Chances are, you’ve already felt guilty about the amount of food you throw out—so here’s some data that’ll make you feel even worse.
As Americans, we are the most wasteful creatures on the planet. Of all the food we buy, over 40 percent of it winds up in the trash, about 150,000 tons a day. Each year, Americans toss out an estimated $160 billion worth of food. The amount of edibles we pitch into the garbage would fill a college football stadium right up to the cheap seats—every day of the week.
Of course, statistics like these only go so far to raising awareness. Which is why Morton Salt has created what it hopes is a more effective way. Debuting today on social media channels is a video that brings the scope of food wastage in a way that’s hard to forget.
Morton went dumpster diving recently, pulled out a bushel of discarded fruits and vegetables, and then made a typeface from them. In fact, it not only made a typeface, but also ink and paper—also from same discarded fruits and vegetables—which it then used to print up posters with provocative banner headlines such as “This Poster Is a Complete Waste” and “You’re Reading Last Night’s Dinner.” (Morton shot consumers’ reactions to reading the posters, and made that into a second video. Scroll down to watch both.)
The unusual project was part of Morton’s Erase Food Waste initiative, which CMO Denise Lauer said is a natural outgrowth of the brand’s place on the American dinner table.
“Morton Salt has been part of the food industry for well over a century, and food waste is a topic that is of increasing focus in the industry,” Lauer said. “Our job is to enhance the flavors in food and help consumers make the most out of every meal. So we believe good food should be treasured, not trashed.”
Morton, she added, is “salty about food waste.”
Another way of putting this, perhaps: A billion-dollar brand that seasons much of the food Americans consume would do well to get itself on the right side of an issue like this.