Wasted Food

Yesterday, WTAE shared a startling article from CNN: 40% of US Food Wasted. 40%! September is Hunger Action Month, so this has me thinking hard.

Earlier this week, I got angry over spoiled milk. Bad milk made me waste not only the milk, but 6 eggs, too. The next day, we threw out leftovers and some rotten berries. ‘lil Man is usually good for spilling food on the floor, forcing us throw it out. We are not alone. The report found that Americans toss out 25% of the food and beverages they buy–it’s a hard metric to hear, but I am pretty sure we come decently close to that.

If we were more mindful of our purchases and didn’t make large portions (something we’ve been way better at as of the past year), a lot less would be thrown out. Retailers who overstock shelves and displays are part of the blame. Last year, I toured the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for #blogmob and learned that my employer sends just about to be thrown out goods to the Food Bank for immediate distribution–this includes milk, veggies, even cakes. I can pretty much guarantee you that hungry people don’t waste near as much as we do. First World Problems.

It’s not a joke, it’s a serious issue. Consumers aren’t the only ones wasting–I cringe when I think of the 20ish tomatoes/peppers we’ve lost this summer due to rot. 7% of crops aren’t harvested! Produce is determined as inedible…I think of all our tomatoes with drought rings. If I looked at them, I’d say they were inedible, but guess what? They were amazingly juicy and delicious!

Things won’t change if we don’t stop and think about the facts. In the Olympic Closing Ceremony, one of the songs played was “Imagine” (John Lennon). I cannot wait until we can live as one, when we aren’t so selfish anymore. What will you do to help this dream?