The food waste problem, explained by Olio's founders Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One

Imagine being a part of a community where food waste isn’t just reduced but actively fought against. How would it feel to know that by sharing your surplus with neighbours rather than tossing it in the bin, you’re impacting global statistics? Welcome to the world envisaged by the co-founders of Olio, Tessa and Saasha. We sat down with them to delve deeper into why food waste is a problem and how their app Olio can help combat it…

Saasha: The scale of the global food waste problem is staggering. Globally, one third of all the food we produce is wasted.1 Just let that sink in for a moment. And while this waste occurs, 800 million people go to bed hungry every night.2 It’s a heartbreaking paradox.

And what’s particularly striking is that we in the Western world waste enough food to feed all those hungry people. It’s a stark reminder of the imbalance in our food system.

Tessa: Reducing food waste is a top action for mitigating the climate emergency. Climate scientists have been clear that reducing food waste is more impactful than many other individual actions, like switching to solar power or recycling. In fact, it’s the number one action we can collectively take to address the climate emergency.3

And here’s the kicker – households in the UK are responsible for half of all food waste. That means we’re both the problem and the solution. It’s empowering to know that we have the power to make a significant difference right in our own homes.

Research by Project Drawdown identifying the top actions we can take as households and individuals to help reduce up to 25% of future greenhouse gases

Saasha: There are several ways to get involved with the fight against food waste. First and foremost, sharing what you no longer need on Olio is a fantastic way to prevent perfectly good food from going to waste. Whether it’s excess groceries or leftovers from a meal, there’s always someone who can use it.

And we can’t forget about rescuing food that’s being given away. By connecting with your local community on Olio, you can ensure that surplus food finds a new home instead of ending up in the bin.

why food waste is a problem

Tessa: We’re also encouraging Olio-ers to take their commitment to the next level by signing up to become an Olio supporter. Not only does this support the growth of our local sharing communities, but it also allows us to make critical improvements to the app, amplifying our impact even further.

Together, we can make a significant difference in reducing food waste and addressing the climate emergency and create a world where no good food goes to waste. Every action, no matter how small, counts.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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