United News Update

Food Waste Is Becoming A HUGE Problem

Document 1: How Much Of Our Food Is Wasted?

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America is the largest food wasting country in the world. We end up throwing away over one-third of usable food every day. Also, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food is wasted every year. School cafeterias are contributing to this problem as well. Food waste in some schools has increased 35% since the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, passed a requirement for school students to take a fruit or vegetable.

Document 2: How Are We Contributing To This Problem?

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Researchers from the University of Vermont have gathered evidence of food waste in school cafeterias. They have found that while students placed more fruits and vegetables on their trays - as required by the USDA - they consumed fewer of them. Because of this, the amount of food waste increased by 56%. Even outside of the schools families are letting their food go to waste. We let a lot of our food wilt or go sour in our refrigerators and, although these items might have passed their "sell-by" dates, they are most likely still safe to consume.

Document 3: What Are The Effects Of Food Waste On The Environment?

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The average American family ends up throwing away about one quarter of the food it buys each year. Most of this wasted food cannot sustain its freshness long enough for it to be shipped across the country. Instead, this food ends up in landfills, where it rots and creates methane gases that eventually link to greenhouse gas effects and climate changes.


1. How many pounds of food is wasted every year?

2. Why do school students take fruits and vegetables if they know they are not going to eat them?

3. Based on the image in the third document, how can you infer that farmers could not take this food to other countries?