What is Food Waste

Food is everywhere! Everyday we eat. You can walk outside today and walk down the block and smell the different aromas from people’s houses. You could be in the air on an airplane or relaxing on a boat in the middle of the bahamas and there will be food there. Food is everywhere and it essential to our everyday lives but everyday we find a way to throw it away and waste the food. Up to 33% percent of all food produced, weather it be produced in a home kitchen or in a commercial kitchen, is thrown away each year. 33 percent is an extremely high number of food to be thrown away in the trash. Think about how much food that you eat in a week. Most people eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a standard day out of the week. You throw you approximately of the food that you have eaten on a which would basically be the equivalent of throwing out whatever you would have for lunch each day. For some people that might not sound to bad. One meal is not that much is it? But think about how many people live on this earth. About 7.53 billion people live on Earth. Now if every person throws just a ½ of a lb of food than we threw away about 3.765 billion lbs of food in one day. In one day. If we thrown 3.765 billion lbs of food away in a day just think about how much we throw away in a week. How much in a month. How about in a year… that is way too much food thrown away and the planet cannot sustain the about of waste each and every day. We, as a team need to work together to get our food waste down to keep our planet healthy and sustainable for years and years to come.

So what is food waste and why is it important. Food waste is simply food that i has been or is discarded or lost uneaten. Food waste is not just throwing away a half eaten sandwich because you are no longer hungry. It’s much bigger than that. Everytime that you are a fruit and you discard the the skin or you take out the white pithy part of the fruit off than that is considered waste. When you peel the skin off of a potato or off of a carrot that is food waste. Even when you cut the tops and bottoms off of a onion and you throw it away it is considered waste. As you see, it is easy to to waste food and throw it away everyday and we need to be conscious of the amount of food and waste that we throw out everyday. Saving our waste is important because it saves our planted and it can help feed the less fortunate people in the world. The worst part of food waste is what it does to our environment. When we throw away millions of pounds of food it ends up in landfill and produces a large amount of methane gas . methane gas is a greenhouse gas that is more powerful than even CO2. methane and C02 absorb infrared radiation and heat up the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change. Climate changes are going to increase the amount heat waves, increase the number of droughts, result in more frequent and more impactful hurricanes, lighten the growing season, change precipitation patterns, raise the see level and it will melt the Arctic ocean. All of these are a result of food waste and the combustions of food into heat and into methane gas. So now that we know what food waste is and why its impactful, it is time to save the planet but how.

There are now many organizations out in the United States that are working on fixing our food waste problem. For instance the Food Recovery Network goal is to unite students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to those in need as well as changing the norm from food waste to food recovery in the United States. Another food group, named Food Tank aims to educate, to inspire,to advocate, and create change environmentally, socially, and economically to create sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty. Finally, Waste & Resources Action Programme better know as WRAP is works with food and drink organisations to create economic as well as environmental value by reducing food waste and tackling issues around water scarcity across the supply chain. In addition to all of the helpful organizations to help with our food waste epidemic, many food and beverage adapted a a zero waste policy which includes cross utilization of many if not all products. This means that many restaurant and not throwing away the peel of a carrot, instead they use them with mirepoix to make a better tasting more flavorful stock. They are not throwing away the potato peels into the trash. They are frying them up and putting them on a plate as a garnish. Restaurants wont throw out the rinds of an orange. Instead they are zesting the orange and using it for marinades or again as a garnish to finish the plate. In addition many restaurants and restaurants now use a compost bin. A compost bin is where you only throw food products away and a third party company takes the compost to a compost site,instead of a landfill, so that the leftover waste is turning into a rich soil and re-used to plant trees. That is one of the most effective ways to maintain zero waste. Many restaurants and food and beverage operations have taken a leap into to future to save the planet, and now it is your turn.

What will you to to help the planet. All it takes is for you to be educated about waste and to make an effort to try to keep waste down. A little bit of saving can go a love way. Think about how much less waste would be in the world if we all only wasted a ¼ of pound food waste a day instead of a ½ of a pound. It might not seem to make a difference but in the long run it will. All it takes is a tad bit of thinking and a little bit of planning ahead to get to reduce your waste. So the next time that you peel a potato and throw the skin out think about what you can do to save then and reuse the product. When you see and orange think about the several ways that the orange can be used in different dishes and in different plates. It’s not impossible to reduce the food waste in the world it just starts one step at a time.

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