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Thursday, November 12, 2015

How Much Food Do You Waste?

Cheeseburger at burger joint in Alaska
I said no jalapenos, but they arrive anyway. Classic food waste problem.
Food waste is a big issue for everyone: farmers, ranchers, consumers, food retailers, policy makers etc. Everyone has a stake in food waste and has something to lose.
Which is why it's an issue that all people should be fully aware of and should be working together to find a solution. I mean, Americans waste 40% of the food we buy at the grocery store. Imagine this: you go buy your fruits and veggies, Cheetos, lean meats and chocolate milk, go through the checkout and dole out your hard-earned cash. Then go home and through almost half of it in the trash, straight away. Boom gone. That's what Americans do, we waste food.

U.S. residents spent on average about $2,273, or about 6.4 percent of their annual consumer expenditures, on food in 2012, according to the USDA. In other countries, like Pakistan, residents spend almost half of their income. HALF. In India and China that number is upwards of 25%. I mean, why wouldn't we throw away our food, we have can always buy more?

While we tend to talk about food waste on a personal level, there is also a level of responsibility to retailers and restaurants. I can't remember how many times I have been at a restaurant and asked for them NOT to send out lettuce and tomatoes for my cheeseburger and a) the waitress will say "well, it comes on the side" and not write it down or b) the chef will forget and include it anyway. Guess what happens when that tomato and lettuce gets to my table? You guessed it - nothing. I don't eat it and it undoubtedly goes in the trash. That is food waste!

The bottom line is that we can all do a better job of not wasting food because honestly, I don't believe that we have a food production problem in the world. If we could cut back our food waste and improve our food distribution throughout the world, we could make giant steps in world hunger.

So, next time you go to a restaurant, if you don't want your veggies don't order them. Additionally, think twice about the jumbo size items - because do you honestly consume the whole jumbo bag of cereal before it goes stale?

Just some Food For Thought!


1 comment:

  1. I started an Evernote notebook to take pictures of food tossed by me & family. If possible, I take a picture of the food being thrown out on a small food scale to get a sense of what & how much.

    The process of documenting personal food waste highlights what kinds of foods and habits contribute to the trash.



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