Trying to save the world? Start by stopping wasting food. That’s what a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report says, which realized that approximately 30 percent of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten each day. That’s a whopping 1,249 calories per person, every day, that gets totally thrown out!
Furthermore, the report found that grocery stores and other retailers waste approximately 460 of those calories, while consumers waste the other 789 calories. Essentially, that plays out to a whole meal being thrown out by each American every day.
“Much of the conversation in the U.S.—and even more so abroad—around food production is how are we going to feed the world as the population grows,” says Dana Gunders, project scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“In doing that math, people are looking at calories needed,” she finishes.
A prevalent argument favoring genetically modified crops is that biotechnology must be utilized more to feed our growing population, but Gunders wrote that by simply reducing our food waste by 15 percent, we could already feed approximately half of the 50 million Americans who go hungry each year.
Even if you aren’t going hungry, those who are experience severe malnutrition of essential vitamins and minerals– imperative nutrients that could easily be consumed if we wasters were more efficient with our grub.
Those who are afflicted by malnutrition oftentimes experience a weak immune system that can’t hold back attacking illnesses, severe weight loss that depletes the body’s available energy storages (fats), stunted growth in young children, or even death.
So what should you do? Buy only what you can eat– and eat all of what you buy! After all, you can’t get the proverbial dessert of saving the hungry unless you finish everything on your plate.
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