Al Gore did it again in another TED Talk in the end of last month. In 20 minutes he managed to show how critical our climate situation is but also brought a lot of optimism as solar and wind are beating all past predictions on how fast and big they are growing.
I have the pleasure to announce you all that the biogas project I have been working with classmates this summer is now being funded on Kickstarter. After working in Colombia on large scale biogas projects, I have been lucky to work for the past three months with classmates from Pinchot University, Srirup Kumar and Joe McNulty, on a small scale biodigestor.
While browsing the various sources I follow on Tumblr, I found an article that quite caught my attention : 7 insects you’ll be eating in the future. The article explains the nutritional values of bugs and how some experts believe we’ll have to resort to this.
While I am fully aware that people from several regions of the world do eat insects – caterpillars in Africa, grasshoppers in Mexico… – I am not quite sure that most people from the Western world would eat such kinds of food.
Neither am I sure that we actually would have to resort to this to feed ourselves. Solving some of our more urgent problems would have much bigger impact.
To the UNEP : “The waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year is not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself. “
1.3 billion tonnes of food ! This has profound repercussions on our world as it emits up to 3.3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide per year. If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third largest, just behind the United States and China.
This also amounts to a staggering loss of no less than $750 billion – around 550 billion euros – as a third of the food produced globally goes to the bin uneaten.
This is the question I am currently asking myself often as I discard every day my used tea leaves – I drink around a litre of tea every single day – and other fruit skin and peel as well as other compostable stuff into my refuse bin.
As I have been sorting out my waste for nearly twenty years, it has been part of my daily life and would have a hard time NOT sorting my stuff. (It only was the case for a year, when I lived in Dublin back to 2004/5)
So I have three bins in my place : one for the glass, one for what can be recycled – cartons, papers and metal cans – and the third for everything else.
Back to May, a group of water scientists issued a declaration stating that over half the world population would face water shortage by the middle of the century.Given how we just can’t live without the precious fluid, let’s hope we will act.
The main causes are known : over-pumping of underground aquifers, soaring populations, pollution, the over-use of fertilizers, and climate change. All the factors are human-induced and thus, completely avoidable.
These aren’t exactly news as we have seen that by 2030, we could be facing a global water crisis. Lucky us, consuming less water is always feasible as we have seen in the past years.
In the past few weeks, horse meat has been discovered in frozen lasagna from a famous European brand. This has been a huge scandal as English people do not eat horse meat and this raises questions about what we eat.
In the wake of this, many more tests have been done in Europe and elsewhere. As a result, Icelanders have discovered there is no meat in their meat pies, kebab eaters have discovered traces of pork in their favorite food and so on.
Given how wasteful our agriculture and food distribution are, this is another reason and more than high time to evolve toward a system that encourages QUALITY over QUANTITY.
The United Nations Environmental Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization have launched a new campaign to end wasting so much food as 1.3 BILLION tonnes of food are thrown away each year. The Think, Eat, Save Campaign will target all stakeholders : producers, retailers and consumers as worldwide, about one-third of all food produced … Read more
According to a new study by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers “Between 30 and 50 percent of all the food that’s produced on the planet is lost and wasted without ever reaching human stomachs.”
Treehugger wrote a compelling article on how this is such a huge and awful waste as there are still hundred of million people around the world that are starving as I write those lines. This problem as many other implications.
Indeed, all this wasted food leads to methane emissions, the excessive production to more carbon dioxide and to less water in our water tables.
Within my current involvement with the local JCI, I have been collecting information about biodegradable waste and composting. This is a question of importance as more than 30 percent of French waste could be biodegradable.
Meanwhile, recyclable waste – paper, cartons, glasses – represent just one percent more and are sorted out and recycled. I thus believe food leftovers, fruits and vegetable peelings, coffee and tea waste belong to a special bin.
This would have a lot of advantages as we will see in today’s post and I hope this will be as common as sorting out recyclables in a decade.