Food Wastage – Global Environmental Problem
Food wastage is a global problem that many nations mainly the developed nations are dealing with. From statistics provided in the US, it is clear that more than 35 million tons of food goes to waste every year in the US which is taken to the landfills. This means that on average, every family in the US $1,600 to $2,000 each year to food that is purchased but not eaten which is basically enough to feed a family of four. Food wastage is mainly due to families purchasing more than they can consume or even preparing more than they can consume.
Many families in the US result into throwing away any left-overs instead of collecting it together and preserving it for future use. This has contributed greatly to food wastage. Additionally, we have cases where people serve more than they can consume leading to left overs even in restaurants which basically goes to waste. In schools especially in the dining halls where meals are served for students, we see that some students serve just because others are serving and at the end leave the serving on the table which leads to food wastage.
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All these waste foods are taken to the landfills which are known after decaying to produce methane gas which is even more dangerous as compared to carbon dioxide which leads to pollution of the air leading to an increase in issues with lungs, asthma and breathing complications. Also the methane produces affects the air and the clouds which leads to climate changes and issues. Roughly, 18% of the gases generated in the US come from the landfills where decaying food is the single source of the landfills Additionally, from the statistics provided, we see that the business sector throws away about $161 billion of food which may be in different forms from stale food, blemished produce, or products that are nearing the expiry dates. In restaurants, food wastage is mainly due to over-production, incorrect preparation or the customers making huge orders and chooses to leave the food on the table.
From the study conducted in the University of Arizona, it is clear that almost 10% of the foods purchased in restaurants are not consumed. All these losses possess a huge economic burden to the nation and to individuals as the resources used in purchasing food that goes to waste could be directed to other areas of development or even feed the needy and poor families. To solve the problem of food wastage that has led to environmental pollution, the food recovery challenge has come on board which helps in reducing wastage in production, hotels and even homes. From the program, businesses have been able to divert about 606,00 tons of food from entering landfills and instead taken to food bank where it is used to feed the needy and the hungry. This has in return also helped to reduce the amount of methane gas produced in the landfills and hence reduce or curb air pollution and environmental pollution.