Food recovery in Northland

Dr Laupepa Va’a of the Northland District Health Board (DHB) is working on a major project investigating the feasibility of a more integrated approach to food recovery. He is busy engaging people involved in food recovery and food access.

Globally, we waste one third of food produced. The good news is that we produce enough to feed everybody already. This graphic from the Love Food Hate Waste website reveals over one trillion dollars of food waste, most of it from the degradation of nature.

food-waste-iceberg

In New Zealand, the average family throws away $563 worth of uneaten food per year. Bread is at the top of our waste list – we throw out 12,856 tonnes of bread.  Click here for a larger image.

10-foods-nz-throw-away

Reducing our waste is a win-win. In the Northland context, we know that there are many children going to school hungry. Food for Life is doing a great job in Whangarei, but they are only able to operate in a handful of schools. Hungery school children don’t learn very well.

In addition to providing better food access, there are many environmental benefits from reducing food waste.

Sources for food recovery are diverse. In a recent post we featured Free Fish Heads, a website designed to connect those who have fish heads and normally dispose of them, and those who eat them. In Whangarei, Food for Life, operating across the road from the Whangarei Growers Market, gathers unsold food from generous stallholders and turns it into meals for school children.

The challenge is to identify all the potential sources of food and get it to those who are most needy.

If you would like to share any information with Laupepa please contact him: Laupepa.Va’a@northlanddhb.org.nz

 

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