How much food do you waste a week?
Americans on a whole waste more food than most people in the world.
From NPR, the NRDC, as well as CNN reports of food waste by Americans is eye-opening! An estimated 40% of food is wasted by Americans. That 40% equates to nearly 33 million tons. The value of this food is estimated to be $165 Billion dollars worth of food each year!
In a time where the economy has been poor, it is apparent that when it comes to food, Americans think it’s expendable! Now please tell me that I’m wrong, but that’s not right!
Not only is it expensive and wasteful, it’s ecologically unsustainable. The natural resources and work effort spent to grow that food, including labor, fertilizers, processing, packaging and transportation costs are huge. Why is this happening?
The Lack of Food Security.
It is reported that one in five kids in America live in a family that lacks food security!
One group of university students have worked to make a difference.
What they have discovered is that it’s not an over production problem…it’s a food distribution problem. The problem is that there is a tremendous amount of hunger and people who are calorie deprived in America today. The food that is excess to our needs just can’t find a way to them!
Logistics is the Issue!
Supply and demand has always been the driving force to our economic base. Right now we have a large un controlled demand and a plentiful supply. How can we actually make food balances occur between the over=consumers with the under-consumers. We need middle men who are willing to help make the whole thing balance out!
The EPA has a guide for the Reuse of Excess Foods, If you wonder what works check their site out.
The EPA breaks it down to six things;
1) Source Reduction – Reduce the volume of food waste generated.
2) Feed People – Feed hungry people by donating to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters.
3) Feed Animals – Use excess food scraps in animal feed.
4) Industrial Uses – Use waste oils for rendering and fuel conservation.
5) Composting – Create a nutrient rich soil amendment…and,
6) Use Landfills as a last resort. – Landfills are a blight on our landscape and can be environmentally detrimental to communities and natural resources.
If Edible Food Cannot be Passed on, Consider Composting it!
In 2013, the University of North Carolina and other colleges and universities competed in the Recycle Mania competition.
“Over a 10-week period, over 500 North American colleges and universities reported their recycling and trash data, which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.”
“This makes the composting program an essential component of UNC’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In 2011, for example, composting resulted in a reduction of 276 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.”
Recyclemania is big throughout the American Colleges with over 500 competing last year alone!
Either way, we are dealing with a product that can make our world better, all it takes is thought and action.
Think Twice Before You Throw Out Food!
Support Your Local Food Banks!
Recycle and Compost!