Dana Frasz wants to see a Food Shift – away from waste
Forty percent of all the food produced in the US is wasted. But a number of efforts in the US – such as Food Shift – and others abroad are taking on the problem.
Dana Frasz is a food entrepreneur. She wants to recycle food, taking the food that’s not consumed and putting it into the hands of those who cannot afford it. She wants companies to stop wasting so much food – at the grocery story and in restaurants. She wants us all to be aware of how much we’re throwing in the dustbin.Skip to next paragraph
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Too idealistic? Frasz would argue otherwise. Hear her talk about her passion – FoodShift.
How much waste is there currently in the United States and how accurate are these figures?
Forty percent of all the food produced in the US is wasted.
This figure is from national experts on food waste – author Jonathan Bloom wrote “American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half its Food” and Dana Gunders has been researching this issue at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
What are grocery stores doing currently to prevent food waste? Are there any policies in place to prevent this?
Some grocery stores are donating excess food or marking down the prices of food that is still good but may be past its peak freshness, damaged in some way or cosmetically imperfect. There is a federal policy in place to encourage food donation. It’s called the Good Samaritan Food Act and it was passed specifically to encourage the donation of food. It protects food donors from liability as long as they are donating to a nonprofit. Many food donors can also receive tax deductions for their donations.
What has been the toughest part for you, as an activist and a social entrepreneur, in this effort?
I am really disturbed by the excessive waste and consumption in American culture.
Our materialistic lifestyles in the US have negative social and environmental impacts around the world. Rather than living in harmony with the earth, we are perpetuating a culture that is dependent on exploitation, extraction, and acquisition. Food waste is not only a waste of nutrition, it squanders water, depletes soil, wastes fossil fuels, and adds greatly to the world’s carbon footprint.
What is your solution?
Food Shift is working with Oakland, Calif., schools to ensure surplus food from the cafeteria is redistributed to students and families rather than thrown in the garbage. We are working with a local grocer who has expressed interest in paying Food Shift to recover food from their stores. This would allow us to employ someone in the process while reducing waste disposal costs for the business. We are interested in developing food recovery and redistribution models that increase access to more nutrition food, reduce waste, and generate revenue in some way so they can sustain and scale – like low-cost markets and value-added products.