What a Waste: 40% of Food Discarded, 49 Million Go Hungry

  • Article
  • Slideshow
  • February 12, 2016

The stats around food waste and hunger in America are alarming: We throw out or fail to use 40 percent of our food supply every year while almost 50 million of our neighbors are food insecure. The dairy community is passionate about tackling this challenge and working with others to make the most out of the food we produce every day.

In March, this passion takes center stage at South by Southwest (SXSW), the music, film and technology festival.

What does dairy have to do with technology?

“We need to produce 70 percent more food by 2050,” says Vermont dairy farmer Marie Audet. “That happens with innovative, sustainable and creative ideas and technology” – on the farm, in our homes and at every stage in between.

SXSW attracts innovators and change-makers, and together we will explore high- and low-tech solutions with the potential to help us reduce waste, divert food from landfills and route reclaimed food to those who need it most.

What: Panel Discussion at SXSW: What a Waste: 40% of Food Discarded, 49 M Go Hungry

When: Sunday, March 13 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (CST)


  • Ashley Zanolli is an Environmental Engineer at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Ashley is considered a national expert and “thought leader” on consumer food waste prevention. She developed the Food: Too Good to Waste toolkit, which has been used by 14 communities across the country and helped households reduce wasted food by about 0.5lbs/person/week.
  • Liz Baldridge works for Feeding America, the country’s largest organization fighting hunger. Feeding America feeds more than 46 million people a year through their network of food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and community-based agencies. Liz works with leading manufacturing companies and retailers to divert food that would otherwise be wasted into food-insecure households.
  • Suzanne Lindsay-Walker works for the Kroger Company where she is responsible for setting and leading the corporate strategy for sustainability. Suzanne was recently named a Top Women In Grocery by Progressive Grocer.
  • Marie Audet is a member of a large multigenerational dairy farm family who own and operate Blue Spruce Farm and Audet's Cow Power located in Vermont's Champlain Valley. They milk 1,350 cows and grow crops on 3,000 acres to feed them. Their milk supplies the nearby Cabot Cheese plant where they proudly boast award winning cheddar cheese. In 2005 the dairy started generating electricity from cow manure, currently producing 2.4 million kWh of renewable electricity per year. 

Click through the slideshow to learn more.