The Wrangler

America’s Disgusting Food Wasting Problem

Once+perfectly+edible+food%2C+much+of+American+produce+goes+to+waste.++
Once perfectly edible food, much of American produce goes to waste.

Once perfectly edible food, much of American produce goes to waste.

PhillyVoice

PhillyVoice

Once perfectly edible food, much of American produce goes to waste.

Sanaz Kharazmi, Photojournalist

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Reports alert that Americans reject around 50% of all food (The Guardian). Whether this is an issue stemming from the American obsession with appearance and aesthetic or the result of unpersisted diets, the wasting of food has a horrendous impact on the climate, carbon footprint, and biodiversity (TriplePundit.com).

This outrageous epidemic is credited to stem from the good ‘ol American need for everything to be aesthetically pleasing and presentable. As part of popular capitalist and consumer culture, produce that is bruised or blemished is usually discarded by grocery stores because customers are fed the false idea that all foods are perfect in appearance, and anything less is rotten or spoiled. Many contend that this issue can be solved by more realistic advertising and reforming “arbitrary and problematic” expiration dates which can inspire people to prematurely dispose of produce. However, even before reaching any market, much of the produce is trashed during the harvesting process (The Atlantic).

 

Much of the world has identified this detrimental matter and in order to gradually solve it, France has implemented a policy which requires all supermarkets to halt the disposal of foods. Instead, they are encouraged to donate or compost their expired and blemished produce. Inspired by the same movement, Germany is determined to reform their expiration dates so they are more accurate, which would allow for people to keep their food for much longer periods of time and greatly reduce the rate of food being thrown out (The Atlantic). Yorba Linda High School senior, Daania Kalam, strongly contends that “America should catch up” to other superpower nations who are attempting to resolve these global issues and “at the very least adopt easy to implement solutions” to these devastating matters.

 

In addition to the simply stunning fact that Americans waste so much food supply, the truly alarming nature of the conflict is multiplied when considering the impact food waste has on the environment: including climate, water, and biodiversity. The growing of food waste also occupies an extremely significant amount of space, or precisely 1.4 billion hectares, of all of Earth’s land, meaning that 1.4 billion hectares worth of food is grown but not eaten. Similarly, the disposal of food, which is often in the ocean, around 250 cubic kilometers of the Earth’s oceans. Due to the burning and dumping of unconsumed foods, approximately 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and thus is an immense contributor to the human carbon footprint (TriplePundit.com).

 

Therefore, food waste and the method in which unconsumed food is disposed of are colossal assistants to the world’s pollution, and many countries are initiating campaigns to eliminate this problem. Americans are some of the most prevalent contributors to this issue, and as a society must work together to resolve such a detriment.

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America’s Disgusting Food Wasting Problem