Local Food and Local Food Waste

Community Development Agency

Why food and food waste?

Much of the food we grow is not eaten. The UN estimates that 1.3 billion tons a year of food ends up as waste. When it comes to climate change, food waste presents two main problems:

  • The production and distribution of food uses lots of energy and resources.
  • Food waste ends up in landfills where it generates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

What can you do?

Help reduce food waste by buying only the food you need. If you're able to, donate and/or compost the food you can't use. Here are a few more ways you can help:

Reduce your food waste

There are various ways you can reduce food waste:

  • Eat everything in your refrigerator.
  • Donate your excess food.
  • Compost what you don't or can't eat.
  • Take advantage of local food donation programs.

Buy only what you need and can use, and compost what you don't. Local food donation programs are important links in the chain to prevent food waste. Donating extra food also helps others in the community who may not have access to food.

Learn more about local food donation programs at ExtraFood.

Learn more about composting at Zero Waste Marin and UC Marin Master Gardeners.

Buy food from local producers and farmers when possible and if you're able

Buying your food locally benefits the community. Your food travels less distance to your kitchen which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Shopping local also creates a consistent market and job opportunities for local farmers. Everyone can buy local food, including those receiving CalFresh benefits.

For more resources, visit:

Eat a plant-rich diet and meat from sustainable ranches

The carbon footprint of eating animal-based foods is much higher than eating plant-based foods. If you eat meat and can afford it, buy local and/or organic meat. This way, you can still significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Visit the Marin Carbon Project to learn more about ranches that raise animals sustainably.

MarinCAN endorsed solution at work

The Center for Food and Agriculture is AIM's vision for a central space dedicated to zero-waste food and education. A healthy food system will provide our communities with accessible organic food. Learn more about this project and how you can get involved.