World Food Day: 100 years of fighting food waste

15 October 2015

2015 marks one hundred years since food waste was first officially recognised as a problem in the UK.*  This World Food Day (16 October) we’re remembering some of the early campaigns to reduce it, which were driven by food shortages in the First World War. Check out our pick of the iconic early 20th century posters below.

While a lot may have changed since 1915 the original message – that we shouldn’t waste good food – is just as true, and as powerful,  today.

Join the fight against food waste in 2015

Since 2004, when we became an independent charity, we’ve helped provide 82.6 million meals to people in need, all with food that would have otherwise gone to waste. There’s still more to be done though. Will you be a 21st century food hero and help us save food and get it to those who need it most? Volunteer with us  or text FARE16 followed by £ and the amount you want to donate to 70070.

Our pick of food waste posters from the past

2. -Don't_waste_food_while_others_starve-_-_NARA_-_512584

Don’t waste food while others starve! (Circa 1917-1919): Today in the UK, 5.8 million people struggle to afford everyday essentials such as food. At the same time, 3.9 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food and drink industry and we estimate 10% of this is fit for consumption, enough food for 800 million meals. It’s as vital now, as in 1917, that we save good food from going to waste and get it to those who need it most.


Food, Don’t Waste It (1917): The US Food Administration, responsible for providing food for its own and allied troops in Europe in the First World War,  issued these six commandments to the American population.

5. Nobody_Likes_to_See_Good_Food_Go_To_Waste^_-_NARA_-_533917

Nobody likes to see good food going to waste (circa 1942-1943): The character Scuttlebutt Sam featured in numerous US propoganda posters during World War Two. He’s a man after our own heart!

3. Enjoy it don't waste it

Enjoy it! Don’t waste it! (circa 1942-1943): Water, energy, transportation, packaging – a lot goes into our food in the 21st century, making it all the more important that we don’t waste it but use it for its intended purpose – eating!

Do your bit in 2015 

Be a food hero: volunteer!


Work for a food company? Find out how we can help you get your surplus food to those who need it most.

Spread the word:  #100yrsFoodRescue #WFD2015 #feedpeoplefirst


* Ref: Wikipedia, food waste

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