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Greetings from New York City!
The United Nations General Assembly is meeting here this week to mark Climate Week. People from all over the world are coming together – policymakers, activists, non-profit organizations and many others – to find out what we need to do to solve the climate crisis.
Had the chance to enjoy an interesting dinner hosted by Holchen, created by Food Tank friends Mark Kaplan and Jason Berryhill. They are wonderful social entrepreneurs working to make our food and farming systems more transparent and therefore more traceable. We need companies to put themselves at the forefront – and these people help make that happen. I’ve had the chance to speak to people from companies like Akua Kelp, which makes delicious seaweed burgers, Grain4Grain, which makes recycled grain flour, and many others that make products that are environmentally and socially sustainable. Both are.
The private sector shouldn’t be there just for profit. Many small and medium-sized companies are pioneers on these issues: From the day they are founded, they start with models that focus on ecological and social justice. And then it’s the big companies, the big corporations, trying to catch up with these small companies by fulfilling the obligations.
But here’s what we need to focus on: I hope that when big companies make these commitments, they don’t just greenwash or greenwash and say, ‘I hope we can deliver on the commitments that we’re making by 2050.’ Yes , they really come into play!”
2050 it will be too late! We cannot just wish for a greener world in 30 years – we need commitments that politicians, businesses and many of us can act on now. We need to make those commitments more urgent and real, whether it’s by emphasizing deforestation-free soy or beef, or by using upcycled ingredients from food manufacturing. We should start seeing it as the norm, not the exception.
I was fortunate enough to discuss the power of immediate action with activist and Orange is the New Black star Alicia Renner on the Food Talk podcast this week. She is a strong advocate of using art on film and TV to reduce food and plastic waste, use love over fear to inspire action, and more. I hope you will listen to our conversation by clicking here.
Next week I will be in Washington, DC for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. The White House last held such a convention in 1969, so it’s long overdue. And as far as I know, the government will announce a national strategy that outlines steps to catalyze the public and private sectors to address the relationship between food and hunger, nutrition and health. So stay tuned: next week I’ll have more to say about what we’ll be hearing and seeing at the conference.
I really hope that the conference is diverse – that there is a wide range of perspectives and opinions. And it’s not just academics and advocates, it’s people with lived experience who have laid these foundations for so long and know exactly what communities want and need. And I sincerely hope that the government will listen to him so that we can develop a better national strategy.
What topics would you like to see discussed at the White House conference? Whose voice are you hoping to hear? We will be on behalf of all the food tankers like you around the world so please chat with me at [email protected] and let me know how I can be your local eyes and ears in DC
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Photo courtesy of Patrick Tomaso, Unsplash