Food waste in the U.S
Food waste in the USA has been one of its leading agricultural problems. According to the USDA, 40% of our food worth an estimated $161 billion was never harvested or it was thrown away from restaurants or even households and end up in landfills polluting the air and the land itself. Whenever the food ends up in landfills, they release a harmful gas, commonly known as methane which, if at all inhaled, will pose a threat to living things. Food waste produces a lot of greenhouse emissions and according to Move for Hunger, 2018 “If included in a list of countries ranked according to their greenhouse emissions, food waste would come in the third spot, right after USA and China.” Greenhouse gases absorb the infrared radiations from the sun and then they heat up the atmosphere which then causes global warming. According to move for hunger, 2018, the amount of food wasted when compared to land is around 1.4 billion hectares which is approximately one-third of the world’s total agricultural land area. The only way to solve this problem is by making sure that the consumers learn about the possible ways to properly dispose food waste or even reducing it.
According to Feeding America, 2018 “Every year, 1 out of every 8 people in the U.S. suffer from hunger.” and the main reason is food waste. Firstly, just by starting small, the consumers have to buy the food that they know they are going to eat and not let it go to waste. To help solve this problem, all the consumers or people who can afford to buy food have to start small and by starting small, it means right from their houses. Instead of throwing away leftovers, they should know how to store the food properly and if there is an excess of food, they could just donate the food to the people in need. There is a way to help the agriculture/environment too, the leftovers can be turned into compost which becomes a nutrient rich fertilizer that anyone can use. There are also ways by which the food production units can help reduce food waste, they have to come up with ways of understanding the supply and demand to make sure they produce the food that is only needed and also come up with new techniques on how to harvest the crops, store them and finally, distributing them.
According to Rueb, 2017, in New York they have already started their attempt to make Ney York food waste free by converting it into compost. They have a very simple way of doing it, they send trucks to every house and the trucks collect the waste and take it to the facility where they covert food waste into compost and distribute it to the people who can use it, mainly farmers. The food waste can also be converted into biogas, “machines grind organics into a slurry the consistency of a milkshake, which is fed into a large, airtight tank heated to about 100 degrees, called a digester. What comes out are biogas and a mix of water and solids. The biogas must be refined before it can be put into a utility’s natural gas pipeline, or used as fuel for trucks and buses. It can also be converted to electricity and heat to power homes and businesses.” There are a lot of advantages that can arise from properly using food waste and encourage everyone to practice some of these methods and a food waste free America will be the next big thing.
References:-The Environmental Impact of Food Waste. (2016, August 19). Retrieved from
Hunger in America. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2018, Retrieved from
Rueb, E. S. (2017, June 02). How New York Is Turning Food Waste Into Compost and Gas. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/nyregion/compost-organic-recycling-new-york-city.html