Food waste — it’s everywhere. Globally, up to 30% of all food products are wasted, and in the US, it is nearly 40%. Meanwhile, nearly 800 million people around the world do not have enough food to leave a healthy life. 

One way to help balance these numbers is through awareness — and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, with partner Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, is hosting a contest to recognize journalists dedicated to documenting this crisis.

While we all love a tantalizing Instagram feature of a perfectly plated meal, which can admittedly make a difference, the Food Sustainability Media Award is for serious journalism impacting everything from food waste to the growing paradox of hunger and obesity. 

The contest, however, aims to recognize a positive force: media as a catalyst in the decline of this number through organic awareness via engaging storytelling. 

The award asks professional journalists, photographers, and new talents engaged in documenting issues related to food security, sustainability, agriculture and nutrition to submit their stories. 

Below is more information on the award and how to enter the contest. 

What can you submit?

Written journalism (under 3,000 words), photography (single photo or series, non-digitally altered), or video (under 20 minutes) entries welcome. They can be published or unpublished. 

When can you submit? 

Anytime between Jan. 9, 2017, and May 31, 2017. 

What categories exist within the Food Sustainability Award?

There are six categories for talented original media reporting being given out within the award. Written journalism, published and unpublished. Photography, published and unpublished, and video, published and unpublished will be judged separately. 

A final award —  known as the Best of the Web — will be chosen by the public. 

Who is judging submissions?

Photographers for National Geographic to policy experts with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization will review work separately between written journalism, photography, and video. The awards’ nine judges have diverse ranges of backgrounds from research and policy experience on food sustainability and security to both written and video/photography media. 

Is there a prize?

Yes, the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition will award a €10,000 cash prize to the winners of published work. Winners of unpublished work will receive a fully-paid-for trip to participate in a food training session on food sustainability for media by Thomson Reuters Foundation, as well as publication that will reach over one billion viewers worldwide. 

To learn more or apply visit


Defeat Poverty

Calling All Food Waste Enthusiasts: This Contest Is For You

By Meghan Werft