IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1718: The Environmental Impact and Formation of Meals from the Pilot Year of a Las Vegas Convention Food Rescue Program (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Annually, millions of tonnes of leftover edible foods are sent to landfill. Not only does this harm the environment by increasing the release of greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change, but it poses a question of ethics given that nearly 16 million households are food insecure in the US, and hundreds of millions of people around the globe. The purpose of this study was to document the amount of food diverted from landfill in the pilot year of a convention food rescue program and to determine the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoided by the diversion of such food. In the pilot year of the convention food rescue program 24,703 kg of food were diverted. It is estimated that 108 metric tonnes of GHG emmisions were avoided as a result, while 45,383 meals for food insecure individuals were produced. These findings have significant implications for public and environmental health, as GHG emissions have a destructive effect on the earth’s atmosphere and rescued food can be redistributed to food insecure individuals.