Almost Half Of Food Produced In US Goes To Waste
It’s been estimated almost half of all food produced in the US goes to waste.
Throwing out food unnecessarily or as a result of laziness is something many people will relate to. Whether it’s a case of zealously adhering to a best-before label and chucking something in the bin, or buying fresh produce at the beginning of the week only to let them fester and go off while you make quicker meals, we’re all prone to waste.
It’s a scourge on landfills and a problem we need to tackle. Food insecurity in the US already affected 35 million Americans before the pandemic, estimated to have increased to more than 50 million since 2019. The less food we waste, the more we could all help.
As per RTS, sourced from studies conducted in 2012 and 2013, the world wastes around 1.4 billion tons of food every year. However, the US is the most wasteful country on Earth, with nearly 40 million tones hitting landfills or otherwise wasted per annum. This equates to around 40% of the country’s food supply, and 219lb per person.
Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, told Vox it’s not entirely our fault when it comes to wasting food. ‘In the absence of culinary information, people assume that any information they’ve been given must be the most important information,’ she said.
‘It’s really hard to imagine you’re supposed to trust your own nose and mouth. Add that to convenience culture and rapacious late-stage capitalism and, well, we’re f*cked,’ she added.
It’s rather simple: best-before dates only indicate a level of quality, not hazard to your health. If you have crisps, bread, biscuits and even cans that are past their best-before date, they’re still edible (obviously bread you should check for mould).
Use-by dates are the ones you generally need to follow, found on meat products, milk and other things – but as Adler said, using your nose and mouth is more important, so don’t just chuck everything out willy-nilly.
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