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World Food Day:
Celebrity Chefs, Soil SuperHeroes Out in Force to Save Our Food System

In honor of World Food Day (Oct 16), Green America highlights the farmers and food companies leading the regenerative ag revolution; and the World Food Program launches its global Stop the Waste campaign.

Green America recognizes ‘SuperHeroes’ saving our soils to fight climate change

Image credit: Anheuser-Busch

Dozens of farmers and food companies — including Anheuser-Busch, Danone North America and MegaFood; along with no-till farmer Rick Clark (in partnership with Danone) and Farming While Black author and activist Leah Penniman — are being recognized by national nonprofit Green America in honor of World Food Day

Green America says these "Soil SuperHeroes" are working to provide major solutions to the climate crisis by employing regenerative soil stewardship practices that build soil health and resiliency. These farmers and forward-thinking food companies are assessing the impacts of agriculture and implementing best practices to protect soil and human health.

“We need to immediately address the climate crisis we are facing, and these farmers and food companies are doing just that by regenerating our soils for the betterment of our bodies and planet and they should be celebrated,” says Jillian Semaan, Food Campaigns Director at Green America.

Soil SuperHeroes are farmers and food companies that are committed to saving our soils and mitigating the climate crisis through a variety of regenerative practices, including:

  • Anheuser-Busch: Its Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold is the first national beer brand in the US to be certified organic. Anheuser-Busch is helping farmers through the three-year transition period to organic by providing long-term contracts and paying premium prices for transitional and organic crops.

  • Rick Clark and Danone North America: In 2016, Danone North America announced it would transition their products to non-GMO verified, knowing that it had to rely on farmers to provide the non-GMO feed for the cows that produce milk for its yogurt. One of those farmers is Indiana farmer and Soil SuperHero Rick Clark, who offers practical examples for how soil health can transform agriculture.

  • MegaFood: One of the only farm-to-table natural vitamin companies that has a direct relationship with its farmers, MegaFood supports its organic and regenerative farmers and provides a guaranteed market for their regeneratively grown produce.

  • Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm: Leah has cultivated five acres of land using organic and ancestral practices that increase topsoil depth, sequester carbon and improve soil biodiversity, all while fighting the injustices of our food system.

Soil SuperHeroes are following the best practices to shift agriculture from a major cause of climate change to a solution to the climate crisis by building soils to be resilient. Healthy soil is a building block for everything that happens on Earth — from shaping our ecosystems, to mitigating the effects of climate change, to producing 99 percent of the food that we all eat.

“As our soil, food and climate changes for the worse overall, it’s vital that we celebrate those leading the charge towards a more sustainable and delicious future,” Jessica Hulse Dillon, Director of the Regenerative Supply Working Group at Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions. “Please join us in celebrating and supporting the farmers and forward-thinking companies that are working to save our soils and our planet.”

UN World Food Programme launches new campaign to help fight food waste 

Image credit: UN World Food Programme/YouTube

Meanwhile, chances are, you’ve got some forgotten foodstuff festering at the back of our fridge. But often, these seemingly spoiled items can be rescued and included in a tasty dish. That is why the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today launched Stop the Waste, a global campaign to raise awareness about the huge amounts of edible food that is discarded daily — a habit that must be overcome if we are to make real progress in eradicating global hunger. The campaign includes an animated video, which aims to spotlight food waste and highlight simple solutions we can take to prevent it by educating people on how to get involved.  

While there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, one-third of the 4 billion metric tons of food we produce each year is lost or wasted, costing the global economy nearly US$1 trillion annually. At the same time, war and unrest are forcing more people to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War, making it difficult for millions of people to grow their own food or buy it at an affordable price.

recent WRI report confirmed that halving the rate of food loss and waste is an important strategy that would contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and sustainably feeding the planet by 2050. To help achieve a world with zero hunger, WFP helps prevent food loss by helping smallholder farmers through the provision of new technologies for storage and transportation that prevent crops from spoiling prematurely, and by connecting them with markets.

“#StopTheWaste is a campaign that appeals to everyone along the chain from farm to fork,” said Corinne Woods, Chief Marketing Officer for the WFP. "Food waste is a global issue but everyone can play their part in building a sustainable solution. Whether you are a farmer in Nigeria, losing your crops after harvest; or a restaurant diner in New York, wasting the leftovers from your meal, you really can help to #StoptheWaste.”

As part of the campaign, WFP has enlisted top restaurateurs and celebrity chefs from around the globe to join the movement by making their own pledge to #StopTheWaste. In the US, award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern has joined the movement by creating his own recipe using food that would normally go to waste and has pledged #StopTheWaste in hopes of inspiring his followers to do the same. 

“Feeding those in need requires a dozen different action steps as part of a multi-pronged solution to reduce, and hopefully eliminate food waste,” said Zimmern, a four-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher. “This is a global problem at every level: from the farm to the wholesaler to the grocery store to your house and we can all do our part to help. Taking simple steps at home to reduce food waste is good for your wallet and the environment, and supporting organizations that rescue perfectly good landfill-bound produce is vital for feeding those in need.”

Join the campaign:

  1. Search your fridge or pantry for a food item that is nearing its expiration date and safe to eat

  2. Snap a selfie with your item (do not forget to eat it)

  3. Share your photo on social using #StopTheWaste and challenge three friends by tagging them in your post

  4. Take your pledge one step further by sharing your food waste recipes or host a dinner party and encourage others to do the same.