Embracing Latino Heritage to Transform our Food System and Reduce Food Waste


Embracing Latino Heritage to Transform our Food System and Reduce Food Waste

September 15, 2023

Latino and hispanic food workers’ contributions are felt globally, as they infuse culinary diversity and sustainable practices into the food systems of countries around the world.

During Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, ReFED honors the invaluable impact and influences of Latino food professionals to our global food system.  These contributions extend beyond crafting dishes infused with vibrant flavors that have left a lasting taste on American society — they are key players in the fight against food waste.

From the bustling kitchens of restaurants to the fields where our produce is grown, their dedication and skills enrich every inch of the supply chain. For instance:

  • Latino farmers and agricultural workers are at the forefront of sustainable farming techniques, employing and crafting agritech and food tech solutions to better distribute food, increase agricultural efficiency, and minimize environmental impact to reduce food waste at the source.
  • Several Latino food traditions revolve around resourceful cooking that optimizes root-to-stem ingredients. Dishes like arroz con pollo, utilizing leftover meats, and soups like caldo de res, using various cuts of meat and vegetables, exemplify this ethos.
  • Many Latino communities are at the forefront of food recovery and redistribution efforts — establishing community gardens, food banks, and sharing fridges that foster a culture of sharing and minimizing wasted food.

Join us this month in celebrating the immense impact of Latino food workers on our food system and their tireless efforts to reduce food waste. Their practices not only nourish our bodies but also our planet for generations to come.

We’ve gathered several resources and articles at the intersection of food waste and the Latino community — including our recently released landscape assessment “Building a Food System that Works for Everyone” featuring broader intersections between food waste and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you have a favorite resource, please share it with us on social media:

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.

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