California is experiencing an off the charts drought, with this past year being the driest in the state’s history. This has caused intense wildfires of unprecedented numbers, resulted in over $800 million in crop loss, put over 17,000 agricultural employees out of work, and has led to a growing need for food assistance in many parts of the state.
In May, Food Shift won $50,000 worth of public transit advertising by popular vote through facebook. Thank you for voting! Due to the severity of the drought and its impact on the environment, our food supply, and subsequently the health of our communities, Food Shift chose to utilize these BART ads to draw attention to the interconnectedness of food waste and water waste.
Our food system puts incredible strain on our environment. Each time food goes uneaten all the resources that went into producing, processing, packaging, and transporting that food are wasted, too. This means huge amounts of chemicals, energy, and land and 25% of all freshwater in the U.S. is used to produce food that is thrown away. Additionally, most uneaten food rots in landfills where it accounts for almost 15% of U.S. methane emissions. A recent USDA report concluded that if food waste were a country it would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions.
Given the resources demanded for food production, the increasing realities of climate change, and the fact that 50 million Americans are food insecure, it is critical that we understand these interconnections and cultivate a more sustainable and efficient use of food.
Learn more about the hidden water footprint in your food and help us elevate food as part of the conservation conversation. Follow our work and share these informative images with your communities through Facebook and Twitter.
Want to reduce food waste in your own home? Learn how here.
Please help us assess these ads’ impact by taking our four question survey!