September 14, 2018
Food waste or food loss is food that is being wasted into the trash. The causes for food loss is numerous and it happens during production, processing, and consuming. Almost half of our food is being wasted and never eaten, but at the same time a portion of Americans have struggled to put enough food on the table. Food waste has been a big problem to our world. It happens daily. When we throw away food we are also throwing away money. A small portion of food that is being thrown away daily can help feed the millions of people who are undernourished and are suffering from hunger. While we should not eat expired foods, we need to prevent food loss because we can help millions of people of hunger, prevent loss of money, and it will help children get nourished.
Many people around the world has even died due to hunger. In an academic journal, “An Overview of Food Loss and Waste: Why does it matter?” the writer Purabi R. Ghosh says, “Already about two billion people are suffering from hunger and undernutrition with about 21,000 people dying every day due to hunger related causes — almost 15 people die every minute, which includes 10 children” (90). It does not seem fair that not only people but grocery stores, restaurants, and other places are throwing away food when many children are suffering due to undernourishment and hungers.
Wasting food also represents a lost of utility and a lack of efficiency. In another journal, “The Quantity of Food Waste in the Garbage Steam” the writer Paul V. states, “Reducing the amount of food that becomes waste can help ameliorate this social issue, as well as presenting opportunities to reduce its monetary (e.g., wasting money) and environmental (e.g., greenhouse gas generation) impacts” (2). Food loss is basically throwing money down the drain. Restaurants and grocery stores throw away food that get expired. It is their duty to throw them away. They can only sell fresh products. It is understandable and they should not sell expired food, but some food continues to be fresh after their expiration date. Stores and restaurants are wasting food and money by throwing fresh food away. People who buy an excess of food also end up throwing away food and lose money. They do not consider the amount of food they need to buy and end up buying so much for it to get spoiled and get thrown out. People are getting paid to crop our food so that the food can end in the garbage.
Another reason why food is being tossed out is because of lack of security. The journal, “Household Food Waste Disposal in South Africa: A Case Study of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni” Suzan Oelofse shows, “Food waste can be seen as having a… negative impact… the socio economic impacts associated with food insecurity…” (40). People are getting scared of what they are consuming because they do not know if it is safe or non nutritional. Not knowing where a certain food is coming from puts stress into many people. People are afraid of food poisoning and stomach bugs. They find it easy to just throw it to the trash. That has been another big reason for food wastage. Another form of insecurity is not knowing the calorie count. Some people who are in strictly diets can only get an intake of a certain amount of calories and food that has lots or unknown amounts of calories are being thrown away due to fear. Food insecurity has been going on around the world for a long time and has been shown to be another reason for food loss.
Being majorly hungry makes people serve their plates with heavy amounts of food, leaving lots of leftovers on the plates. In the journal, “Win-win?: Food Poverty, Food Aid and Food Surplus in the UK Today” Pat Caplan writes, “Besides surplus and waste, there is a third term: ‘leftovers’. This usually, but not always, refers to food which has been plated up but not finished” (17). We tend to overestimate our food portions when we are severely hungry. We oversize our plates and end up getting full leaving half the plate of food. Many people throw away that food, since it has been touched. When cooking, many people also tend to cook large amounts of food. Making a big pot of stew for only one person and then having leftovers to freeze up. Having food in the refrigerator for long periods of time can spoil the food and can leave no option but to throw it away. Leftovers is a big problem to the food loss in our world.
There are many solutions to prevent food loss. In the periodical, “Simple Solutions for Food Waste” the writer shows us many ways, “Fresh items are alluring, but they may stay good for only a day or two, while the frozen versions can last pretty much indefinitely” (para. 10). Keeping food frozen prevents it from spoiling. Not just households, but grocery stores and restaurants should keep all their food well refrigerated and frozen. Another tip they gave us, “A full 50% of our food gets thrown out after we’ve cooked it. Don’t assume you’ll eat leftovers just because they’re in the fridge; slot them in for one night a week” (para. 13). Making sure the leftovers are actually being eaten prevents the food from being wasted. Remembering that there is leftover food in the fridge saves us from throwing it in the trash. Also, serving ourselves the right amount of food into our plates can help. Another solution is for all companies, restaurants, warehouses, and grocery stores donate their food that has been expired but still looks fresh for the millions of people who are struggling for food and suffering of hunger can have a chance to eat. Lastly, buying the right amount of groceries can also help out food wastage. Buying food little by little prevents food from spoiling. It may be more difficult to grocery shop more frequently, but it saves our food from being in the trash.
In conclusion, the fact that half our food is being wasted is a problem and we need to prevent it. A lot of people do not have enough food to provide for their family. Millions of people are undernourished and dying because of hunger. Money has also been wasted. Ways to prevent food from going to the garbage is by making sure it is frozen up, making sure the leftovers are actually being eaten, serving ourselves the right amount of food, donating, and buying the right amount of food can help everyone from throwing it away. Having more food can help people eat and get nourished, less deaths would occur, children will be able to eat, and we will save more money.
Caplan, Pat. “Win-win?: Food Poverty, Food Aid and Food Surplus in the UK Today.”
Anthropology Today, vol. 33, no. 3, June 2017, pp. 17-22.
GHOSH, PURABI R., et al. “An Overview of Food Loss and Waste: Why Does It Matter?”
COSMOS, vol. 11, no. 1, DEC 2015, pp. 89-103.
Oelofse, Suzan, et al. “Household Food Waste Disposal in South Africa: A Case Study of
Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni.” South Africa Journal of Science, vol. 114, no. 5-6,
May/Jun2018, pp. 40-45.
“Simple Solutions for Food Waste.” Prevention, vol. 70, no 9, Sept. 2018, pp. 50-57.
Van der Werf, Paul, et al. “The Quantity of Food Waste in the Garbage Stream of Southern
Ontario, Canada Households.” Plos ONE, vol. 13, no. 6, 13 June 2018, pp. 1-13.
Stevenson, Lorraine. “Love Food Hate Waste Campaign Tackles Food Waste in Canada,”
Manitoba Co-Operator, Country Crossroads, August 7, 2018,