Social Consequences Of Food Waste

1825 Words8 Pages
Imagine that instead of hearing the phrase “finish your plate, there are starving kids in Africa who would appreciate that” from your parents while growing up, you were told “finish your plate, food waste contributes to climate change through the release of methane gas into the atmosphere during the process of decomposition, thus every bite you leave hurts our environment more and more.” Maybe the second one is a little bit too much of a mouth full to get children to eat their food, but the growing problem of food waste in America needs to be more talked about. The guilt of the social consequences of wasting food is embedded in us from childhood, so why are the environmental consequences not as well?
Globally, America is among the top producers in the food waste epidemic. According to the study "Heat Up Those Leftovers, Not the Planet: How Combatting Food Waste Can Affect Climate Change", the amount of food waste in America has progressed roughly fifty percent since 1974 (Smith. 649). Smith’s research states that “nearly one quarter of food produced in the United States for human consumption is lost or wasted each year” (650). To put that into perspective- that is the equivalent to $160 billion worth of produce annually.
The biggest reason that the food is wasted is for purely aesthetic reasons. Grocery stores know American’s judge the quality of their fruits and vegetables on how pretty and shiny they are. When they lose their luster, and gain a few bumps and bruises, their
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