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Strawberry makes long journey from farm to garbage can in powerful PSA about food waste

Playing off of today’s farm-to-table trend, an environmental advocacy group called the Natural Resources Defense Council has unveiled a powerful PSA that shows how much of the food consumers buy is actually farm-to-garbage.

In a spot created pro bono by SapientNitro in partnership with the Ad Council, viewers are shown the long journey a strawberry has taken to get to a local grocery store.

Called ‘The Extraordinary Life and Times of Strawberry,’ the film shows the strawberry as it makes its way from a farm to a food plant and then is flown to a grocery store where a young girl begs her mom to buy a package of strawberries.

Her mom reluctantly gives in and the strawberries are then transported back to her house – only to sit in the back of the refrigerator and mold amongst spaghetti sauce jars and dressing bottles before being thrown in the trash.

Set to the soundtrack ‘Married Life’ from Disney movie ‘Up,’ the whimsical film – which even includes a romantic storyline that involves the strawberry falling for a lime during its travels – ends on a grim note when viewers realize how much time, energy and resources are spent on making food that often times gets thrown away without second thought.

The PSA ends with the harrowing statistic that 40 percent of food in America is wasted, which translates to a cost of about $165bn each year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The largest source of food waste is consumers, who throw away more food than grocery stores, restaurants and farms, according to the Ad Council.

President of the Natural Resources Defense Council Rhea Suh said of the spot: “As it turns out, we can’t blame the epidemic of food waste on our kids’ aversion to vegetables. We’re all culprits here, tossing out staggering amounts of food in kitchens nationwide. But with small steps, we can save large amounts of food — and along with it, money and precious natural resources. The more food we save, the more we can share with hungry Americans, the more we can reduce climate pollution, and the more water won’t go to waste.”

Aside from the TV spot, the ‘Save the Food’ campaign will also include out-of-home, print, and social elements. According to the Ad Council, the campaign will be unveiled today at the 2nd Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C. before food industry academics, policy-makers, farmers, and chefs.

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