There are numerous world issues to worry about nowadays. That huge understatement aside, one issue that we can control is food waste, yet some view it as a lesser priority world problem.
So why does food waste deserve our attention? We’ll break down the reasons and misconceptions. When you quantify this problem, the urgency becomes clear.
Myths run rampant on this issue. Some popular ones:
“Food is biodegradable, why does it matter?”
"It's not that important to rescue wasted fruit. We have bigger problems to solve."
“People just waste food. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, many of us are genuinely not aware of how much Mother Nature is damaged by food waste.
Though we may want to minimize the impact of this troubling problem, the reality is that it is one of the most colossal issues on our Earth. A few of the frightening facts:
Between 33-50% of all food produced globally is never eaten.
The USA food waste represents 1.3% of the total GDP.
Close to 97% of food waste generated in the United States ends up in landfills.
In total, just the U.S. could power Switzerland for more than a year with the energy we lose in wasted food!
5 Reasons to Do Something About Food Waste
1. An outrageous amount of people are starving. 800 million people or 1 in 9 people go to sleep hungry or malnourished every night. In our country specifically, 40 million people live in poverty. Better food distribution can stem waste and feed others.
2. When food is wasted, so is water. Food that is not eaten accounts for 25% of all fresh water consumption. Freshwater resources are quickly diminishing, just as demand for water rises from millions of hungry and thirsty communities. In addition, fruits and vegetables are the largest source of loss and waste on a pound per pound basis, mainly because they contain more water than other foods. Click here to read more about this issue.
3. Food waste creates harmful methane. When food waste goes to a landfill, it decomposes without access to O2, creating methane as a result. Methane is 23x more deadly than carbon dioxide.
4. It wastes a tremendous amount of Energy. All of the resources that went into creating the food are also wasted when food goes uneaten. Besides water, this includes labor, manufacturing, transportation, processing, packaging, and more. Fruits and vegetables require much less energy to produce than meat, but sadly, they are among the most commonly squandered foods.
5. The good news: reducing food waste is easy! Now that we’ve given you some reasons to care about this issue, it’s also worth noting that small improvements and minuscule changes to one’s lifestyle can go a long way in solving this massively important issue. Tips you can use towards a cleaner planet:
Plan a food menu after each trip to the grocery store so it's easier to keep track of when vegetables, fruits and other perishables need to be eaten before going bad.
Pay attention to how food is stored and wrapped in the refrigerator so it doesn’t spoil as quickly.
Buy only what you know you will eat! It saves you $ and saves food from being wasted when you shop smart.
Eat your leftovers!
Buy fresh imperfect produce that would normally be discarded because of minor aesthetic issues, or buy products made from this imperfect produce.
Food Waste is a serious issue that will only worsen if allowed to proliferate. Check out this article to read more alarming statistics and to find out how truly detrimental food waste is to our planet.
Ugly Juice’s mission is to stem food waste by producing cold-pressed juice made from local, imperfect produce. Join us in our mission and buy ugly!