Hunger and Food Waste

Two important and related facts:

1.  The United States Department of Agriculture & National Resource Defense Council estimate that roughly 40% of the food grown and produced in the US goes to waste.

2.  Food insecurity in our communities continues to be very high.  More than 50 million Americans rely on help from their local food banks to fill the gaps near the end of the month when their paychecks and food benefits run out.

How these facts work together is complicated: Farmers and others in the food industry hate to see the food they’ve worked so hard to produce go to waste. Food banks want to provide the healthiest food possible for the men, women and especially children that they are helping.

Below are links to information related to food waste and hunger.  If you have information that should be included, please let us know!

Red and green peppers gleaned from a farm

Modern Farmer magazine’s recently published an overview of  on-farm food loss and food waste begins with a concise description of how, despite our best intentions, we continue to allow food to go unused and uneaten: 

Most people don’t set out to waste food. And yet, we’re pretty much all guilty of it. 

It happens everywhere in our food system. Tomatoes that don’t meet product specifications get left on the vine at farms. Byproducts of processed foods get tossed out on the manufacturing line. Ugly lemons get picked over at the supermarket. At home, we throw out the wilting spinach in our refrigerator that we bought when we had grand plans to cook, then ended up ordering takeout instead.

Apples being sorted on line

According to a recent USDA study, 141 trillion calories go to waste daily.  Read the NPR Salt article here.

National Resource Defense Council’s updated “Wasted” report provides details of how food waste impacts our society and our environment.

Modern Farmer recently focused on food waste, its causes and potential solutions.  Read the article

Food Shift is dedicated to reducing waste increasing access to food for those in need.  Visit their site to learn more.

NRDC Food Waste

“Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten.”  Learn more about NRDC’s studies.

Inspiration from Abroad peas

Rotary Down Under magazine recently featured a number of food waste solutions in an in-depth article. Read the full article here.

Food Waste Videos

“The amount of water used on wasted food could cover all the world’s household needs…”

“The thing is, no-one likes wasting food…”

“The idea that almost half of our food is wasted…is crazy.”

“Tackling food waste doesn’t need to be depressing…”