The Nashville Food Saver Challenge spearheaded by Tennessean Mayor David Briley is highlighting the power that urban consciousness and environmental awareness can generate by making local sustainable development an accessible and unifying community experience.
The challenge urges native restaurants to take small steps to reduce the amount of food being converted to waste and provides a public platform exposing the reality of some alarming waste statistics (i.e $218 billion of food waste in the U.S annually) and the commonality of hunger existing within the target community. The Nashville Food Waste Initiative and the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge focus on landfill-diversion strategies are directly in line with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, which outlines the most effective management strategies for wasted food that offer the greatest amount of environmental, social and economic benefits.
From large institutions such as Vanderbilt University, The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suite and Nashville Downtown Convention Center and entities to quirky mom and pop operations like Las Paletas, Puckett’s 5th & Church and Nashville Farmer’s Market; the partner composition is just as colorful and vibrant as the community is.
Nashville’s cultural evolution has brought its identity from homegrown southern lux to trendy experimental and creative in a decade’s time. This is reflected through elements such as the food scene to the nature of local dialogue.
As co-founder & food saver challenge participant, Norma Paz of Las Paletas, a local jewel in Nashville’s crown explains, “Nashville is change. It’s about embracing the change and being involved to make sure the change honors the essence of why we came here in the first place.”
The successful efforts and affiliating businesses partaking in the movement for reduction of food waste and improvement of local hunger reflect a new attitude and urban means of prioritization. This launching of a new era indicates a more circumspect, “our world vs my world” paradigm shift that bodes well for the good of commerce as well as for the good of mankind.
The end-goal of Nashville’s Food Saver Challenge is designed to be both humanitarian and planet healing and is effectively demystifying sustainability in a commercially viable and positively geared way that has generated real change and community impact through direct involvement and eco-socio problem recognition.
Although this challenge has been successfully implemented at a local scale, its simple design and achievable parameters are perfectly situated for scaling up to a larger policy level that would, without a shadow of a doubt, make a greener world, a stronger human alliance and produce significant global change.