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We Should Reduce Food Waste in the US and Around the World

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Imagine this - you and your friends are just hanging out. Suddenly when a breeze hits you, the pervasive smell of rotting fish, rotten flesh, and decomposing food fills the air. Your eyes start watering and it becomes harder for you to breathe. You start gagging trying to search for fresh air, but there is none. Your image of a perfect day with your friends has been ruined by the stench of rotten food from the landfill nearby. The world will get taken over by landfills and rotten food if we keep on wasting food just like plastic in the future. Food waste is nearly on par with the plastic problem on Earth. Many countries around the world are starting to become aware of the dangers of wasting food, but there aren’t enough people taking action. Tons upon tons of food are wasted everyday mostly in public institutions, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, office buildings, and in our own houses. Even though governments are aware of this crisis, the food problem should be reinforced and known to all people. Preventing food waste should be a big priority because it could save our resources and energy, help prevent climate change, and save the people out there who are suffering from food insecurity.

Fundamentally, if we reduce food waste it can save the number of resources and energy, we put into making the food, which later gets dumped into landfills. It can also save the money that consumers use to buy the food, that’s being dumped into landfills can be put into use. In the U.S, about 4.2 trillion gallons of freshwater, 30 million acres of cropland, 1.8 billion pounds of fertilizer, and 780 million pounds of pesticides that are being used to produce the food is being wasted. Not only does it waste resources, but the amount of energy and time that are being put into use is also chucked into landfills. This is a waste of the farmers’ time and energy that they dedicate to make the food. Annually, about 40% of food or about $162 billion are being thrown into the trash. If that 40% of food were saved, it could have served 58 billion meals, $2.79 each meal on average. Wasting food is a raging blizzard. The farmers and workers are the lost people who are trying to fight off the cold blizzard. The blinding blizzard is the people. People should be aware of the number of resources, energy, time, and money they are throwing out.

Not only we are wasting a large number of our resources but food waste is a pretty big factor in climate change. Decomposing food releases methane, which is a type of greenhouse gas, into the air. Methane is about 20 times more dangerous and potent than carbon dioxide. Right now, food waste contributes to 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste was its own country, it would have been the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter country, behind China and the U.S. Cutting down on food waste could prevent 70 gigatons - 70 billion tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere. Whenever someone just discards food into landfills, they are releasing toxic gas into the air which contributes to global warming.

Furthermore, people discarding food is wasting tons of perfectly good food that could have been donated to the homeless, or organizations that deliver the food to people who are suffering from hunger. Governments and regular consumers all around the world are starting to notice the effects of food waste, but a lot of them don’t know, too. About 49.1 million people - one in seven people or about 14% of people in the U.S suffer from hunger. An estimate of about 805 million people - one in nine people or 11% of people suffer from food insecurity globally. How can one the wealthiest country in the, still have people living on the streets and starving? If we could save 15% of the food that is being wasted, then it would be enough to feed about 25 million people who are suffering from food insecurity in the U.S. People who waste food is a selfish spoiled child, both think about themselves instead of others. Blinded by greed and selfishness, never thinking about the starving children and homeless people out there. If we are small visioned and unaware of the situation like the spoiled child, then it is murder, leaving the homeless to die from hunger. People are taking food for granted and not thinking about the people out there who are restricted to a small amount of food every day. Food waste is a slap across the face to starving people who are suffering out there, begging and imploring for scraps of food.

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“I’ve seen cases of people who ask a plate of food or something to eat when a store - when a restaurant- was closing”, Noel explained, who is a homeless man living in a homeless shelter. “The manager would tell them to go ‘F’ himself. To get out of here, we don’t have anything for you. And then you’ll watch them come out through the back door throwing, just, garbage, throwing bags and bags of food away”.

Many restaurants concluded and admitted that they waste a fair amount of food. Some of them aren’t even willing to donate the food. They fear that they will get sued for serving or donating spoiled food. If they serve food that is either spoiled or moldy and rotten, it will affect the consumer horribly and get them ill. Illnesses such as food poisoning, fevers, salmonella, E. coli, Shigella, and many others. These thoughts have been proven false by officials. According to the director of the Food Recovery Project, Nicole Civita, there has never been a record of a restaurant or any institutions getting sued from donating food. Why? This is because restaurants are protected by a bill that was established in 1996. This bill was called Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, where if the consumer gets ill from eating donated food, it will protect them from civil and criminal liability. Therefore, it is nearly impossible for a restaurant to get sued, and they have no excuse of not donating their leftover food to starving people. Even if restaurants start donating their leftover food and people get suspicions of food poisoning, it will be able to save a bunch of households that suffer from starvation on the streets.

People who are aware that food waste is destroying the environment, time and resources, and society. One might think, how can I help reduce food waste and make people aware of this? If people think about it, anybody can find the answer from home. Donate leftover food to organizations such as Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a non-profit organization that helps the hungry by rescuing and donating leftover food to homeless shelters. In 2018 they have rescued about 1 million pounds of food and in 2019, they nearly tripled that amount. Or you can become a freegan. Freeganism is the practice of encouraging people to buy as little as possible, instead, they should rely on scavenging, salvaging, and foraging through trash - or dumpster diving for food. Not saying people should all go dumpster diving, but we must reinforce the awareness of wasting food and other things. Save and eat your leftovers, instead of throwing it away. Before you throw out your leftover food, look and smell the food if it has gone bad. We need to be more aware of the food we buy and waste. If we are all committing to these acts, we can reduce huge amounts of food waste and make our environment healthier.

People need to be aware of the food they are wasting. Not just in our homes, but in restaurants, and institutions all around the globe. When you waste food, you are wasting resources and energy to grow the crops, aggravating climate change, and letting homeless people on the streets live through agonizing hunger. People are just feeding the food waste problem, but anybody can change that by taking little steps. People should feel very lucky to have what they have and always has enough, but unfortunately, there are people who struggle with their needs. We are using a lot of our limited resources and yet barely anyone realized we need to preserve a limited amount. We need to reduce food waste so we can change the path of global warming, but it could also feed our fellow humans. A little can truly go a long way. Food waste is not the only problem, all around the world, plastic, toxic wastes, clothing and other things that take a long time to biodegrade can harm the environment are dumped being into landfills.

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We Should Reduce Food Waste in the US and Around the World. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“We Should Reduce Food Waste in the US and Around the World.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
We Should Reduce Food Waste in the US and Around the World. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
We Should Reduce Food Waste in the US and Around the World [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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