Worldwide, food waste accounts for 8 percent to 10 percent of global greenhouse emissions. At least double that of emissions from aviation. Around the world, efforts grow to keep food out of methane-producing dumps.

In the United States, the single largest volume of material sent to landfills and incinerators comes from food waste.

In Seoul, garbage cans automatically weigh how much food gets tossed in the trash. In London, grocers have stopped putting date labels on fruits and vegetables to reduce confusion about what is still edible.

California now requires supermarkets to give away - not throw away- food that is unsold but fine to eat.

Around the world, programs are being introduced to tackle two pressing global problems : hunger and climate change.

Food waste, when it rots in a landfill, produces methane gas, which quickly heats up the planet. But it's a surprisingly tough problem to solve.

Which is where Vue Vang, wrangler of excess, comes in. On a bright Monday recently she pulled up behind a supermarket in Fresno, Calif., hopped off her truck and set out to rescue as much food as she could under the state's new law - helping store managers comply with rules that many were still unaware of.

Several other American states, in addition to California, are trying to tackle one piece of the problem with mandatory composing measures. 

If California succeeds, it could reduce emissions by an amount equivalent to taking three million cars off the road, according to CalRecycle, the state agency that handles waste.

TODAY, 31 percent of the food that is grown, shipped or sold is wasted.

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author  Somini Sengupta.


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