We're Throwing Out Too Much Damn Food and It's Killing the World

Illustration for article titled We're Throwing Out Too Much Damn Food and It's Killing the World

Mother Jones brings us their usual cheery fare in the form of some fairly staggering statistics about worldwide food and water consumption and waste. Spoiler alert on rotten food: We're a bunch of wasteful assholes.

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According to MJ and a new report released by a British engineering society "billions of tons of food are squandered each year because of poor agriculture practices, which include inefficient harvesting and inadequate infrastructure and storage-and it's depleting Earth's water supply."

Yikes! I've seen enough disturbing documentaries about the world's water supply and its mismanagement, corruption, and disappearance, that I'm about to head to my fridge and drink all the expired Silk Nog in it. If you don't see my columns later today, call poison control. Or, just bake and eat a dozen vegan cupcakes in my honor, it's what I would've wanted.

Ready for some even more startling statistics? MoJo doesn't let you down:

According to the report, developing countries, including India, China, and Vietnam, don't have the infrastructure to stop food from rotting. But that doesn't mean that Americans are off the hook: Developed societies tend to waste food on the consumer end of the chain, because it doesn't meet cosmetic standards (i.e., the tomatoes aren't pretty enough for your local supermarket) and also because consumers and supermarkets are throwing away perfectly good food, largely because of conservative "use-by" labels.

What was I saying about my fridge? Because I really mean it now. Waste not, want not. (Except for the wanting of a stomach pump sometimes.) (JK, you'll be fine, go eat those leftovers now please.)

[Mother Jones]

DISCUSSION

You should see how much food get thrown away at restaurants. It's shocking. And revolting. I once asked a manager why we didn't just donate the piles of leftover food to a homeless shelter or something, and he said they couldn't because it's too much of a liability. So sad.

I feel so guilty whenever I throw something away that I will avoid throwing food away even though I know we probably won't eat it. Like last night - I made beef stroganoff and noodles to go with it. We ate dinner, and I portioned out the leftovers for lunches, but there was a little serving of noodles left, maybe half a cup. Instead of just ditching them, I diligently put them in a little container and stuck them in the fridge. What is the likelihood my husband or I will suddenly have a hankering for plain noodles? none. But I saved them because we both feel too guilty to throw them out.