We all love to see the supermarket shelves stocked with new items and fresh produce. It makes the store look better and may even make us want to purchase more. What many of us may not realize is that a good deal of the food that doesn’t look quite perfect or is heading toward its expiration date is being tossed in the garbage, without a chance for a second life.
Recent estimates suggest something like 40% of the food in what we call industrialized nations goes to waste. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation “roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption, gets lost or wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion ton per year.”
All that food could be doing a world of good to people in this country and abroad who go to bed hungry at night. So, what can we do about it? For one, we can become aware and do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle, like we did when we became aware of how recycling cans, glass, paper and plastic could keep waste out of landfills and keep the planet a little cleaner for a little bit longer.
One organization you may have heard about is called Feedback and they have a number of branches like Feeding the 5000, which is an effort to show people how good meals can be made with food that might have been tossed. They have been traveling around the country gathering fans, friends and volunteers and working with local chefs and others to cook up tasty meals with ingredients previously bound for the dumpster. You know, that funny looking tomato or a bruised apple, not quite tempting enough for Snow White.
If you want to support the effort to reduce global food waste, you can join the movement or donate, but the best way to get involved is to become aware of your own habits and see what can be done at home and at your local markets to change perceptions about food waste.
Do you know someone or a group of people who are working to reduce, recycle, reuse food that would otherwise be bound for the trash? Nominate them for next week’s AmericanTown’s Heroes.