Each year we celebrate ecological heroes as part of our ECO Coin Award and this year is no different. The theme for 2018 will focus on food waste. Globally, 30–40% of food produced for consumption is wasted every year. Luckily there are some brilliant ideas out there aiming to tackle this global problem.
Humans have been saving food for thousands of years. We started around 7000BCE in China with the discovery of fermentation. Humans stumbled upon this biological process to create wines, when rotting grapes slowly broke down and produced alcohol. Instead of throwing the grapes out, humans decided to drink the liquid and the first hangover occurred. We should be thankful to our ancestors for not simply wasting the grapes, as today we have an abundance of beverages to alter our state of minds.
Jump to 1795 and Napoleon Bonaparte wanted a way to preserve food for his constantly traveling army. By 1810, the process of jarring goods was invented, closely followed by canning. These new technological developments helped many people to have food year around. By 1850’s Louis Pasteur had refined the process of pasteurisation so milk could be stored for longer. As the industrial revolution took off so did food production. We now live in a world of abundance where we can eat bread made in Holland, with avocados from Mexico, salt from the Himalayas and a cup of coffee from Indonesia.
But this abundance is only for some. While half the world is indulging, the other half does not have enough. Globally, humans produce enough food to feed 10 billion people (we are only 7 billion now) yet somehow we waste a third of this. Food waste is one of the biggest climate challenges of our time, and just as before, innovative humans are solving this issue by harnessing new technologies.
The ECO coin Award 2018 looks to recognise these innovators and so we are looking for ideas that reduce food waste, are innovative, are community oriented and that are scalable solutions. Have you seen an inspiring project, platform, person or community who is tackling food waste? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be in with a chance of winning the ECO coin Award 2018.