The Eco Preservation Society isn't forcing one to take extreme steps, but rather encouraging each of us to take a minumum of one eco friendly step toward becoming more sustainable. If most of us take one step then as a complete, we could make a substantial difference.
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The Eco Preservation Society isn't forcing one to take extreme steps, but rather encouraging each of us to take a minumum of one eco friendly step toward becoming more sustainable. If most of us take one step then as a complete, we could make a substantial difference.
The Eco Preservation Society is a membership, educational and networking organization specializing in the promotion of sustainable human action focused on achieving positive environmental effects. Our job is to market study, travel and instruction applications that advance environmental awareness and facilitate public consciousness with a call to action.
Mission Statement
The Eco Preservation Society is a membership, educational and networking organization specializing in the promotion of sustainable human action focused on achieving positive environmental effects. Our job is to market study, travel and instruction applications that advance environmental awareness and facilitate public consciousness with a call to action.

Food Waste in America (Video)

Watch this entertaining video on food waste in America and elsewhere - it's funny, but it's also got some really interesting and useful information too (John Oliver). Plus my Top 3 Tips.

The post Food Waste in America (Video) appeared first on EcoFriendlyLink - Naturally Healthy Green Living.


Watch this entertaining video on food waste in America and elsewhere - it's funny, but it's also got some really interesting and useful information too (John Oliver). Plus my Top 3 Tips.

The post Food Waste in America (Video) appeared first on EcoFriendlyLink - Naturally Healthy Green Living.

abundance in stores causes food waste in america

Food Waste in America – The Same in Most Developed Countries

 

Food Waste in America

 

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to include a link to a new guide showing more current stats. The basic principles are still true today – we still need to address the food waste problem, now more than ever!

 

Today’s video is from comedian and TV host John Oliver on his Last Week Tonight TV series and it’s all about Food Waste in America.

But although it’s focused on the US (see some amazing stats here), it applies to most developed countries too.

I’ve written about food waste before, but I enjoyed his take on the topic.

Related: Tips to avoid food waste

Watch the video, or read below for a summary of the main points together with my own comments and what I found the most shocking aspect of the video.

And then scroll down to the end for my Top 3 Tips on how to avoid food waste.

After a great opening line – “food – or as plants and animals would call it, the Afterlife”, John Oliver goes on to show advertisements for “all-you-can-eat” offers in America, suggesting that we are encouraged to eat large quantities of food.

food waste encouraged by all you can eat

Photo Credit: Flickr

Trouble is, it’s what we don’t eat, that is the problem.

The NRDC says a staggering 40% of all the food produced in the US, never gets eaten.

The amount of food we throw away has doubled since the 1970s.

One of the most shocking parts of the video for me, was the footage of a waste dump in California where there were literally tons of food dumped – yet it all looked perfectly good!

food waste is good food, dumpedThere was pristine organic lettuce, kale in perfect bunches, boxes of broccoli, salad leaves still in their wrapping – it was horrific!

You see, I always think of food waste as being spoiled food. But it seems it isn’t all rotten, lots of it is good stuff.

Food Waste in America – Other Issues

And with all this waste (as if it weren’t bad enough on its own), there are other considerations too:

  1. Almost 50 million Americans live in food insecure households (at some point during a year, they don’t know where their next meal is coming from).  Yes, almost 50 million.
  2. It takes water, land, labour and more to grow crops and animals for food – and then we throw it away. So more than the food waste (which is bad enough), we’re also wasting the resources used to grow food. (While many US States are battling severe drought).
  3. Food rotting in landfills (anaerobic) produces methane – a greenhouse gas considerably worse for the planet than CO2.

Not only is food waste not green, it’s even accelerating climate change!

Food Waste in America – At Home

food waste in america bought in plastic bags then discardedThe video gives a lovely shot of a person walking out from the grocery store to the car. She’s carrying 4 laden bags of groceries. Then she drops 1 bag in the car park, without bothering to pick it up. Well, if we’re wasting 25-35% of our food at home, then we’re effectively buying it then dumping it in the car park, aren’t we?

And then there’s those sell-by dates. A staggering 91% of US consumers say they throw out food after the sell-by date – aaargh!

Related: (video) what those dates really mean

Food Waste in America – in the Shops

abundance in stores causes food waste in americaShops in the USA have noticed that when they display lots of food, people buy more. So grocery stores are filled to the brim with fresh produce, because when people see “abundance”, they buy more. If there’s only one item on the shelf, we won’t buy it.

So I can understand their logic. And yet, I wrote about how one chain store group made their shelves look like there was abundance, but by reducing the number of layers of food, they reduced their costs, reduced waste, and still sold the same. There are ways around it.

Food Waste in America – at the Farms

Graphic footage was shown of an orchard of peach trees – with huge amount of peaches discarded on the ground, rotting. Why? Because they weren’t 100% perfect. They might not be exactly the right shape, for example.

And farmers know it’s not even worth trying to sell them – stores just won’t buy “imperfect” fruits and vegetables, even though those standards of perfection are ridiculously high.

Food Waste in America – Not Donated

food waste in america is reduced when you preserve food

Photo Credit: The Golden Spiral

Shops and restaurants often don’t donate food to the needy for 2 main reasons:

  • Legal: they’re worried someone might eat their discarded food and become ill and they could be sued.
  • Cost: it actually costs quite a lot of money to collect, store, transport and distribute discarded food, and there are no incentives to do so.

And yet, did you know that there is NO case in the US where anyone has been sued! Donors are covered under the “Good Samaritan Food Donation Act”.

Isn’t it sad that it’s easier and cheaper to throw food away, than to donate it?

Governments have quite a big budget for helping the needy, wouldn’t you think that some of that budget could go toward incentives to donations, so the government doesn’t have to provide food or stamps?

When it comes to food waste in America, small businesses don’t have permanent legal tax breaks (incentives) for donating food to charity. (The video tells an amazing tale about this legislation at the 13:20 mark).

What We Can All Do About Food Waste in America Or Anywhere

Here are my Top Three Tips to reduce food waste:

  1. Encourage shops to sell “ugly” fruit (it’s happening in Europe, and gaining popularity in America). If you don’t see ugly fruit in your favourite shop, tell the manager or fill in one of their forms. Stores do pay attention to what their customers want.
  2. Ignore the Sell-By date on food. It’s by the manufacturer, for the store. It’s not for you, the consumer. In nearly all cases, if the food looks and smells OK, then it is OK. (see Food Expiry Dates for more details).
  3. Even if shops and restaurants have special offers, don’t buy more than you will eat.

What do you do to avoid food waste? Let me know in the comments below.

Spread the word about food waste in America and elsewhere – Sharing buttons below and right – thank you!

The post Food Waste in America (Video) appeared first on EcoFriendlyLink - Naturally Healthy Green Living.


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