This summer, the Yurok people declared rights of personhood for the Klamath River—likely the first to do so for a river in North America. A concept previously restricted to humans (and corporations), “rights of personhood” means, most simply, that an individual or entity has rights, and they’re now being extended to nonhumans. The Yurok’s resolution, passed by their council in May, comes during another difficult season for the Klamath; over the past few years, low water flows have caused high rates of disease in salmon, and cancelled fishing seasons.
Focus on the big, structural issues that result in food waste, rather than exclusively blaming individual actions, say researchers.
No one eats nearly one-third of all the food that is produced. By some estimates, we waste 30 million tons of food in the US and 1.3 billion metric tons worldwide every year. All this waste has huge economic, environmental, and social costs.
“When people hear those numbers, they think there’s an easy solution, that we should just stop wasting food,” says study leader Ned Spang, an assistant professor in the department of food science and technology at the University of California, Davis. “It’s not that easy. We’re just starting to scratch the surface in really understanding the dynamics of this complicated problem.”