One in four calories intended for consumption is never eaten.
This is equivalent to going grocery shopping, buying four bags of groceries, dropping one of the grocery bags in the parking lot and just leaving it there to rot.
Groceries are expensive. If American households are wasting 25% of the food that they buy, they’re also throwing away a substantial amount of money.
We waste enough food in America in one day to fill a 90,000 person stadium and then some. Obviously our food waste doesn’t magically get transported to our nearest football stadium, but it does go to our nearest landfill or incinerator.
When food waste sits in a landfill, and isn’t properly composted, it is useless and stinky and takes up tons and tons of space in landfills. We have one Earth, and it’s not growing. We have a limited amount of land and we shouldn’t be wasting it by covering it with food waste that will never rot because it’s covered in even more waste and doesn’t have access to the oxygen needed for decomposition.
It is especially disheartening that grocery stores throw away perfectly good food when there are millions of American families struggling to put food on the table.
Many grocers will claim that they can’t donate their food for fear of being sued by the recipient. However, the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act made it so that companies aren’t liable for donating their food in good faith.
The real issue is that it costs money to deliver food to shelters and food banks, while throwing it in the dumpster is practically free (besides the cost of delivering their dumpster to the landfill).
So, what can you do about it?
- Plan out your meals for the week and make a list. Stick to your list.
- Do your grocery shopping more frequently. Make weekly or bi-weekly trips to the grocery store, instead of trying to stock up for two weeks and then watching your produce wilt into the trash can.
- Waste doesn’t just happen at home – restaurants have huge portion sizes that even the Hulk couldn’t finish in one sitting. Bring a Tupperware and bring it home for later.
- Compost your kitchen scraps and any other food waste within your own household to use in your garden. Food waste can be beneficial when used for a purpose. Give your food waste a purpose.
- Volunteer to drive your grocers food waste to the nearest food bank. Get a team of friends together, go out and do good.