Food waste in America

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Food waste in America

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Alli Couture, Staff Writer

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America is one of the world’s most economically thriving countries. Even so, many Americans are still food insecure.

According to FeedingAmerica.org, in America, one in eight people are food insecure. This equals almost 40 million adults and over 12 million children. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food to live a healthy happy life.

Recent data from the USDA indicates that about 264 million pounds of excess, edible, and nutritious food are thrown away in all sectors of the food industry every day. That is enough to provide nearly 1.5 tons of food during the year to every man, woman, and child who is hungry in the United States.

Charites such as Waste Not Want Not’s volunteer their time to not only educate the public on the food waste problem but working to fix it. Every day, 363 days a year, the volunteers drive their own cars to these businesses, pick up the donated food, and bring it to a Waste Not Want Not facility. Last year, Waste provided almost two million pounds of food to over 130 charities serving those in need in ten counties. The conservative cost avoidance (the amount they saved by not having to purchase that amount of food) enjoyed by these charities was close to $4,000,000. They rescue unmarketable, but still wholesome, food from supermarkets, restaurants, and other businesses daily. To learn more and see how you can help, visit their website at http://wastenotflorida.com/

Although these businesses play a large part in America’s food waste, we as citizens, are not scotch free. On average each American wastes one pound of food every day. If that doesn’t

make you think, remember that there are 325 million people in America. Now picture the amount of waste produced in a single week, let alone a month.

But even though you may not think so, you personally could make a world of difference. For example, only buy what you need at the store or after dinner at your favorite restaurant, take the left overs home instead of wasting your food and your money.

A small change may seem insignificant now, but just think about a world free of hunger, all because we thought before we threw our food away. You can help solve the problem of food insecurity and excessive food waste by contacting your local government to change waste policies or volunteering with the organizations that work to reduce the food waste and food insecurity.