Tearfund encourages churches to play their part in reducing global food waste

After a report predicted a third more food waste in twelve years' time, Tearfund told Premier how Christians and churches can help. 

The report by the Boston Consulting Group said the amount of food that is thrown away will rise considerably by 2030.

It is already a third of the amount of food produced globally, meaning the increase would take the amount going to waste to 2.1 billion tonnes.

Clare Lyons, Tearfund's senior campaigner told Premier's News Hour there wasn't one person to blame:

"It's actually not wasted at one stage of the supply chain - it's wasted at every stage - from farm to fork. So really to tackle it we all need to act - that means government, companies, churches, all of us at home as well."

Aside from the moral problem of waste in a world where people go hungry, she explained that waste has many more negative consequences:

"It also has a really big impact on some of the poorest people in the world and that's because it has a huge carbon footprint, when you're wasting food at this kind of scale. So, this make climate change worse, that leads to more droughts, floods and less reliable rainfall.

"But there is some really good news - if we stopped wasting food from our homes in the UK it would be the same as taking one in four cars off the road. So reducing our food waste is part of the fight against climate change."

She added: "We've been really thankful that churches have been really taking action,

"I visited a fantastic church in Bristol last year who held a food waste feast and they got their congregation together to have a delicious food waste meal.

"So it was perfectly good food that we were eating but it would have gone to waste. And they used that as an opportunity to talk to the congregation to talk about God's good gift of food, to encourage people to think about wasting less food in their homes but also to ask supermarkets to do more."

She said that supermarkets have a big role to play but individuals can also change their personal habits.

"One of the biggest ways we can prevent food waste is just by looking at what you've got in your cupboards, looking at what you've got in the fridge and having a good plan about what you're going to use in the week.

"So planning out your meals is one of the best things you can do, taking a shopping list as you don't buy more than you actually need."

When asked why Christian in particular should care, she replied: "We know Jesus wasn't a fan of waste - after he fed the 5000, John's gospel tells us that Jesus said 'Gather up the pieces, let nothing be wasted'. So, waste really was a key part of the feeding of the 5000 story and preventing that waste was really crucial for Jesus."

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