The issue of food waste is more serious than one might realize. Here in the U.S., food waste makes up the largest percentage of what is in the landfills (21 percent compared to paper products that take up 15 percent of landfill space) and it is estimated that up to 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. goes to waste, all while millions of people go hungry.
Food waste has a major impact on the environment as well, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in landfills and wasting water resources. When food is wasted, it means the energy used to produce that food is wasted, and it is estimated that 25 percent of our fresh water sources, 10.5 trillion gallons, is wasted each year due to food waste.
Major contributors to the food waste problem are supermarkets, which regularly toss out perfectly good food, namely fruits and vegetables, simply because they look imperfect. A petition on Care2 states that 50 percent of produce ends up in landfills, all while an estimated 48 million Americans go hungry each day.
Much can be done to curb the food waste epidemic. There are markets and companies who salvage “imperfect” produce and sell them to environmentally-conscious consumers, new technology that manufactures biodegradable plastic from food waste, and France passed a law that makes supermarkets donate “imperfect” foodstuffs to charity. In the U.S., there is the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act that was passed in 1996 with the hopes of making businesses and individuals stop the amount of food wasted by encouraging donation to charities, but the bill was not mandated.
If you would like to see this act mandated and help stop our growing food waste problem, please take a moment to sign the petition.
And for ideas on how you can decrease your personal food waste, check out these tips.
mage Source: Pixabay