Causes of Food Waste

Who does not love food, but have you ever thought about how much food we waste on daily basis? Well according to a recently published study funded by the United States Department of Agriculture found that American consumers waste about one pound of food per day, or 225-290 pounds per year. This means that roughly 20% of all food put on the plates of Americans is trashed every year. Recently, people have become more aware about food waste because it is a growing problem that our world is facing right now. What comes to mind when you think about food waste? A bunch of food tossed into garbage, right? However, in reality food waste is not only the waste of actual food, but with it also an enormous amount of water, land, and energy gets wasted.

Much of our food is produced in countries where people do not have enough food to eat for themselves. For example, most of the green beans for the EU market are produced in Kenya, where water is scarce and because of the bean farm’s water is not available to the people and schools do not have access to water. It is heartbreaking to realize that such precious resources are also wasted when we throw food away. We must take some steps towards reducing the problem of food waste because we are living in a fast growing population world, where resources are already declining.

To address the problem of food waste, we must understand what causes it. There are many reasons of why food gets wasted, such as produce may go unharvested because it does not meet the cosmetic standards for sale or because the market prices are too low to make it profitable. In the food processing industry, food loss usually results from inefficient production processes or from the trimming of edible parts that are not considered desirable in an end product. Because US food manufacturers recycle nearly 95 percent of their food waste to produce animal feed, however, only 1 million tons are lost from this part of the supply chain.

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