USAID Food Loss and Waste Podcast Episode 12: Food Loss and Waste and Methane Emissions
As the United Nations (UN) Food Systems Summit Stocktaking Moment concludes in Rome, we must continue to shine a light on the problem of food loss and waste (FLW) that strains our food systems and our climate. As the world faces the two interconnected crises of a changing climate and food insecurity, one-third of the global food supply is wasted or lost, severely hampering our efforts to end hunger, fight malnutrition and mitigate climate change. Rotting food also emits methane — a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) with 84 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. As a result, FLW contributes approximately 8-10% of all GHG emissions. If FLW were a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world after the U.S. and China. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that FLW is associated with methane emissions near 50 Mt/yr2. This is why we need to act now; initiatives to reduce FLW are critical to combat climate change and improve the overall health of our environment.
This month’s episode of the USAID Kitchen Sink Food Loss and Waste Podcast features a discussion on FLW’s contribution to methane emissions with Malick Haidara, senior climate and energy advisor and methane coordinator at USAID, and Eleni Michalopoulou, a research associate at the Stockholm Environment Institute and co-author of the UNEP Global Methane Assessment. Eleni shares the link between FLW and methane, as well as the major findings of the UNEP Global Methane Assessment. Malick shares USAID’s efforts to mitigate methane emissions, through the food systems and agriculture, waste and landfill management, and energy pathways. Malick and Eleni conclude their conversation with a discussion of the role of the private sector in reducing FLW and accomplishing the Methane Pledge.
Through monthly, bite-sized episodes, the USAID Kitchen Sink Food Loss and Waste Podcast aims to share the work of USAID, its interagency partners, the research community, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector to “Prevent, Inspire and Repurpose” food waste. The podcast raises awareness, exchanges information and shares success stories of food waste prevention. You can subscribe to receive the latest episodes of USAID’s Kitchen Sink and listen to our episodes on the platform of your choice: Apple, Spotify and more! Video recordings of the episodes are available on YouTube. Check in every month for new episodes as global experts discuss a range of issues about FLW and methane emissions — from the critical role of youth to the staggering economic costs — and learn about specific ways that USAID is tackling FLW around the world.
Are you interested in participating in an episode of USAID’s Kitchen Sink to share how you are tackling FLW by preventing, inspiring and repurposing? Please reach out to Nika Larian ([email protected]).
There’s no time (or food) to waste!