Wasting Away

There are many criticisms of America: fat, corporate-driven, uneducated … and the list could go on. One very real criticism is how wasteful we are, especially when it comes to food.

It’s said less people are cooking and more are eating out, and we tend to throw out a large portion of the produce we do buy because it goes bad—or so we think.

In an article titled “Spoil Alert” Whole Living writer Elizabeth Royte says, “Confused by expiration dates, ‘sell before’ dates, and ‘best before’ dates, most people err on the side of caution. We toss food because it looks a little bruised, because we’ve bought too much of it, because we’ve forgotten it’s hiding behind the tamari bottle, and because it’s gone bad.”

Royte is right. Wastefulness isn’t just throwing away good food, it’s throwing away money. Royte states that putting that food in landfills costs $1 billion each year.

But, there’s yet another big issue here: the environment. In landfills, food waste decomposes and generates methane, which has more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

So essentially, wasting food isn’t just a waste of the effort to produce it, but also the money we spent on it, the money municipalities spend to get rid of it, and the harmful effects it has on the environment. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be eating all of the vegetables on my plate from now on.

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