Organizations: Development in Gardening
In the United States, 30 percent to 40 percent of our food supply goes to waste, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person, per month. Here in Georgia, food scraps make up 17 percent of our total waste.
“The average person in the U.S. doesn’t think much about the food he or she is wasting,” says Sarah Koch, co-founder and executive director of Development in Gardening (DIG). “The next food revolution will involve what you are ‘not’ eating.”
DIG is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that Koch founded in 2006 after returning home from service in Senegal with the Peace Corps. The organization strives to enable underserved communities in Africa to improve their overall wellness through nutrition-sensitive, sustainable agriculture. DIG regularly recruits Georgia chefs for fundraisers that demonstrate non-wasteful culinary techniques to Georgia diners.
“For us here in Atlanta,” Koch says, “food waste is all the stuff we throw in the trash because we overbought at the grocery store. All that food piles up in landfills, emitting greenhouse gasses that affect our climate. That may not seem like a big deal to us here in Georgia, but it is. Not only are we beginning to see more and more of the negative effects of climate change, but that wasted food is also driving up food costs and negatively impacting smallholder [family] farmers around the world.”
DIG marks its 10th anniversary this year, and during that time it has developed more than 100 community gardens with 46 local groups and 2,000 home gardens in eight African countries. These projects supplement the diets of 44,000 people while fostering entrepreneurship.
“At DIG,” Koch says, “we dream of a future without hunger and malnutrition.”