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Coming Soon: Good Eating Challenges to Build Healthy Habits

September 1, 2016

Here at Foodstand we’ve always been on a mission to make good eating easier for more people. Each of you—with each post, comment, and ingenious kitchen innovation—has done your part to share what you know, so all of us can follow your lead. I’ve learned so much from every one of you—whether it’s how to more efficiently chop kale with a pizza cutter, how to forage for anything, how to reinvent literally all leftovers, or how to make the best breakfast in a melon. And hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two from me as well!

But I’m sure we all have people in our lives who don’t have the exact same passion for and commitment to better food that we do, who still want to live healthier lives. Maybe they turn to you for advice, or rely on you to show them around a farmers market. At Foodstand, we want to bring more of those aspiring healthy eaters into the fold. I’m sure we can all agree that if more people have a path to healthier, more sustainable eating, we could all be a happier and healthier society.

But how do we do that?

Well, most of you probably remember the #NoFoodWaste challenge we did together in June. You all shared nearly 500 tips, thousands learned from you, and the campaign (through our incredible partners) reached over 1M people! Not only did we individually do our part to chip away at the $218B food waste problem, but we brought more of our friends and family into the dialogue about a better food system. And we realized that there is something to these challenges—they motivate each of us to do just a little better tomorrow.

So we’re excited to share that in the coming weeks, on the heels of a successful #NoFoodWaste challenge, we’ll be launching a series of Good Eating Challenges on Foodstand—all tied back to our Good Eating Manifesto, our simple rules to live by:

  • Eat less processed food: make lunch 3x a week, cut back on added sugar
  • Eat more plants: eat 3 servings of fruits and veggies a day, eat 3 colors a day
  • Eat fewer animal products: eat less meat
  • Eat more mindfully: eat 1 distraction-free meal a day

These simple and super fun challenges are meant to celebrate progress over perfection, giving each of us (and those friends and family members of yours!) a chance to build lifelong good eating habits one at a time with the support of tens of thousands of other Foodstanders. Wherever you are on your good eating journey—whether you burn rice or you brûlée on the regular—there is always a little more you can do, and we’ll have a challenge for you.

You’ll start with one simple challenge for one day, eventually working your way up. And if you’re an expert in any of these categories, you’ll have a chance to help others as well, sharing what you know and what you’ve experienced.

What will these challenges look like? Well, we’re still working on it =). Since we’re still designing, we’d love your input! If you have thoughts on which challenges we should start with, how best to educate members about some of these habits, and/or partners we should work with, please drop us a line ! And if you want to stay up to date on the latest, join our newsletter!

Looking forward to sharing more very soon!


Rachna & the Foodstand Team

#NoFoodWaste Features

Food Waste: A Pervasive Problem with Abounding Solutions

June 17, 2016
Photo by Summer Rayne Oakes

Photo by Summer Rayne Oakes

This post was written by Emily Summerlin, an Ambassador for Foodstand, a community aiming to build a more informed community around good food and to bring good eating choices to all. Here she covers the food waste epidemic, including background on and implications of the issue, the release of the ReFED Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste report, and Foodstand’s #NoFoodWaste campaign.


The United States “spends $218 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, growing, processing, and transporting food that is never eaten.” Put simply by Sam Kass, NBC’s Senior Food Analyst, “that is insane.”

In addition to the huge economic costs this problem incurs for the United States, this is tragic not only in the sense that one in seven Americans is food insecure, but also in that this wasted food emits a harmful stream of greenhouse gases as it decomposes in the landfill, further contributing to global climate change. It is incomprehensible that this issue, so monstrous and detrimental to our economy and human and environmental health, has only recently emerged into the mainstream spotlight and found its way into the consciousness of American eaters, largely thanks to a segment on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight last summer.

Fortunately, this momentum has kept the food waste epidemic in the spotlight, with a number of new organizations and campaigns focusing on redistribution of would-be wasted food popping up all over the world. The World Resources Institute and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization recently completed a study highlighting the countries leading the fight against food waste; the Love Food Hate Waste campaign in the UK serves to raise awareness about the need to reduce food waste and to help consumers take action; and Imperfect Produce in the San Francisco Bay Area delivers ‘ugly produce’, fruits and vegetables that don’t fit grocery stores’ cosmetic standards, to consumers. These are just a few examples of actors on all scopes and levels presently making a difference in the sweeping worldwide movement to end food waste.

Additionally, one of the more notable publications in the space is the recent release of ReFED’s Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste, a comprehensive report laying out the plan to reduce the United State’s food waste by 20% through a number of feasible, cost-effective, and scalable solutions. The report boasts a new approach to looking at the food waste issue as the first comprehensive report to examine the food waste problem and lay out solutions using economics and data analysis.

The basics of the strategy and actions the report lays out are organized under the four pillars of education, policy, innovation, and financing. Without getting too into the weeds, the bottom line finding after the extensive research and modeling that went into the creation of the report is that “an $18 billion investment in 27 solutions to reduce US food waste by 20% will yield $100 billion in net societal economic value over a decade,” a figure that includes tons of food recovered, gallons of water saved, business profit, consumer savings, tons of greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and jobs created.

One key image in the report is a curve laying out 27 solutions ranked by their potential impact vs. cost in three categories: prevention, recovery, and recycling. The solutions that came out on top for greatest economic value per ton were standardized date labeling, consumer education campaigns, and packaging adjustments; while the solutions with most diversion potential were centralized composting, centralized anaerobic digestion, and water resources recovery facilities with anaerobic digestion. While the solutions with the most diversion potential do require a large amount of planning and capital investment, the diversion that will come from consumer education campaigns is substantial.

This means that as individuals, we can take action right now and make a huge difference. At present, 43% of food waste occurs in homes, which equals 27 million tons of food wasted each year. Hopefully as a result of the report’s findings, date labeling laws and consumer education campaigns will begin rolling out soon, but right now it is in the consumers’ hands to educate ourselves and do everything we can to reduce food waste in our own lives.

The first step in doing this is to change our attitudes about food waste, and think instead in terms of wasted food. The word “waste” implies something old, useless, and without value, but the 63 million tons of food being wasted in the U.S. are perfectly edible, nourishing, and delicious. There are numerous resources that provide tips on smarter grocery shopping and how to cook with parts of fruits and vegetables you normally wouldn’t utilize. One such resource is Foodstand’s #NoFoodWaste campaign that the community is centering around for the month of June. The campaign encourages Foodstand users to post their best tips, recipes, and news regarding food waste reduction throughout the month, and serves as a great source of inspiration for taking action to be a waste-free consumer and finding creativity in the kitchen.


Instructions for making agua fresca with fruit just past its prime from food writer @JenniferEmilson


A ‘Behind the Plate’ interview with Keith Carr, City Harvest’s Healthy Neighborhoods Manager by Foodstand team member @annefood


A recipe for roasted broccoli stem and fennel soup from food writer @munchiemummy


A tip on regrowing veggies from their scraps with just sunshine and water from @SallyRogers of Nibble market

In addition to making changes to your own shopping and cooking habits, look for organizations in your area that focus on fighting food waste through food recovery, either through saving “ugly” produce from rotting in the field or by facilitating donations to food banks. Acting on these individual solutions will enable us to in turn scale up the solutions as a society and touch on the three pillars of the solution that ReFED lays out beyond education: policy, innovation, and financing. Food waste is a truly pervasive issue that not only affects our environment and communities on multiple levels, but on the positive side presents numerous areas for improvement and avenues for taking action.