OzHarvest, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are urging Australians to take action on food waste as part of the fourth annual Think.Eat.Save campaign, taking place across Australia on July 25, and save billions of dollars.
Think.Eat.Save events taking place nationwide will see some of the nation’s top chefs – such as Neil Perry, Maggie Beer, George Calombaris and Matt Moran – business leaders, politicians and celebrities unite to address the urgent issue of food waste, which is currently costing Australians up to $8 billion each year.
Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn, said the aim of Think.Eat.Save 2016 is to bring attention to the alarming amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) is wasted or lost along the way.
“The current global and local food waste statistics are alarming,” Ms Kahn said. “We urgently need change to happen now to ensure a sustainable food system for future generations. This year at Think.Eat.Save we are urging Australians to make a dish using their leftovers, giving life to food that would otherwise have been wasted.
“These small efforts to reduce food waste create positive change and inspire others to take action about the urgent issue of food waste and food security.”
Members of the public are encouraged to get involved by making a personal pledge to change their eating behaviour and reduce food waste via #PledgeAPlate. You can pledge a plate by making a meal out of leftovers, rescued or saved ingredients, taking a photo and uploading it on social media with the hashtag #PledgeAPlate and fundraise via www.pledgeaplate.com. Those participating are then encouraged to nominate someone else to take part via social media.
“To achieve a sustainable world, we need to transform the way we produce and consume our food – particularly as populations grow and climate change lowers agricultural productivity,” said UNEP Spokesperson Naysán Sahba.
“The Think.Eat.Save campaign sends the clear message that every individual can make a difference, and save themselves money, through simple measures to reduce food waste. We thank OzHarvest for championing the campaign in Australia and beyond.”
To mark the national Australian campaign to reduce food waste, OzHarvest will host 11 events across the country, feeding over 15,000 thousand people a free, delicious and hearty hot meal made from rescued produce and educating people about reducing food waste.
#PledgeAPlate Campaign Toolkits are available at www.pledgeaplate.com for businesses and schools to take action and get involved in the Think.Eat.Save campaign.