This entry will help familiarize you with one of the most significant individuals connected to food waste – Tristram Stuart.
Stuart got interested in the topic of food waste when he was just a kid. What is interesting is the fact that he started dealing with other people’s food waste strictly for economical reasons. He thought that by collecting other people’s waste he can save money and still feed his newly acquired pigs. With all the food he collected from his school-dining hall, local grocers and farmers, who couldn’t sell their produce to supermarkets because they didn’t meet certain criteria, his pigs grew bigger. Eventually they themselves turned into delicious pork that he sold at the local market.
Nowadays, Stuart is one of the most well-known experts on the topic of food waste. In October of 2009 Stuart published his first book called “Waste-Uncovering the global food scandal”. His book was welcomed with great reviews. A reporter for the Financial Times (FT) said that: “Waste is certainly one of the most important environmental books to come out in years… It made me more angry than any book I have read for a long time”.
The book aims to shed light on our global food system and its biggest pitfalls. This book is very timely, as we just began to recuperate from a global financial crisis. Yet as the world’s population grows, so does the number of people going hungry. While this traditionally affected mostly developing countries, millions of people in developed and rich countries, such as the USA, are no longer able to afford feeding their families. Learning about the path of our food from farm to fork, and what makes this process inefficient, should be obligatory for everyone.
Stuart’s work and collected knowledge, has lead him to become an adamant supporter of the freeganism movement. This is when individuals collect discarded food and feed themselves off of their scavenged goods. In the book “Waste” Stuart retraces his start as a freegan, sharing stories of the homeless in London that have survived for years off of supermarket’s food waste. Most go on to admit that, they have never eaten so well in their lives. Suddenly they had taste of expensive French cheese, exotic fruits or bio-yoghurts. Some people work hard to afford such produce, while others simply open up the trashcan of a local store and dare to eat its content.
As a continuation of his passion, Stuart created the Feeding 5K organization. As its name stands, the goal is to feed 5,000 individuals on food that was heading to the landfill. Most of this food comes from supermarket’s food waste. This first-ever large scale meal time was organized at London’s Trafalgar Square on December 16th 2009. It has now become an annual event and is being exported to other cities, countries, and continents. Each year more than 5,000 bellies are fed thanks to Tristram’s idea. Recently the first event overseas was organized in Paris.
Feeding 5K is now supported by many British organizations, such as Love Food, Hate Waste and Food Cycle. We invite you to find out more about Tristram Stuart and his actions by watching his TED talk presentation at this link:
Listen to Tristram’s TED talk.
Those who are interested about food waste and Stuart should also look at:
by Piotr Wielezynski