I recently went on a Mid-Atlantic road trip. As a result, I ate three morning meals (what I described back in February as Fastbreak), one at a conference, two at hotels. I was appalled by how much food waste I witnessed. Folks, we have to stop wasting our food!
It truly amazes me how much food we waste in the morning, especially when breakfast is served buffet style. I would like to share one key statistic about food waste in America:
Approximately 40 percent of all food, worth an estimated $165 billion is wasted.
(Source: National Defense Council – 2012)
There are a multitude of reasons food waste is a major issue we need to address:
1. Lost resources, annually 25% of all freshwater and 300 million barrels of oil that is utilized to produce food wasted.
2. Food waste is a major component of landfills responsible for 135 million tons of greenhouse gases (methane) annually.
The one statistic that troubles me the most that we tend to overlook is that approximately 14.5 percent (17.6 million) of U.S. Households experience food insecurity – households that are uncertain or have difficulty acquiring enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they have insufficient money or other resources for food. One solution: Let’s start the conversation about food waste among family, friends, work peers, etc. For example, on my trip I observed a teenager eating breakfast with his mother. She was busy reading her newspaper; he was busy on his iPhone. When they left, I estimated that more than 50% of what he ordered was left on his plate. New Yorker writer Adam Kopnik once said it best: “Parents teach, institutions instruct.” Let’s start the conversation at home.
Folks, stop wasting your food!