Wasted Food Hurts the Environment
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
Always Clean Your Plate
These well-known phrases are even more relevant today when much of the world's population suffers from hunger...and globally 1/3 of the food produced each year is wasted.
According to the United Nations, 1.3 billion metric tons of food are thrown away worldwide.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that the average American household throws away $640 of food each year.
$162 billion of food is wasted in the U.S. – every year.
Along with the harm this does to our nation's society and the economy, wasted food also pollutes the environment and uses up our natural resources.
Generates 2% of America's greenhouse gas emissions
Consumes 35% of the country's freshwater resources
Uses 31% of U.S. cropland
Accounts for 30% of U.S. fertilizer usage
More than 20% of the disposed material in the nation's landfills is wasted food - food that could have been eaten, but was thrown away. Making the situation even worse, when the food decomposes it gives off methane gas that causes global warming.
So, what can we do to reduce this waste?
Buy and prepare smaller amounts of food.
Store food properly so that it doesn't spoil.
Use leftovers for other meals and in sandwiches, salads, soups.
Share extra food with family, friends and neighbors.
With the world's growing population and increasing demand for food, we all need to cut back on the waste. Otherwise, just like Old Mother Hubbard, when we go to the cupboard we will find that it's bare.
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