) on best practices when it comes to shopping, keeping food fresh and creating delicious recipes from what you have in the house.
Everyone also will receive a t-shirt** and be entered to win a variety of great prizes.***
WHY YOU SHOULD GET INVOLVED
Reducing food waste is not a trend. Just like public appeals to quit smoking, recycle or to wear seatbelts, it is a shift that has to occur. On a national level, the food waste reduction goal of the USDA and EPA is to reduce the amount of food waste going into our landfills by 50% by the year 2030. If you are interested in finding out about initiatives on a global scale, you can check out this document put out by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction". From the document you will see how important it is make a change as to how we think about food.
On an economic level, when we throw out food we not only throwing away hard-earned money, but we are also wasting valuable resources. Just watch this short video, "Life of a Strawberry", which is about a strawberry's journey from the farm to your refrigerator. I promise you, it will make you think twice about food waste.
Of course, there are the environmental issues of food waste. when food rots in the landfill, it emits methane gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more dangerous C02, and is rapidly adding to the warming of our planet. If you believe in climate change, then you must believe it is time to change your current habits when it comes to the food you are trashing.
Maybe the biggest reason you should get involved is that people in our community are going hungry. It doesn't seem to make any sense that we throw away such a large amount of food while many people simply don't have access to enough healthy, nutritious food. Building community awareness about food waste can help the Hudson Valley create a stronger, more fair, sustainable food system making sure that "EVERYBODY in the Hudson Valley EATS", not just those who can afford it.
PLEASE JOIN US IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE
To join the challenge click here
For more information visit our www.HudsonValleyEATS.com
We could also use your help! We are currently looking for volunteers, sponsors and influencers to help us spread the word about the Food Waste Challenge. The more people we can get involved the bigger our impact will be! If you can help out please call Janet at (845) 598-4760 or email her at janet@HudsonValleyEAT.com.
*Registration price will increase to $25 on August 15th
** Shirt design subject to change and will be sent during the challenge
*** Prize winners will be randomly drawn at the end of the challenge
Many thanks to our current sponsors!