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food insecurity
united states department
food stamps
food waste
economic crisis
Food Insecurity Numbers Are Up, But So Is Food Waste
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Food Insecurity Numbers Are Up, But so is Food Waste

According to estimates by the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans wasted nearly thirty four million tons of food in 2010, a nearly twenty percent increase from the amount just ten years ago. That number works out to between 209 and 254 pounds of usable food products per average American every single year. At the same time, more than seventeen million households in the United States suffer from food insecurity, the concern that the family will not have enough to eat at some point during each day. In addition, just under fifty million families rely on food stamps to provide enough food for their household.

It is estimated that at least one third of all of the food that is produced in the world will be lost either during the production cycle or wasted at the consumer level. Some foods will have to be intentionally wasted during the picking and transport cycle as well as foods that are discovered to be tainted or otherwise fail testing procedures. In both Europe and the United States, nearly two thousand pounds of food will be produced per person with around six hundred pounds of that being discarded at some point in the cycle.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that the numbers might be a little more grim when it is considered that the amount of food that is wasted once it reaches the consumer is roughly the same amount as the total food that is produced in Sub Saharan Africa.

In a time of serious economic crisis, it would surprise many that food is being wasted at all, but foods are being thrown away at higher and higher rates than they were before. A survey showed that many households admitted throwing away food because they did not have the room to correctly store food items. Another survey showed that people did not eat leftovers like they did in the old days, often dumping the remains down the garbage disposal. But, another survey showed that many instances of food waste was not caused by ignorance or disdain at the consumer level but rather a genuine distrust of left over food.

Food in the production chain may also be wasted because of a mistake on the part of transporters or producers. Something as simple as a temperature reading that does not meet standards can mean that the foods affected must be destroyed for fear that they could potentially be contaminated.

Street Talk

We have cut down drastically on this topic around our house. It is a shame to waste stuff.

  about 9 years ago
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