Food Waste and How it’s Hurting the Economy

Food Waste and How it’s Hurting the Economy

Introduction: What is Food Waste?

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) defines food loss as the edible amount of food, post harvest, that is available for human consumption but is not consumed for any reason.

Food waste is a biological process that is the result of discarded food. Food waste can be the result of harvesting, processing, distribution, consumption or disposal.

The amount of food wasted in America is estimated to be about 40% of all food produced. In other words, it’s about 60 pounds per person per month. This would mean that there are over 20 million tons of wasted food every year.

Food waste is a major problem in the world. In fact, it is estimated that 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted each year. This means that we are throwing away about one third of all the food we produce for human consumption. What’s worse, this number was calculated back in 2013 and has likely increased since then.

This is a huge problem because not only does it lead to environmental problems, but there are also many people starving in the world who could have been fed with this wasted food. The environment suffers from the amount of resources needed to produce the lost food and from the pollution created by all of those unused resources rotting away in landfills or on fields.

food waste pyramid

How is Food Waste Hurting the Economy?

Food waste is a big problem for our environment and economy. It is not just the food that goes in the trash but also the resources that were used to grow it.

Food waste has been a problem for decades now, with estimates of up to 30% of all food produced being discarded. This not only includes wasted food products, but also wasted resources like water and energy which go into growing these products.

All of this food going to waste is rapidly depleting our resources, significantly contributing to damaging greenhouse gas emissions and consuming valuable water, among other things.

What are the Economic Effects of Food Waste?

Food waste is a global issue that is not only a moral problem but also an economic one.

According to the United Nations, food waste has significant consequences for the environment and society. In fact, it’s estimated that about one third of all food produced globally is wasted.

It’s not just about the environmental impact of food waste; it’s also about the economic benefits of eliminating food waste. If we reduced our food waste by half, we could feed an additional 100 million people every year!

Why is Hunger Related to Food Waste?

Hunger is a major issue in America. The country has the highest rates of hunger in the developed world. This is an issue because hunger can have an impact on people’s health and wellbeing. In addition to this, it can also have an effect on their mental health, as well as their performance at work or school.

In the United States, one-third of all food produced goes to waste. This means that there is enough food to feed everyone living in poverty across the globe. In addition to this, 40% of all water used for agriculture goes into producing food that never makes it onto our plates.

The problem with hunger and food waste is that it’s a vicious cycle. Those that live in poverty are more likely to be hungry due to the lack of nutritious options.

What are the Causes of Food Waste & What can we Do about it?

We need to understand the causes of food waste in order to find the best solutions.

In developed countries, food waste is mainly caused by consumers who buy more than they need and don’t eat all of their food. In developing countries, food is wasted because it spoils before it can be eaten or sold.

There are many ways to reduce food waste, such as using up leftovers in meals, donating surplus goods and reducing packaging.

Food is often wasted at every stage of the food production chain. Some types of loss happen, for example spoilage.

Between the stages from farm to store, food can easily be lost due to problems while they are being dried, milled, transported or processed. This causes exposure to damage by insects and rodents.

At the retail level, equipment failures (such as faulty air conditioning), over-ordering and culling of ugly produce can result in food waste.

Consumers also contribute to food waste when they buy or cook more than they need and choose to throw out the rest.

food waste

Who’s Responsible for the Massive Amount of Food Waste?

It’s difficult to answer this question with one simple answer. There are many factors that contribute to food waste and it would be irresponsible to point fingers at one particular party.

The problem of food waste is not just an issue of quantity, but also a quality issue. The amount of food wasted in the United States is equivalent to the annual electricity usage of New Mexico or enough grain to feed all the people in South Africa for a year.

How Much Food Do We Throw Away Annually?

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply.

According to estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service, 31% of food is wasted at the consumer and retail levels. That calculates to $161 billion worth of food in 2010.

This amount of waste has far-reaching impacts on society:

We toss limp veggies out of the kitchen and people often find food date labels confusing, too. Restaurants all too often serve more than we can eat, leaving us with leftovers that then need to be discarded. Stores overstock their shelves *for our benefit*.

There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is our society’s tendency to buy more than we can eat in a single meal. This leaves us with extra food and we end up throwing it away when we don’t want to eat it anymore.

How We Can Reduce Future Levels of Food Waste?

Food waste is a major issue in the world today, with 1.3 billion metric tons of food wasted annually. The United States alone wastes 160 billion pounds of food per year. This is an issue that affects everyone from the individual to the family to corporations and governments.

There are many ways that we can reduce future levels of food waste in business, including reducing production, increasing sales and awareness, and investing in new technologies.

We are all guilty of wasting food at some point in our lives. The problem is that we don’t know how much food we waste on a daily basis. This is why it’s so important to be more aware of the amount of food we throw away.

You should not be creating food waste or loss in the first place

By improving the ways we deal with food, there will be less waste. Specific changes can be made to product development, storage, shopping/ordering, marketing, labeling and cooking to make this happen.

If you have leftover food, be sure to donate it to hunger-relief organizations so that they can feed the hungry.

Edible food is best used for human consumption. However, those kinds of leftovers can be recycled into a variety of things which may suit your needs just as well. We can offer you animal feed, compost, bioenergy, bioplastics or clothes among other things.

Why Our Supply Chain Needs to be More Sustainable?

In the last century, our planet has seen a rapid growth in the global population and an increase in our dependency on natural resources. This has caused a strain on the planet’s natural resources and led to environmental degradation.

The United Nations (UN) estimates that by 2050, there will be 9.7 billion people living on this planet; an estimated two-thirds of them will be living in cities. This will lead to increased demand for food, water, energy and other natural resources which could lead to an unsustainable future.

Conclusion: Let’s Limit Our Own Food Wastes to Help Reduce Poverty and Hunger Among Others

Food wastage is a huge problem across the world. The United States alone wastes about 40% of its food supply. This is not just a problem for the United States, but also for the other countries that we import from. In developing countries, people are going hungry because they can’t afford to buy food and we are throwing away tons of food that could be used to feed them.

But like climate change, don’t expect miracles, or even verifiable facts. Cut waste because it’s good for your personal budget. You don’t need to save the planet – just your wallet, waistline, and bank account.

To help reduce poverty and hunger among others, we should limit our own food wastes. We can do this by making sure that our groceries last as long as possible before they spoil or go bad. We can also donate any leftovers or unopened items to those in need or at least throw them into compost bins so they don’t end up in landfills and release methane gas into the atmosphere.

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Charles Lamm

Transitioning from my career as a lawyer, I've adopted a minimalist lifestyle and delved into the digital world, writing ebooks and reestablishing my online identity, reigniting my love for ceaseless traveling.

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