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Global 1/3rd Food Waste

Food waste is an environmental issue, because it decomposes in landfills, its releases methane gases. American throw away 40% of the food they buy. In response the city of San Francisco collects 600 tons of food waste a day to turn into compost for farmers. Globally, one-third of all food produced gets wasted, 1.3 billion tons with a value of $750 a year, according to the UN food agency.[i] This adds to global warming as the food decomposes.

In Greece, the Food Revolution began in 2012 to lower food costs by circumventing middlemen, starting with selling potatoes. Customers place an order and then pick it up from a farmer’s truck, cutting costs at least in half. The movement spread to selling other types of food as well. Workers also took control of factories as described on Vio.Me.org. A global food sovereignty movement is emerging with forums and goals statements like the Nyéléni Declaration written in Mali. The Food Movement and alternative food systems in the Americas are described in Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture in the Americas.[ii] Europeans have done the most to outlaw Monsanto’s GMO foods as hazardous to human and animal health, but marches take place globally and social media reveal new studies about the harmful effects of GMO foods.

[i]“UN Report: One-Third of World’s Food Wasted Annually,” UN News Centre, September 11, 2013. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45816#.UlB_iGTF3-I

[ii] The book by Tory Field and Beverly Bell, 2013, can be downloaded from http://harvesting-justice.org


Comments on: "Global 1/3rd Food Waste" (1)

  1. When an agency reports that “Americans waste 40% of the food they buy,” we find ourselves wondering what the root cause of so much waste is. We also wonder how this waste is measured. We further wonder when/why Americans developed such a cavalier attitude toward food. We’re the kinds of people who eat (and enjoy) every scrap of food on our plates. We eat the skins of our salmon (and love them), the crusts on our pizzas and we use spatulas to scrape out every drop and every morsel from the pots and pans we cook in.
    We also wonder about the food waste that isn’t even touched upon in reports like this. For example, salmon farming and certain kinds of commercial fishing are both extremely wasteful. Salmon farms rely on sucking food out of the ocean environment to feed salmon in pens that are artificially kept out of the ecosystem. Drift nets and trawlers dump dead by-catch overboard in the hundreds of tons.
    So… what if people began thinking about overpopulation, and over the coming generations the human population fell to a much more reasonable number. And then, if people lived in smaller communities closer to food sources… Where people were harvesting a high percentage of their own food (and therefore had a stake in that food and an understanding of how valuable it is), and food didn’t have to be distributed such great distances, or sold before it is ready or after it is past its peak, and people learned more about keeping and preserving food…

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