7 celebrities standing up to food waste

Food waste is a hot potato these days, a potato that is no longer relegated to the sidelines. Rightfully, it’s entered the mainstream and there seems to be increased passion, energy and debate surrounding the issue. And, it’s not just people in the food and environmental sector who are speaking out — so too are the glitterati (or should we say ‘litterati’). Household names from Hollywood, television, fashion and even the Vatican are standing up to fight food waste.

1. John Oliver

TV satirist Oliver, expertly skewered and exposed the insanity of US food waste and food insecurity on his show, Last Week Tonight. Oliver addresses several key issues in his hilariously sharp call to arms, from suspect expiration dates to inconsistent tax breaks for charitable business donations. Luckily for us, the segment went viral.

John says: ‘When we dump food into a landfill, we’re essentially throwing a trash blanket over a flatulent food man and Dutch-ovening the entire planet.’

2. Jamie Oliver

From one J. Oliver to the next. For the last 15 years, Jamie has been in the vanguard of different food education and public health campaigns, from improving school dinners to his annual Food Revolution Day. He’s also very vocal about food waste, regularly rallying against it with his pal Jimmy Doherty on their informative and entertaining show, Friday Night Feast.

Jamie says: ‘If most Brits had half an idea of the amount going to waste, they’d be snapping up ugly veg by the trolley load.’

3. Gisele Bündchen

When she’s not on the catwalk, Brazilian supermodel, Gisele Bündchen, is a keen environmentalist and a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Programme. Other than publicly speaking out about food waste, she also previously teamed up with French Chef Eric Ripert, demonstrating how to cook well and waste less.

Gisele says: ‘Food waste in landfills is one of the biggest contributors of these harmful gases that cause global warming. Let’s reduce food waste by managing our meals smartly.’

4. Pope Francis

Pope Francis, dedicated his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square to the United Nations World Environment Day, drawing attention to the excesses of consumerism and food wastage. In his speech, the pontiff starkly states how ‘consumerism’ has made people accustomed to wasting food and ‘unable to see its real value’.

The Pope says: ‘Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry.’

5. Gwyneth Paltrow

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is well known for her ultra-clean eating ways, so it’s hardly surprising that she cares about food waste too. Paltrow recently supported L.A. Kitchen, a nonprofit which trains chefs from disadvantaged backgrounds to prepare meals made entirely from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.

Gwyneth says: ‘Everybody in this country should be entitled to eat fresh, real food — L.A. Kitchen is very much aligned with that idea.’

6. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leo is a well known environmental activist, and when he finally got his hands on that long awaited Oscar for Best Actor, he boldly used his speech to address the urgent threat of climate change — for which food waste is a key contributor. Bravo, Leo!

Leo says: ‘We’ve been given this gift, our planet, and we’ve found no other place in the universe that we can inhabit. I want to do something to create radical change to help save it. It’s our responsibility.’

7. Julia Roberts

The Pretty Woman star openly claimed that her family used to waste leftover food; “I [used to] just cry and scrape plates and think, ‘How can I be doing this?’”. With the intervention of her eco-friendly pal Sophie Uliano, Julia has now become an ethical, self-sufficiency queen, conscientiously watching her waste and growing her own.

Julia says: ‘My goal is making less garbage in every way possible. We make a lot of garbage. This is our plight.’

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