Agriculture has advanced in variety of ways since the Green Revolution. So much, that our greatest concern should be the amount of food wasted each year. According to the EDA, America wasted 33 million tons of food in 2010. If that number is surprising, the Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that worldwide 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted. Why does this issue matter? While these numbers just might be statistics, they imply a lot of things about our culture and flaws. All the food lying around is adding to landfills and producing greenhouse gases; it’s a lose-lose situation. This is an issue that arises from the common household to the global scales. Our technology has developed to a point where we create more than the demand, thus resulting in waste. This is an inefficient use of land, time, and money. Crops are being watered and livestock raised just to be thrown away into the garbage. This is outrageous, since according to FAO, if we saved only one-fourth of the food wasted, that would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people. Only one-fourth. There is the other dilemma that in 2010, Americans increased the amount of food wasted by 16%. The causes of food waste are numerous, while the solutions aren’t simple, they are necessary. Causes range from inadequate market systems, premature harvesting, and poor storage facilities. However, the main producer of food waste is our attitude towards food waste. Our society has developed the idea that disposing is cheaper than reusing and that we are capable and privileged enough to waste food without “detrimental” consequences. Even in my own household, I mindlessly waste food from a day to day basis. The solution would be to bring an awareness of all the food being wasted, as well as taking action in our efforts to stop this. This issue is apparent in both developing and developed countries, though most of the food waste is accumulated in developed countries. Consumers in developed countries are said to waste ten times the amount compared to people in Southeast Asia. Since the 1970s, Americans have increased their habits of food wasting by fifty percent. We associate our food’s worth with its price. Nowadays, food prices have plummeted, making us value food less. Even though most issues in today’s society might require higher technological inventions, food waste requires us to address our mindsets and farming practices.
August 26, 2017