A Conversation with Danielle Nierenberg - Food Tank President & Founder

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What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

It’s a massive problem, both domestically and internationally, but has so many exciting solutions.

Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

I’m inspired by farmers in fields around the globe who are coming up with innovative ways to prevent post-harvest losses without much support from governments or research institutions and also what women farmers are doing to preserve and add value to food—including making vegetable powder for soups and other foods in Mali and making dried mango and fish in The Gambia.

What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

I travel all the time so I try to both not overbuy and use all of the perishable food or freeze it before I leave.

What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

What I like so much about this issue is that it is truly bi-partisan—no one is “for” wasting food and no one wants to waste money. You can literally see both eaters and policymakers have an “ah-hah” moment when they realized that wasting food is throwing away money. I think preventing food waste requires us to value food and realize it isn’t as cheap as the price we pay at the grocery store.