US Tops In Food Wastage

 
23-Aug-2012 by

Food Wastage“Waste not want not” is an adage that the Americans don’t believe in especially when it comes to food.  “Natural Resources Defense Council‘s” recent report has highlighted this terrible scenario. The reports reveals that the annual food wastage in the United States of America costs a whopping $165 billion which apart from being irresponsible also takes a toll on the water resources of the nation as well as results in a substantial increase of the greenhouse gases. The report also chastised the Americans by saying, “Food is simply too good to waste ." Let us now see how we simply squander away precious food that could have nourished numerous starving multitudes residing in the developing countries.

 

Where Food Wastage Occurs

The wastage or throwing away of food needlessly can be observed in almost every point of the food cycle, from the farm to the plate.

 

At Home

Throwig away food

Almost all American homes have a tendency to throw out food which the report has quantified as being 25% of the products they buy. The chief reason for such sheer wastage can be summed up as:-
 

  • Value of food is not appreciated as it is plentiful and comparatively cheaper than other basic requirements.
     
  • Succumbing to the lure of advertisements most Americans buy in bulk which they are unable to utilize.
     
  • Poor planning is also a problem with many deciding to eat out on a whim even when their refrigerator is stocked with food.
     
  • The portions served are unnecessarily big making it difficult for an individual to finish everything on his/her plate. The portion sizes usually equal two to eight times the average serving sizes recommended by  USDA and FDA.
     
  • Most Americans do not read the labels carefully and mistakenly assume that the product is past its sell by date.

 

At Eateries

Food Wastage in Eateries

  • Restaurants usually tend to stock more food than required for fear of finding itself short.
     
  • The servings are bigger with most of the people finding themselves unable to finish off everything.
     
  • School and University cafeterias also tend to serve large portions during lunch with most of it getting wasted due to the craze of  eating junk food at all odd hours.

 

At Retail Stores 

  • Display of fresh foods on the top shelves makes the old ones unnoticeable which results in them being throw out.
     
  • Stocking too many packaged processed foods and ready to eat meals causes the product to remain within the shop until it becomes outdated and inedible.

 

At Farms

The report tells us that almost 7% of the field,  planted with food crops remain unharvested every year.

 

At Packaging Factories

  • Removal of stones from fruits or packing of citrus fruits and grapes have to be done carefully or the squashy fruit gets thrown out in spite it being perfectly edible.

 

Growing food requires fresh water and simply throwing the food away causes wastage of nearly 25% of the water which the country can ill afford. Also the rotting away of food in the landfills results in formation of the toxic gas, methane which is also regarded to be one of the most harmful greenhouse gases that pollute the environment.

Green House gases

Studying the food handling system of other countries as well as changing the economy based food chain model might just help to prevent this wastefulness and feed more people eventually.

 

So it is really up to us to find out the ideal solution . Continuing with this wastefulness will  only deplete the world’s food sources rapidly and bring us face to face with the alarming reality of not finding food when we are hungry. A frightening thought that! It is time to sit up and do something  NOW!

 

Image Credit- toonpool 

blisstree

 raabjerg 

stuffintheair

 

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