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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies

Resource Type

  • Videos, 4 minutes, 52 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Food Waste: The Hidden Cost of the Food We Throw Out

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  • This video explains how food is wasted in different countries and the impact it has on climate change. Food waste emissions come from production, transportation, and rotting food in landfills.

Teaching Tips


  • This video uses engaging animation and graphs to illustrate the points it makes.
  • The video offers solutions that individuals can practice in their own lives.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There may be an ad before the video.
  • Students should be comfortable reading graphs and interpreting percentages.
  • Students should be familiar with the metric system.
  • In wealthier countries, food waste mostly occurs at grocery stores because it's difficult to sell imperfect food. In lower-income countries, food waste mostly occurs before the food gets to the grocery store due to inefficient farming techniques and lower access to temperature-controlled storage facilities.


  • A possible activity would be to have students come up with creative solutions to decrease food waste at their school.
  • This would be a great video when learning about the unequal distribution of resources around the globe and within the United States.
  • Related resources include this lesson plan on food waste, this video on food waste, and this article called Fighting Food Waste Means Fighting Climate Change.
Scientist Notes
The video underscores the significant impact of food loss and food waste in accelerating average global warming potentials from the agricultural sector and food supply chain. It clearly links the entire food supply chain and its potential impact on climate change. This resource is insightful and recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • Related Resources


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