Monday, June 28, 2010

Top 10 ways Americans Waste Food

American families are throwing away 14% of their groceries each year, sending $75 billion worth of food straight into the trash. I started to think about the many ways we waste natural food and the list is astounding. Here are some of the ways:

  1. Putting more on your plate than you can eat and not finishing.
  2. Restaurants, supermarkets and dining halls dumping food that was never served and is still fit to eat.
  3. Cutting fruits and vegetables inefficiently (e.g. the broccoli stems).
  4. Throwing away food after weddings, birthdays, Thanksgiving and other events.
  5. Leaving food out to spoil when it should be refrigerated.
  6. Cooking excess amounts.
  7. Storing fresh fruits and vegetables improperly.
  8. Failing to opt-out of the ketchup, soy sauce or sugar that comes with your take-out (when you won't use it).
  9. Throwing away food because of cosmetic blemishes.
  10. Having an "I bought it, why should I care?" mentality.
As you can see, we're not just talking about table scraps. Admittedly, not all excess food is fit to eat, but there are definitely other uses - fertilizer, animal feed, mulch. Food that is edible can be made into a soup, an omelet or taken to lunch the next day in a brown-bag.

The cost of food is rising daily, and 4,000 human beings die every hour of starvation. Do what you can to make a difference.

OVERALL RATING (for food waste):

Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty.Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal

P.S. - If you'd like to read more about this issue, get one of these books from Amazon: Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal or Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty.


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  2. Thanks Louisa. This sounds like a good cause.