Almost exactly a year ago, President Obama called for Americans to reduce their food waste. Yes, this IS a problem for the higher reaches of government: experts estimate that, in one way or another, about a third of the food we produce every year ends up wasted. Sadly, in a country where 14 percent of households are food insecure, we are throwing out perfectly good food. In addition to contributing to the hunger of our neighbors, wasting food also puts a burden on the environment: methane gas from food decomposing in landfills contributes to climate change. So what's a responsible country to do?
Enter the innovators and entrepreneurs. In recent years, there have been some thrilling, creative solutions. For example, supermarkets all over the country are starting to follow the French trend of buying produce that doesn't look picture-perfect. Read about Europe here and about America here. Then there's "trash cooking," which means learning to prepare delectable meals from ingredients that would otherwise be thrown out. There are even organizations that harvest food from people's yards that would otherwise not be eaten at all.
Hungry for more ideas? Read this great Sierra Club article.
And what can we do as individuals? Here are some ideas:
-Eat locally grown food, so none is wasted during transport.
-Compost leftovers to keep them out of landfills.
-Support growers, markets, and restaurants that give their excess food to those who need it.