3 years ago5,000+ Views
Usually food is my favorite topic of discussion, but not this time.
On Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver scolded America for the amount of perfectly edible food it wastes, especially for a country in which plenty of families can barely afford to feed themselves. Americans waste almost 40% of the food produced each year, which is enough to fill 730 football stadiums - thank god we're building more of them.
Not only does throwing food in landfills waste food that could feed plenty of insecure families, it's bad for the environment, releasing methane into the air and contributing to global warming.
So why do we waste this much food? Like everything else in the world, it all comes back to money. It's expensive for grocery stores and restaurants to donate food, and with a giant dumpster out back, throwing away leftover food just feels easier. Additionally, the labels on food are often incorrect, artificially placed there by manufacturers who probably just want you to throw food away and buy more. This means that all those times I turned my nose up at week old mustard, my mom was totally right in saying that it was safe to eat. Sorry mom!
As usual, John Oliver does an awesome job of educating me about a massive problem that I was pretty unaware of. I highly suggest everyone watch the video, learn a bit about how much food you're actually wasting and next time you see an expiration date, take it with a grain of salt.
That's really sad @jeff4122. But @LauraFisher one big obstacle to donating is that it's actually a quality control issue. If a business donates food that's spoiled and someone eats it and gets sick or dies, they're liable. That's why you can't donate prepared food to food banks, only sealed packaged ingredients.
Wow @jeff4122 that's pretty ridiculous. Not that the money thing is a good excuse, but I can imagine throwing away food over donating it is a bit of an expensive hassle (and it should still be done), but this really makes absolutely no sense.
I was at the grocery store the other day and was joking with the woman who worked at the deli counter about how expensive their food was. I knew she wouldn't be offended - it was a chain supermarket and she didn't really have any stake in it. She joked with me, and then told me that at the end of the day, they (the workers) are not allowed to take the pre-made sandwiches that aren't sold during the day home with them. They get thrown in the trash, no matter what. It made me so angry. Another week, another hugely important problem tackled on this show. He's doing a great job.
Yeah, the fact that the agriculture industry uses so much water here in California to grow the food that essentially goes on to get wasted is kind of depressing. It seems like taking measures to limit our waste would also be beneficial to our water issue as well.
Awesome @allischaaf thanks for the info this is amazing! I always hear about problems like this and want to do something, but never know how, so thanks. I do wish maybe John Oliver would include something like this is his segments - what to do about the problem he's discussing. But you're right, awareness is the first step.
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