food waste

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Wage a War on Food Waste!

By Jeannette | March 26, 2012

Photo: Yunchung Lee

By: Justin Chan

As thousands in developing countries face an impending famine, Americans at home have trouble finishing their food. The issue is nothing new. For years, food agencies and nonprofit organizations have voiced their criticism of families that buy food in excess. In many cases, much of the food is left untouched or becomes wasted leftovers. In other instances, some families conserve as much as possible and use food products long past their expiration dates. The issue, it seems, is that many of us have trouble gauging our food needs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average American family of four spends anywhere between $500 and $2,000 annually on food they never eat. As such, food has come behind paper as the second-largest portion of the U.S. solid waste stream. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that at least 33 millions tons of food went to waste in 2010. At least 25% of the avoidable food waste, furthermore, consists of vegetables. Brian Wansink, a professor at Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, explained that consumers create such unnecessary food waste because they rarely have a thorough shopping list. Approximately 93% of Americans, in fact, have something in their kitchen three years or older. Read More

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