It is safe to say that unfortunately, America is the leading country in food waste. There are many factors that play into this, one being that food in America is cheaper than in other countries, Americans care about how things look even when it comes to food, and there will always be more food to buy if the food we currently have ends up going to waste. Fun fact- did you know that around 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away? That’s around $160 billion worth of produce annually. Though America isn’t the only country contributing to this food waste issue, personally as an american, I feel we need to be knowledgeable on how much we do contribute to this food waste issue so we can better see where the changes need to be made.
Food waste had developed over the years, it’s obviously something that didn’t just happen overnight. With America’s development of new technologies and inventions it’s weird to think how these types of things could affect the increase of food waste. It was around the 1940’s that the desire for perfect food came about, with housewives adapting to refrigerators and packaged goods, food became something to not only eat but also present and look at. The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg reports that, “Vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the U.S. are left in the field to rot, fed to livestock or hauled directly from the field to landfill, because of unrealistic and unyielding cosmetic standards.” This want for food to look perfect has continued to develop throughout the generations. With the spread of social media and “foodies” who blog about food, often feel the need to have that perfectly tailored picture to post in order to get likes and comments. Now, obviously there is nothing wrong with this and the food does look delicious, but as views i feel we have subconsciously neglected the beauty in imperfect food so we naturally always feel that if the food looks perfect it taste perfect. But in all honestly, the food could not look perfect and at the same time taste just as good as the food that does look perfect. What I’ve described about is just a few of the ways we have developed the increase in food waste and though this is big in America, this is still a global issue.
Every country must make a change to fight food waste. France has banned supermarkets from throwing away food by telling them to compost or donate all expiring or unsold food, where Germany is focusing on the reforming of expiration dates. The changes these two countries are aiming for could help decrease food waste in a major way. So with different countries making changes as such, I believe there could be a major decrease in food waste within the next decade or so.
For more information on food waste, check out our past blog posts and learn more on this issue through our twitter and Instagram linked below.