Americans throw away plenty of food each year. as per Reuters, “Americans throw away nearly half their food every year, waste worth roughly $165 billion annually“. They are tossing each piece of food that appears along their path. That is precious resources and money pretty much down the drain. Simultaneously there is a huge food problem in Africa and starving kid’s statistics are growing. Keep reading and discover what you don’t know about such scenario.
Imagine what could be achieved by reducing this waste. Only 15% reduction in waste annually can be enough to feed 25 million people. We often hear about poor and starving African children. We see their pictures in the new papers. They are starving. As per Wikipedia,Total African population is 1 Billion and among them, 50% are below age 25. If 15% reduction in waste can feed 25 million people, a 90% reduction would feed 150 million people. Almost the same size of starving African children population.
Let’s discuss what you and I can do to contribute toward that 90% reduction in waste.
Reducing food wastes and losses
This is obvious, you and I have to reduce waste. We need to make a commitment to not to buy food items we will not need immediately. We need to be careful while shopping in bulk.
Many organizations are coming up with agricultural projects. The so-called American Wasteland issue needs an end. Instead of discarding food supply each year, they should aim to help people. Plus, it would additionally lighten the existing burden on many landfills. Evidence shows that unsold vegetables and fruits account for a huge part of the wasted foods. Yet, restaurants and consumers are also responsible; this is mainly because they prepare extensive portions of food that result in excessive uneaten leftovers.
Recycle and reuse techniques
Everyone is turning to look onto saving energy and money methods. Why not implementing techniques to recycle uneaten food items that are transformed to waste? There is a huge amount of it. At least 40% of U.S. food today goes to waste and uneaten. The situation gets even worse, since, food waste, produces methane that is a harmful greenhouse gas. Thereby, it is time to implement methods to cut back on such food waste.
Losses and priorities
The government should study losses and determine priorities. It is time to set goals to achieve waste reduction. Despite sustainable solutions, if food is not eaten, this is not good. Specialists are looking onto environmental impacts and ways to solve such food waste problem. Preventive measures should be implemented to fight this growing problem. As stated, such tremendous food waste would help starving people. It seems that individuals fail to understand the underlying cause. People are not really aware about the amount of food they are throwing away.Perfectly edible foods are being discarded. When in doubt, they simply throw it away. The so-called expiration date is somehow conservative. This is linked to food quality; it is not really about food safety. Negative impacts of wastes are hard to believe. Soil fertility is being affected, too. This is also connected to water consumption.
It is time to start in your own refrigerator. Most often, people do not think that whenever something is about to expire, they can freeze their leftovers. It is possible to freeze pretty much anything. Truth is, learning how to deal with food before it goes bad, is extremely helpful. As stated, expiration dates are simply suggestions for products peak quality. Instead of thinking too much, try to consider what you should eat.
About Composting food
It looks like food leftovers are definitely the largest component of wastes stream. All in all, a part of being sent to landfills, this uneaten food ends up being combusted in incinerators. On the other hand, some people compost their food items. This is a positive option as far as food waste is concerned. While food waste will always exist, it is important to try to reduce such amount. Thereby, here is when the known reduce, reuse and recycle mantra comes to play an important role.
This is always better than simply sending wastes to a landfill. Nutrients can be used to support starving people. It is possible to keep up with soil maintenance and recycle them. Thereby, composting is certainly a positive option to reuse resources. Schools, hospitals, cafeterias and many other places can implement eco-friendly techniques.
Adopting Good habits
Impeccable habits begin before you go to your local grocery store. It is important to make a shopping list of what you need. Just take advantage of deals and coupons when you really need that product. There is no need to be afraid of food leftovers, you can always refrigerate them for as long as you like.
Veggies are not just thrown away when they expire, but they even get trashed before making it to your fridge. Imagine what this means to starving African kids. In rich places, edible vegetables and fruits are sent to landfills because they aren’t perfect enough to meet specific standards. In the case of developing countries, food items get spoiled due to lack of refrigeration. This situation needs to stop. On one hand, overbuying should be avoided. The same applies to over consumption. Overestimating what you need is quite a bad habit.
To conclude, supermarkets and grocery stores are constantly tossing out unsold foods. It seems that fruits and veggies go to waste. Fresh produce is lost and this includes meat, seafood and dairy products. Some scenarios can be avoided, for example, retailers should stop unnecessary abundance practices, since this leads to extreme food spoilage.
More than half of the food waste occur in restaurants and fast food chains. It’s a huge task to eliminate waste from those places. Still let’s make our own house in order and eliminate waste from our homes. If you happen to own any such restaurant, eliminate waste from there too, as much as you can. It’s our responsibility to take care of the needy.
To me, it is no lesser effort than charitable giving. Lesser waste will ensure more food supply in the market, which will drive down the cost of procuring food. Enabling poor to buy cheaper food. This is how world economy works.
Readers, please share your stories of reducing food waste.
My Multiple Incomes says
I think it is necessary not to buy too much food and just buy the ones we need. Most often we pack our fridge with so many items, thinking we will be able to eat all of them, but being realistic with our budgets and needs will certainly ensure that we will not throw away and waste food.
That’s very important Robert. We are also not doing as great as we should be in this regard. We do see fruit, vegetables and even cooked food being wasted every now and then.
All my life I have heard about starving African children, and it never seems to get any better . I think we need to work on the root causes there and not just use stopgap methods to help them temporarily. I have no idea what the basic problem is. I, personally. waste very little food, but doubt that it is helps the poor anywhere.
kathryn d says
This is along my line of thought. Kids have been starving since I was growing up in the 60’s.They could fix this problem within a generation…sterilization/birth control.If they can’t support their families, they have no business having kids.
We do not have a shortage of food. If anything we have too much food.That is why we are wasting it. If it actually cost more, we would be more appreciative. Did you ever hear of the people during the Depression Years tossing good food? They ate food most of us would not even consider edible.
Everyone should start growing a garden (where possible). Should we end up needing to fend for ourselves, it would be useful to have some gardening experience. It might save your life.
Sarah Park says
People should realize how lucky they are to have eaten as much as needed and should not waste what is on their plate. There are many out there who are struggling for food and happy to have even a single loaf of bread.
I try and eat almost everything that I am served on my plate. Even if it is more in quantity, I only take whatever I can eat. If you have gone out for dine in, then you can ask the waiter to wrap the leftover food and give it to any beggar or poor children who haven’t eaten good food in years.
Amanda L Grossman says
After reading a book on the amount of food that is wasted in the US, I started paying attention to our own home’s food waste. I was horrified the first few weeks! Fortunately, doing this experiment has meant that we spend a little less at the grocery store and prioritize foods that need to be cooked early-on in the week so that they do not go to waste.