Food rescue, waste prevention, nutrition, environmental sustainability and food security are some of my favourite words. Or should I say actions. I’m proud to say that one of my most recent job positions is with OzHarvest as a Nutrition and Education Coordinator for Brisbane. I have volunteered with them in the past and if I could choose one organisation that aligns perfectly with my professional and personal values, OzHarvest would be it. OzHarvest is the leading food rescue organisation in Australia, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets (supermarkets, hotels, markets, farmers, wholesalers, cafes, restaurants etc…) and delivering it direct to more than 900 charities who support people in need. Since Ronni Kahn founded the organisation in 2004, OzHarvest has delivered over 60 million meals and saved more 20,000 tonnes of food from landfill.
I just have to share an inspiring little story from the other day. While helping out on a food rescue, we delivered food to Encircle Redcliffe Neighbourhood Centre, a not for profit organisation for the northern suburbs of Brisbane. I was given a tour of their community garden that started over 6 months ago (which looked fantastic) and, get this, has all been grown from dying pots of herbs from Aldi and seeds to be thrown out from Bunnings! Talk about sustainability! Clients from a local mental health group also tend to the garden and children from a Kids Connect program have been growing radish from seed to understand what it’s all about. Community gardens are also about community development. As a Public Health Nutritionist…this is where my heart is!
Here are a few global food loss and waste facts from the OzHarvest website:
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – gets lost or wasted. 
Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).  Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change. 
While the planet is struggling to provide us with enough resources to sustain its 7 billion people (growing to 9 billion by 2050), FAO estimates that a third of global food production is either wasted or lost. Food waste is an enormous drain on natural resources and a contributor to negative environmental impacts.
If food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used in the production of all the food are also lost. For example, it takes about 1,000 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk and about 16,000 litres goes into a cow’s food to make a hamburger. The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food supply chain, all end up in vain when we waste food.
 FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome,  FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome,  FAO, 2011, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, Rome.