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Mérida leads way on an initiative to reduce food waste

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
This is what Mérida looks like under millions of tons of North America’s food waste. Rendering courtesy: CEC.org

Mérida is chosen — with Montreal and Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula — to spearhead a new initiative to reduce food waste. 

North America’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) estimates that every year the USA, Canada and Mexico waste a combined 168 million tons of food. 

The CEC campaign encourages education and offers materials through its “action kit” on how to foster less wasteful habits. These include techniques for keeping better track of food within the household and encouraging the consumption of aesthetically imperfect, but safe-to-eat produce.

According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Resource Defense Council, 40% of the food supply in the U.S. goes uneaten. Meanwhile, 20% of all produce is wasted because consumers think it’s not “perfect” in appearance.

As part of the campaign, the CEC and its regional partners have shared a series of images depicting what North America’s food waste would look like if it was dumped atop an urban area, such as Mérida. 

Through its website, the CEC also encourages youth organizations to sign up to support local conservation efforts and use the #FoodMattersActionKit hashtag. 

“We want to empower young people by making sure they have the best tools to combat problems such as food waste and climate change,” said Richard Morgan, executive director of the CEC.

In an effort to make these materials appealing and easily accessible to young people, most of the campaign’s contents are presented online in video form. All materials are available in English, Spanish and French.

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