Feed people, not garbage cans — talks on cutting food waste

TEDxSydney served "ugly food" at their event (Photo: Tim Lumsdaine | TEDxSydney)

TEDxSydney served “ugly food” at their event (Photo: Tim Lumsdaine | TEDxSydney)

“Every year, consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa,” reports the United Nations. These eight talks show the efforts people are making around the world to cut food waste — whether that’s through restaurants that cook with leftovers or teaching people to love ugly food.

Watch them all below:


Adam Smith’s cafes serve meals created from leftovers — donations from restaurants, cafes, food photographers, events and more. The cafes — collectively called The Real Junk Food Project — operate with a Pay-as-you-feel (PAYF) policy that allows customers to decide what they wish to contribute for their meals. At TEDxWarwick, he explain how this works.


Cam Pascual is the co-founder of Food Recovery Network, a nonprofit connecting college students with hunger-fighting nonprofits to deliver uneaten dining hall food. At TEDxFurmanU, she explains how the program came to be and challenges the notion that college students can’t have a big impact on their community.


High school student Hanna Wondmagegn started a program that takes wasted food from school lunches — uneaten and pre-packaged foods such as produce, milks, salads and fruit cups — and distributes it to the local community. At TEDxEastMecklenburgHighSchool, she shares the story behind the program.


Most cookbooks don’t teach you how to not waste food, but Daisy Scholte will. At TEDxFryslân, she shares lessons from years of trying to curb food waste in her own cooking


The Slow Food Youth Network combines “ugly produce” — produce rejected from supermarkets due to cosmetic reasons — with disco music to get young people into cooking and cutting food waste. At TEDxTUHH, Steffen Schweizer shares why he loves Disco Soup.


Marc Zornes helps the hospitality industry cut food waste using technology. At TEDxHackney, he shares the environmental impact of wasted food and discuses how businesses can better plan catering, re-brand “ugly food,” and keep track of how much food they throw away.


During the 2015 World Expo in Milan, Rio-based chef David Hertz worked with fellow chef Massimo Bottura to setup a pop-up restaurant serving meals for the homeless — all created with leftovers from the event. A year later, Rio was preparing for the Olympic Games and Hertz wanted to try the experiment again — this time with leftovers from the Olympics. At TEDxLaçador, he shares how he at Bottura made this happen.


At TEDxManhattan, food writer Dana Cowin shares beautiful photos of ugly food, and invites you to fall in love with not-so-perfect produce.

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