Have you ever felt like food waste was such a big and mind-boggling problem that you desperately wanted some perspective on how things ended up this way?
If so, you need to meet Jonathan Bloom. To understand the extent of food waste in the United States as well as what causes it, he dove headfirst into our food system, spending time working on a farm, at a restaurant, in a catering company, and stocking shelves at a supermarket.
The result was his groundbreaking book “American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It).” In our chat, we discuss why grocery shopping more often is a powerful way to prevent waste, why the timing of recess in schools matters more than we realize, and we dissect Jonathan’s hot take that composting might not be the environmental victory that many of us assume it is.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about food waste or are fed up with stats about waste and just want some practical ways to take it on in your life, this episode is packed with timeless wisdom and actionable lessons for you!
Episode Show Notes:
- Jonathan’s website: http://www.wastedfood.com/
- Jonathan’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wastedfood/?hl=en
- Jonathan first learned how much food was going to waste in our food system while volunteering at DC Central Kitchen: https://dccentralkitchen.org/
- How shopping more often instead of shopping in bulk can help reduce waste: https://slate.com/business/2015/06/bulk-shopping-creates-food-waste-shop-more-often-instead.html
- Project Drawdown’s research on food waste: https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/food/reduced-food-waste
- The study that found that moving around the timing of recess at schools can reduce food waste by 20-30%: https://edu.wyoming.gov/downloads/nutrition/plate-waste-and-recess-schedule.pdf
- The EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/food-recovery-hierarchy
- Reilly learned a lot about the nuances of composting at scale from the awesome folks at Dirt Hugger: https://www.dirthugger.com/
- The St Andrews Society for gleaning: https://endhunger.org/
- Jonathan’s go-to comfort food is cheesy risotto with root veggies: https://www.freshcityfarms.com/recipes/the-anything-goes-root-vegetable-risotto
- Our blog post about how to avoid wasting protein: https://blog.imperfectfoods.com/blog-1/2019/10/29/4-tips-for-wasting-less-protein
- Jonathan’s go-to karaoke song is “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ
- One of Jonathan’s favorite authors is Calvin Trillin: https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/calvin-trillin