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Save the world one food scrap at a time (reduce food waste)
Imagine there was something you could do—and encourage your audience to contribute to—that can help reduce soil, water, and air pollution, mitigate impacts on climate change, while incentivizing everyone to eat fresher foods for health and save money at the same time. There are so many win-win-wins here! What is that thing? It’s helping to reduce food waste. Yes, too much fresh food is wasted and reducing food waste can influence all of these in a very positive way.
This blog post has a ton of content ideas that you can publish and share to help amplify the movement to reduce food waste so that you can get more visibility, make more sales, and grow your influence.
Mitigating the impact of food loss and waste
Food loss and waste is a problem of epic proportions. Food loss happens during farming and production. Food waste is what happens at the retail store and consumer (household) level. While there is a ton (well, over a billion tons) of opportunity to reduce food loss in agriculture and industry, this post will share some ideas on how you can help your audience to reduce their own food waste because that’s where they have more direct control and can start making an immediate impact.
If you could guess at the amount of food lost and wasted in tons, would you guess it’s in the billions? If you considered the percent of all food that is produced that never gets eaten, would you guess that’s in the tens? They are! Over 2 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year and that totals around 40 percent of all of the food that’s produced. And if you think about it, all of this wasted food also wastes the soil and water resources that went into it and produces 8 percent of the greenhouse gases released that contribute to climate change.
In other words, reducing food waste is one way to help preserve our soil, water, air, and climate, while helping us eat fresher foods and save money.
There is no better time to help everyone you can reduce some of their food waste. This week is the 20-year anniversary of #WasteReductionWeek in Canada. Waste Reduction Week covers a number of areas of waste (including textiles, e-waste, plastics, etc.), and reducing food waste will be the focus on Friday. If you’re in Europe, the European Week for Waste Reduction is coming up on Nov 20-18, 2021. (If you know of a similar food waste reduction awareness campaign elsewhere, please link to it in the comments below.) But overall, really, maybe every week can (should?) be waste reduction week in some way.
How can nutrition pros, chefs, and food bloggers help?
As a nutrition pro, chef, or food blogger you have an audience that is very interested in and engaged with the topic of food. You reach them and they hear you. You have influence. You can have a huge impact by sharing educational soundbites, your passion for, and tips on reducing food waste. Here are some ways you can use this initiative to help the world reduce food waste (and the negative impacts that has), eat healthier, and save money.
Content topic ideas on how to reduce food waste
You can share your existing, or create new, content around:
- Meal plans that create minimal waste, have accurate grocery lists, and use up leftovers. If you sell meal plans, consider putting one on a flash sale.
- Recipes that use up older, imperfect, or leftover food or scraps. Or recipes that allow substitutions so people don’t feel like they have to go out and buy a bunch of unique food or spices that they may not finish up. Or maybe you have recipes created to help store food like canning, drying, or freezing. If you have a cookbook or recipe collection, you could promote it or profile a few of your recipes by curating them into a “roundup” blog post or on social media noting how they can help reduce food waste.
- Ways to re-create fresh food from scraps like putting green onions into a small glass of water to re-grow or how to make a new batch of yogurt from the last bits left in the container.
- Non-consumable ways to use food that would otherwise be wasted, like how to compost for their garden, create household or beauty products like cleaners or lotions, or what scraps can be added to house plant soil.
- Education so your followers learn how to understand the true shelf-life of food and reduce food waste from prematurely throwing things out. You can create content about this or share credible links.
- Resource recommendations like an app or checklist that you love and recommend so people can easily find groceries that are approaching their best before dates or keep track of what food they have in their pantries and freezers.
- Strategies for better food storage to prolong the life of food. For example, maybe you’re an affiliate for a company with amazing reusable food storage containers. If so, promote those.
- A shoutout to an organization that helps to reduce food waste, encourage your audience to buy your fav brand of “ugly” produce, or donate food they’re not going to eat to a food bank.
Resources and inspo on how to reduce food waste
Need more resources or inspiration that you can inspire your own unique content creation or share as is?
- Food waste resources: Waste Reduction Week
- Love Food Hate Waste
- Best before vs. Expiry dates: Canadian Institute of Food Safety
Need a pre-written done-for-you article about sustainable food that shares strategies to reduce food waste as well as some of the science behind low-carbon healthy eating? (You can also use Part 3 as an opt-in lead magnet.) Check out this done-for-you pre-written article on Sustainable food.
How to share your food waste reduction content
Now that you have a bunch of great content, it’s time to share it with your audience. You can create an event (like a live demo of you making a soup with random veggies from your fridge), publish an article on your blog to grow traffic there, send an update to your email subscribers, and share several posts on this topic on social media. I also encourage you to engage with others in these social media campaigns. You can find other social media posts to interact with by searching #WasteReductionWeek (Oct 18-24, 2021) or #EWWR2021 (Nov 20-28, 2021).
P.S. Waste Reduction Week is just one of the hundreds of health- and food-awareness dates I’ve compiled into a huge spreadsheet. If you’re interested in a very comprehensive list of these dates before they happen, check out this calendar that is consistently being updated with the latest dates, hashtags, and links. It is currently up-to-date until the end of 2021.
But while knowing those dates and links gives you ideas and can help you join a social media awareness campaign, you don’t even have to stick to those pre-determined dates; every Friday can be Reduce Food Waste Friday for you (if you want).
Helping your foodie health-seeking audience reduce food waste is an opportunity to make a big (big!) difference in the world. It’s one area where your clients and patients can improve their health, lower their impact on the ecosystems we are so interdependent with, and save money. I would love for you to join me in promoting activities that benefit the health of our audiences and other people while helping to reduce waste, save the planet, and save money.
Signing off and toasting: To reducing food waste and helping save the world (as we know it)
Over to you
What do you think about the campaign to reduce food waste? Are you already a pro and have more tips and resources to share? What practises do you do regularly to reduce your food waste footprint and how do you encourage your audience to join you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!
World Wildlife Fund. (2021, July 21). Over 1 Billion Tonnes More Food Being Wasted Than Previously Estimated, Contributing 10% of All Greenhouse Gas Emissions. https://www.worldwildlife.org/press-releases/over-1-billion-tonnes-more-food-being-wasted-than-previously-estimated-contributing-10-of-all-greenhouse-gas-emissions
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I’m Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.