You may have heard me talk about the amount of food that is wasted in the United States before and the impact that it has on real Americans every day. The numbers are sickening and nearly unbelievable:
- 40% of the food produced in the US does not get eaten
- $165 billion in food thrown away every year or 20 pounds per person every month
- 49.1 million Americans lived in food-insecure households in 2013
- Average American households are wasting 15-25% of the food bought
As if that information isn’t awful enough, I’m writing about this in this space because of the underlying and bitter reality that makes it possible. Just stop to think of all of the (depleting and non-renewable) natural resources like water and fossil fuels (oil) that are being used to grow, produce, harvest, ship and store all of this food that eventually ends up some landfill somewhere and morphs into a climate destroying methane bomb. Every choice we make has a consequence in the zero sum game of natural resources. And ‘sell by’ dates? Grade A, peanut butter and jelly flavored Bull****. These things look official but are actually about as real as the idea that the Federal Reserve is somehow part of the United States Government!
So what about us? We have very minimal waste in our household. We grow as much of our own food as possible, preserve what we do not eat immediately by canning, freezing and proper dry storage, we compost all of the kitchen cuttings that the chickens do not enjoy to build soil for our gardens and we target shop when we need to go to the store so that we do not buy/spend carelessly which helps us lower our total household food waste.
I wanted to share this video just to bring more awareness to how the process goes here in the US and how we currently use our dwindling and evermore precious natural resources when it comes to food production. Some waste is inherently unavoidable, but I think we all should strive to be closer to our food or at least have a better understanding of the costs associated with how it gets to our table. If this can happen, then maybe we will start to ask more of the process and care a bit more for our fellow citizens on a societal level and just how much our ‘throw away’ society is really costing us.
I encourage you to watch this report from John Oliver on Last Week Tonight and please consider what you can do to help our children, those among us that can do the least for themselves, escape food-insecurity by visiting these organizations:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Food Waste (HBO)
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