No brainer: Ending food waste could feed hungry and save money
No brainer: Ending food waste could feed hungry and save money (Thinkstock)
No brainer: Ending food waste could feed hungry and save money
Lexile: 1280L
Lexile

Assign to Google Classroom

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a goal to cut the amount of food that Americans waste by 50 percent by 2030.
 
"The United States enjoys the most productive and abundant food supply on Earth, so too much of this food goes to waste," Vilsack said in New York City, where he was joined by food-industry representatives and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
Vilsack likened the effort to reduce food waste to the anti-littering campaigns of the 1960s and '70s that shamed Americans for tossing trash out car windows.
 
"This is the logical extension," he said. "This is the next litter campaign."
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans waste 133 billion pounds of food every year, or 31 percent of their overall food supply.
 
Vilsack said other nations waste similar amounts and the U.S. must lead a global effort to use food more efficiently.
 
"This is an opportunity for us to make a statement and provide leadership," he said.
 
EPA officials said the massive waste is a problem not just because the food could feed the hungry but also because it ends up in landfills and affects the environment.
 
"Twenty-one percent of all the waste in landfills is food," EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg said. "Once it's there, it produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas."
 
Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute, a food retailers' trade association, said the industry supports cutting food waste because it operates on a "razor-thin" margin of 1 or 2 percent.
 
"Reducing food waste at all levels in the food chain - farm, factory, store and home - is certainly one of those issues with economic and emotional appeal," she said.
 
The officials spoke at a facility in Long Island City, Queens, operated by the nonprofit City Harvest, which started in 1982 as an effort to salvage excess food from restaurants. City Harvest now takes donations from businesses and farmers and delivers it to 500 food banks and soup kitchens.
 
Vilsack toured the warehouse packed with donated produce like carrots that were too big to sell and called it "truly inspiring."
 
He said the campaign to cut food waste includes educating consumers about how long to keep food before it must be thrown out.
 
He said he recently used the USDA's new mobile FoodKeeper app to determine whether chicken salad in his refrigerator was still good.
 
It was, and he ate it.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/no-brainer-ending-food-waste-could-feed-hungry-and-save-money/

Filed Under:  
Assigned 44 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
If it's a no brainer, why do Americans waste so much food?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (63)
  • derekh-day
    9/25/2015 - 03:54 p.m.

    There are far too many people in America that are lazy to not throw away food and be conservative. That's why we're in this mess in the first place; we're number one. It's a good goal to show leadership and all but we've already showed leadership with a step in the wrong direction. Good luck undoing what has been going on for the past one hundred years and has received attention for at least half of that.

  • lenning,kaitlyn-cas
    9/26/2015 - 12:08 p.m.

    1. Americans take for granted the simple things in life. They waste food because they don't bother to think about the consequences of their actions. Most people don't stop to think about where their food will end up before tossing it or the effect their food waste will have on the environment. Americans tend to focus on the present moment and the factors immediately affecting them; they push aside the long term effects their actions may have. They don't realize that the food they throw out will sit in a landfill and produce green house gases harmful to the environment. As a result, Americans continue to waste food and take for granted the privileges they have.
    2. Food waste is a major problem that Americans need to become more informed about. I feel that it's an issue so many people overlook or are unaware of. In order to better the general publics knowledge of the issue, more articles should be published about the harmful effects food waste has on the environment. Although, in my opinion the problem of food waste will be nearly impossible completely eliminate. Despite efforts that can be made to lessen it, there will always be people who don't care enough about the effects to change their actions.

  • sebastiant-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:51 a.m.

    It's a no brainer that wasting food is a bad thing. However, the majority of people do not think too deeply about things such as this. They do not think: "maybe I should stop wasting food so that it doesn't end up in landfills and produce methane, which is a greenhouse gas that'll trap heat in the atmosphere and cause global warming." People just throw away food when it's convenient for them, as long as its negative eff
    ects aren't immediate and don't effect them. Food waste is a major problem that Americans need to become more informed about. I feel that it's an issue so many people overlook or are unaware of. In order to better the general publics knowledge of the issue, more articles should be published about the harmful effects food waste has on the environment. Although, in my opinion the problem of food waste will be nearly impossible completely eliminate. Despite efforts that can be made to lessen it, there will always be people who don't care enough about the effects to change their actions.

  • kelseyd-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:51 a.m.

    We waste so much food because we believe that there is an unlimited supply of food for us to consume when in fact there is not. Thus making everyone waste the food that one day will disappear or be in short supply.

  • sarainar-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:53 a.m.

    Food waste is a huge problem even though, I do it in my own home. If I cook something and it was in the fridge for at least a day I won't eat it. So to just know when something really does expire would really help a lot.

  • toril-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:54 a.m.

    Well, i don't really know how to answer this but wasting food is not necessarily a bad thing. However, wasting food can be wrong because their are parts of the world starving.

  • rebeccaw-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:56 a.m.

    We can use the abundance amount of food we waste to benefit the poor and needy. By 2030, we should deduct the amount of food we waste by 50%. The United States should use this as an opportunity to be a leader and show the rest of the world that not wasting food can prevent hunger and poverty in their nations.

  • giovaniv-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:56 a.m.

    I also agree that this is a huge problem in the United States. It would be wise to lessen the problem, but what i don't understand is how would something like this decrease by 50%. Many Americans are not concerned about things like this and will continue to take advantage of it.

  • alexds-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:58 a.m.

    Americans waste so much food because they like to waste money and waste food when other people in different countries dont have food

  • ja'layahh-hub
    9/28/2015 - 10:58 a.m.

    Americans waste food so much because we have so much food that we can waste it and we're taking the food we have for granted and not knowing that people who doesn't have food are hungry. Instead of throwing the food away we can donate it to the hungry instead of wasting it.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT