Reading Time: 2 minutes Yeshanov has diverted food waste in 20 countries so far this year (Photo: Instagram)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shai Yeshanov is on a one-man mission to divert fruit waste around the world.

Using the online handle ‘Fruitfella‘, the grassroots activist has implemented his project in 20 countries this year alone – and is still counting.

Process

In every country he visits, Yeshanov goes to markets and farms and asks for donations of produce that would otherwise be thrown away.

He then gives it to locals and travellers, with an emphasis on those in need.

His project is aimed at reducing waste, filling stomachs, and creating awareness of the big-picture issue at hand.

Awareness

According to the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations, about one third of all food produced globally ends up being lost or wasted before making it to consumers.

Yeshanov told Plant Based News: “People are largely unaware of how prevalent this global issue is.

“They’e been so surprised to find out the perfectly edible fruit they are eating would have been wasted. It’s eye opening for them!”

Large-scale impact

Yeshanov explained also that he hopes his contribution to the zero-waste movement will help to influence large-scale change in the food industry.

He said: “I’d like to see wasteful vendors, especially the big corporate ones that get paid to compost (or paid to waste food) get on board with ‘freecycling’ what would be wasted.

“It would be amazing to have consumers and vendors alike start a food bank where they can drop off food for anyone to access at any time.”

According to Yeshanov, many big businesses that refuse to give away unwanted produce cite ‘liability issues’.

Growth

The waste reduction advocate says he’d be happy to see his project grow, and invites anyone interested in starting similar initiatives to contact him as he’s ‘just one guy’ and can only do so much on his own.

He told PBN: “The traveling portion makes it significantly harder with regards to logistics.

“If you are in one place it may be easier to establish lasting connections with fruit sellers.”

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious...