Nobel Peace Center

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  1. Photo: Johannes Granseth/ Nobel Peace Center
  2. Photo: Johannes Granseth/ Nobel Peace Center
  3. Photo: Johannes Granseth/ Nobel Peace Center
  4. Photo: Johannes Granseth/ Nobel Peace Center

Why is it foolish to throw food away?

27 Sept 2013–23 Feb 2014

In the Nobel Peace Center’s education room, a facts based smaller exhibition called Why is it foolish to throw food away? was shown in connection with the main exhibition What the World Eats.

The exhibition was made by the Nobel Peace Center, and designed by Melkeveien and Haugen/Zohar.

The facts based exhibition looked at why food is thrown away, on farmland, pollution, water consumption and waste, and provided useful tips on ways to reduce your own food waste.

Here are some examples:
On average the global population consumes resources equivalent to one and a half Earths. In other words, it takes the planet one and a half years to renew the natural resources that humanity consumes in one year. This is called overconsumption. Over time, overconsumption will destroy the basis for existence of people, plants and animals. The people of Norway consume resources as if we had more than three Earths at our disposal.

There are many reasons why it is foolish to throw food away. More reasons than you might think:

Farmland: The global population is growing steadily – and people must have food. But the Earth is not getting any bigger; the space available for growing food stays the same. That is why it is important to take good care of the food that is produced.

Pollution: The world’s food production accounts for around 30 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions that are damaging the environment. In Norway the food we throw away creates as much pollution as 160,000 cars!

Water consumption: Around 1,000 litres of water are needed to produce just 1 litre of milk, and in many parts of the world there is a severe water shortage. That is why it is important not to pour out the milk because it has passed its ‘best before’ date. It doesn’t automatically mean the milk has gone bad!

Waste: We humans generate more and more waste, which, in the quite literal sense, represents a blot on the landscape. But much of the food that is thrown away can be eaten.
For example:
You have a soft tomato – use it to make spaghetti sauce.
You have a brown banana – turn it into a smoothie or make muffins.
You have some stale bread – make delicious French toast or a toasted cheese sandwich.

The following Nobel Peace Prize laureates have helped people struggling to find both enough and the right kind of food:
Red Cross (1917,1944, 1963)
Fridtjof Nansen (1922)
John Boyd Orr (1949)
Georges Pire (1958)
Norman Borlaug (1970)
Mother Teresa (1979)

The following Nobel Peace Prize laureates have worked to protect the environment:
Wangari Maathai (2004)
Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007)