Groups Take on US Food Waste

With the holiday season ending (a season typically marked by massive food waste), environmental advocacy groups are beginning a new campaign to alert American consumers to the danger of wasting food.

As a wealthy, affluent nation, the United States is relatively untroubled by the massive and systematic food insecurity that often plagues the developing world. The ugly side to this affluence, however, is a casual attitude towards wasting food. US Department of Agriculture estimates suggest that Americans throw away about 25 percent of the food they cook, roughly 86 billion pounds a year.

The holiday stretch at the end of the year is often the biggest season of food waste, with about 5 billion pounds of food being thrown out in late November and December.

The amount of food waste prevalent in the United States is a moral dilemma. In a world marked by food insecurity and hunger, many food safety and environmental advocates say that it is immoral to waste this much food.

In addition, wasted food means wasted water. With extreme droughts looking like they might become a permanent part of the American climate and with aquifers across the country drying up, the nation cannot afford to cavalierly waste precious water resources.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer