Food waste in the U.S.A.
Kauffman’s Commercial Refrigeration stays with Zero Waste Policy. It is not only about recycling. For example, food waste is a serious issue. It is important to every US resident. An average American household spends up to 2,200USD per year for food that they would never eat. This data is from the statistical report for 2016 of the National Resources Defense Council, a New York-based non-profit international environmental advocacy group.
Solving of the food waste problem is not only about the waste and recycling. It will have a positive influence on the social good while minimizing environmental damage and reducing overproduction.
Image via Somerset Waste Partnership
40% of food is dumped into the trash every year, as Dana Gunders, the scientists of the National Resources Defense Council, states in her report named “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill” and published in 2012. At the same time in the same country, more than 48 million of people starve or do not get enough nutrition for healthy living.
The “Food Insecurity in the United States” states that more than 15% of the population in our country face food insecure. Feeding America describes food insecure as a condition of limited access to an affordable healthy food. According to Dana Gunders’ report, the food waste begins on farms, where approximately 30% of fruits and vegetables are condemned because of shape, color, or size. The waste continues in supermarkets, with shelves are full with abandoned food. American families, whose fridges and storages are full of products that they are never going to use, are the last stage of food waste. As a country, the USA spends approximately 160 billion dollars every year on wasted food.
This money could be spent on other purposes instead throwing them out the window. If we also recall to the fact that every sixth person in the USA faces food insecure, such waste becomes a serious social issue, that needs to be solved.
As every social issue, food waste has two sides: material and moral. The material side involves sources and money waste for every individual as well as for the whole country. The moral side raises the question of critical social disbalance: while one part of society is starving, the other dumps tons of food every year. Only the changes in collective thinking can improve the situation.
Next time, when you are going to buy extra couple of pounds of fruits or order additional food in the restaurant, ask yourself a simple question. Will you be able to leave leftovers on the table or throw the fruits to the dumpster, knowing about all these starving people in your country?
By Val Kauffman
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