Philippa Skett is currently an intern at the Society of Biology, and worked in partnership with Global Food Security to make school resources for teachers about food security, food waste, and just where all our food comes from. Today, as part of Biology Week, schools are using these resources to spread the food security message.
Today, as part of Biology Week 2013, we got schools up and down the country talking about food waste. With the population rising to the point where we could be providing for over 9 billion people by 2050, and our consumption of food also growing too, there needs to be a change in the way we treat waste.
Teaching school children is a great way to get this change in motion, and we prepared lesson plans, PowerPoints, worksheets and even some homework(!) to get pupils talking about where our food comes from, and where it goes too. We even got the food itself talking, in this video we made about the carbon and water footprint of a beef sandwich:
The concept of food security is that everyone should have access to enough food to satisfy their nutritional needs, although we are currently far from such a utopian state.
One contributing factor is that we simply waste a lot of food in production, transport, storage and through food we throw away in the home. For example, each year 2.6 billion pieces of bread are thrown away from UK households; either because they have gone stale or mouldy, or are simply the ends that no-one likes to eat!
In total, the cost of avoidable food waste disposed of in England and Wales accounts to £9 billion pounds each year, and £1bn of this is food disposed of when it is ‘in date’.
Take a look at the video and the resources, and consider how you could change something about the way you waste food. Maybe freeze things more often if you aren’t going to eat them or even cut down on the meat you eat. Total food security is not impossible, and if everyone starts to think more about how they eat and what they eat, it could be a reality sooner than we think.