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Reducing Food Waste in the St. Louis Region

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Reducing Food Waste in the St. Louis Region

Missouri Botanical Garden supports efforts in the community to create and maintain clean air, water, and soil for all. Food waste has major impacts on air, water, and soil, and on the three pillars of sustainability: people, planet, and economies. Diverting surplus food from grocery stores and restaurants can help feed hungry people in our region. Reducing food waste is one of the top actions that people can take to reduce emissions that cause climate change, a threat to the health of plants and people. Food worth billions of dollars is thrown away each year in the United States, with the average consumer spending around $1300 annually on food that is ultimately wasted. The Garden is actively involved in educating St. Louis residents about steps they can take to reduce food waste at home and supports regional efforts to reduce that waste on a larger scale. One of those regional efforts is the Food Waste Reduction working group that is part of the OneSTL collaboration. This working group, with leadership from earthday365 and Missouri Botanical Garden, has partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Food Matters Initiative in order to take steps towards lowering food waste in the region. In the summer of 2023, NRDC performed an analysis of the Greater St. Louis region to determine the food waste and rescue potential. Around 667,000 tons of food are wasted annually in St. Louis, with 63% coming from residents and another 22% coming from restaurants. NRDC documented the food rescue opportunities, largely from grocery stores, small markets, and restaurants.

Read further into Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Food Matters Initiative's discoveriesStLouisCalculatorTwo... 

With this information, the Food Waste Reduction group is developing a plan for next steps in partnership with the Food Matters team. Earthday365 and the Green Dining Alliance are taking the lead on the next phase, the STL Food Waste Challenge. Throughout the month of October, Green Dining Alliance restaurants around St. Louis implemented food waste reduction techniques, with an emphasis on food donation to take action on food insecurity in the region. The participants in the STL Food Waste Challenge are: Alpha Brewing, BarK, Flavor360, Mission Taco in the Delmar Loop, Old Bakery Brewing Co. (Alton, IL), Olive + Oak, Pizza Head, and SqWires. The public celebration honoring participants will be on November 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company in the Grove.

The Food Waste Reduction group is continually looking for ways to lower food waste in the region, focusing on strategies such as source reduction, food donation, and composting. Connect with the Food Waste Reduction group by reaching out to mmccoy@mobot.org

| Categories: Sustainability in the Community | Tags: Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Food Matters Initiative, food waste, food waste reduction, collaboration, too good to waste, green dining alliance, earthday365 | View Count: (579) | Return