Waste Not, Want Not

Other than clothing waste, there’s a lot of food waste in the world as well. Here I’d like to highlight some cool organizations in my community and around the world that help reduce food waste.

In our community and around the world, there are a lot of systems that function amazingly well in rescuing products that would otherwise make their way to the trash. One awesome organization in Iowa City is Tables to Tables. The mission of Table to Table is “to keep wholesome, edible food from going to waste by collecting it from donors and distributing to those in need through agencies that serve the hungry, homeless and at-risk populations”. They have been around since April of 1996, and have rescued and distributed over 20 million pounds of food to area agencies. Some companies that donate to Tables to Tables in Iowa City are Hyvee, Panera Bread, New Pioneer Food Co-op, and the Iowa City Farmers Market. Similar to Tables to Tables, there are also the Coralville and Iowa City food pantries. The food pantries are like mini grocery stores that people in need can go into and get what they need for free. I’ve volunteered there a few times and helped organize and shelve their food that was donated by Hyvee and others. There are also smaller measures that companies can take to save food. At the Java House I used to go to with friends after school, they would bag up bagels or muffins to the side for only one dollar since they were a day old. We really took advantage of it as a cheap after school snack. There are also a decent amount of online resources and apps that work with businesses to sell their excess food. I recently learned about the app, Too Good to Go, on social media. It’s an app that tells you which stores that it works with have excess food and that food can be bought through the app to buy mystery-to-go boxes from the restaurants leftovers instead of them just throwing it away. It’s more common in Europe but has recently started up in the US.

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