In this interview, we are joined by experts Amanda Hong and Zak Accuardi to examine Drawdown’s two biggest solutions that allow for the greatest agency at the individual level – Reduced Food Waste and Plant Rich Diets.
With studies showing that as much as one third of global food production being wasted annually, cutting back on the emissions from the production, transportation and disposal of waste food represents a huge opportunity. Amanda outlines the causes of food waste and how they vary from the global south to the affluent west and what solutions can be adopted at the consumer, retail and government levels.
The environmental harms posed by meat consumption are well documented and have become a prominent and sensitive topic in recent years. Zak discusses how the growing global middle class is projected to be matched with a rising demand for meat, thereby placing a greater urgency on the adaptation of plant rich diets. He cites the high levels of meat consumption in the affluent west, particularly the United States, to illustrate how the greatest opportunities for reducing meat consumption are in the affluent west.
We also touch on the need to move away from industrialised food production; a system that has alienated many us from our relationship to food. We also touch on the potential and benefits of distributed and localised food production and how education is crucial to allowing sustainable food habits to take root.
Amanda Hong is an Environmental Protection Specialist working with the US Environmental Protection agency to prevent and manage waste and minimise its negative environmental and economic costs. Her research speciality for Project Drawdown is Reduced Food Waste. Zak Accuardi has a background in urban sustainability and is a specialist in public transportation policy. His research specialities for Project Drawdown are Plant-Rich Diets and Waste to Energy.