American’s food waste is at epic proportions
By Camyle Cryderman
According to endhunger.org, 133 billion pounds of readily available food went uneaten in America in 2010. That equates to 31 percent of all food production and equals $161.6 billion wasted. Majority of this food is in safe, edible condition, yet all of it ends up in a landfill. While there will never be a 100 percent use rate of any good, The United States needs to reform their food waste to save money, resources and possibly lives.
As stated on the same website, the U.S. spends $1 billion each year disposing of this edible food waste. That, combined with the cost of the food product purchased that goes wasted, America could be saving hundreds of billions of dollars each year if this food is used. One problem in America that causes this exponential rate of waste is the idea that everything needs to be perfect.
When grocery shopping, people tend to choose the goods that look the best on the outside. If an apple has a scratch, a box is dented or a banana has a small bruise, consumers will not choose it. Due to this aversion to slightly less than visually perfect food, these completely edible goods end up in the trash. Not only are the companies to blame for food waste, the consumers are too.
In 2014, 46.7 million people were in poverty and facing hunger according to feedingamerica. org. As stated by the Economic Resource Service, the food thrown away each year equates to 141 trillion calories. If instead of throwing food away at the end of every night, grocery stores donated the unused food to shelters and food pantries, each person in poverty could have an abundance of 8,272 calories of free food per day. America could essentially solve domestic hunger.
Many people may think that this idea is irrational, if the food is being thrown away, it must be bad, but that is simply not the case.
Thousands of people in The United States called freegans live solely off of the prepackaged, unopened and unexpired food they find in grocery store dumpsters. They find an assortment of diverse and healthy foods ranging from eggs to spinach to sandwiches; and they find enough to fully survive off of it with excess. It may seem gross to eat what others deem as trash, but what is actually gross is the amount of waste Americans produce.
This epidemic of extreme waste occurs in every city around the country whether big or small. Not only do stores actively throw edible food away, they don’t seem to care.
This complete disregard needs to change in order for America’s waste to lesson. With less waste companies could truly make a difference. Take a look in the local grocery store dumpster, you’d be surprised at what you find.