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Dana Frasz wants to see a Food Shift – away from waste

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Pascal Lauener/Reuters/File

(Read caption) A man eats in front of a poster promoting a government food waste campaign in Bern, Switzerland, last year. The poster reads: 'An average Swiss household of four persons dumps food to the value of 2010.27 Swiss Francs [$2,178.78] in one year. Waste food – that's stupid.' In the US, groups such as Food Shift are doing their part to reduce food waste.

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Dana Frasz is a food entrepreneur. She wants to recycle food, taking the food that’s not consumed and putting it into the hands of those who cannot afford it. She wants companies to stop wasting so much food – at the grocery story and in restaurants. She wants us all to be aware of how much we’re throwing in the dustbin.

Too idealistic? Frasz would argue otherwise. Hear her talk about her passion – FoodShift. 

How much waste is there currently in the United States and how accurate are these figures?

Forty percent of all the food produced in the US is wasted.

This figure is from national experts on food waste – author Jonathan Bloom wrote “American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half its Food” and Dana Gunders has been researching this issue at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

What are grocery stores doing currently to prevent food waste?  Are there any policies in place to prevent this?

Some grocery stores are donating excess food or marking down the prices of food that is still good but may be past its peak freshness, damaged in some way or cosmetically imperfect. There is a federal policy in place to encourage food donation. It’s called the Good Samaritan Food Act and it was passed specifically to encourage the donation of food. It protects food donors from liability as long as they are donating to a nonprofit. Many food donors can also receive tax deductions for their donations.

What has been the toughest part for you, as an activist and a social entrepreneur, in this effort?

I am really disturbed by the excessive waste and consumption in American culture.

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