31 Percent Of All Food In America Is Wasted – And Why That Is About To End

Burger And Fries - Photo by Ewan Munro

By Michael Snyder

According to a stunning new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly a third of all food produced in the United States gets wasted.  We are probably the most wasteful society in the history of the planet, and we are also one of the most gluttonous.  More than 35 percent of all Americans are considered to be officially “obese” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Unfortunately, this era of gluttony and taking food for granted will soon be coming to an end.  Thanks to crippling drought in key growing areas and other extremely bizarre weather patterns, a massive food crisis is beginning to emerge all over the planet.  If you don’t think that this is going to affect you, then you simply are not paying attention. Approximately half of all produce grown in the United States comes from the state of California, and right now California is suffering through the worst stretch of drought on record.  Food prices are going to start soaring, and that is going to affect the household budget of every family in America.

Needless to say, a time is coming when Americans will not waste food so recklessly.  But for the moment, we still have a tremendous amount of disrespect for the value of food.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we waste a staggering 133 billion pounds of food each year

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One Response to 31 Percent Of All Food In America Is Wasted – And Why That Is About To End

  1. “Waste” is a subjective concept. Smith discards unwanted food; Jones calls it “waste.” But why?
    — Is Smith malnourished, and thus acting against his own best interests?
    — Is Smith poor, and so discarding something he’d surely want later?
    — Is Jones malnourished, such that he would have appreciated the gift?
    — Or perhaps, is there something of higher priority to Smith that the food he discarded was keeping him from obtaining or doing?

    Very rarely, here in the United States, does “wasted” food carry real, objective significance. No one within our borders, unless he’s trapped at the top of Mount McKinley with a broken leg, is out of reach of ample food, even if he lacks the money to purchase it.

    We cannot discount the possibility of a terrible downturn in our national fortunes, such that consuming or saving every crumb becomes our highest priority. But that would mean a radical shift in our overall context. In the context we occupy today, we can easily afford our “waste” of food — especially when you consider how many of us could stand to lose a few pounds.

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