Food Management

A Story About the Food We Don't Eat

Why Should We Care

In 2013, "nearly 49.1 Americans lived in food-insecure households"(Coleman-Jensen, 10). This means that at some point during that year, they struggled to put food on the table. In 2013, the USDA also reported that Americans threw away 165 Billion dollars worth of food, which is 20 pounds per person every month. We wasted a massive amount of food that could have gone to nearly 50 million Americans! Overall, this in not only a threat to the starving people worldwide, but it also takes a toll on the environment and the future of the Earth.

How Large Corporations Waste Food

Businesses waste food on a daily basis by throwing it out if it’s not visually appealing enough to be sold in a supermarket. The sad truth is that the culture in America has become prone to waste food since we’re so used to seeing supermarkets stocked to the brim with food. If we look at a piece of lettuce that looks bad, we just take another one. This has become the norm because corporations know that a first impression means everything, and consumers will pay top price for an appealing product. Look at these peaches for example...

Why Don't Companies Just Donate the Food?

There is a common misconception that if a company donates food and someone gets sick, they could get sued. This is not at all the case because the 'Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act' protects you from "liability when you donate to a non-profit organization"(Clinton). So why don't businesses donate to charities when they are protected by the law? Donating food is genuinely expensive; you have to box it, store it, coordinate deliveries for it, and much more. It's simply a lot easier and cheaper to throw the food away.

"Best By" Dates

"91% of consumers reported that at least occasionally they had discarded food past its 'sell by' date out of concern for the product's safety"(Leib, 19). Although most date labels are intended as indicators of freshness and quality, most people mistake them to be indicators of safety. In fact, many corporations put very tight restrictions on their product, simply so the consumer discards and buys more of an item.

The Environmental Impact

When a lot of waste is "aggravated and decomposes without air...the anaerobic conditions create methane"(Schmidt). Methane is a greenhouse gas that is approximately twenty times more potent than Co2 at trapping heat, and it is becoming increasingly abundant in our environment.

What Can We Do About It?

"Food waste is not only an environmental issue but is a social justice issue as well. If even one-fourth of the estimated 160 trillion calories of food that are wasted each was recovered, the leftovers could feed three full meals per day to 43 million people."(Bain) We need to care for our resources and save our food by either preserving it for a longer time, or buying less at once.


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