The Problem of Food Waste in America: Contribution to World Hunger

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The desire to live in a peaceful world without any social issues has always been a dream for humans. The world has always been striving to become a better place through the acts of kindness and support towards the negative aspects of life. However, it is a known fact that nothing is perfect which concludes the idea of the world consisting of many problems. These problems include social issues such as racism, suicides, sexism and police brutality etc. Surprisingly, one of the more relevant issues is the continuous food waste around the world. The struggle to supply food in many undeveloped countries in the world has been a problem for centuries.

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Unfortunately, the continues food waste around the world has been negatively contributing on making world hunger worse over the years. This issue is caused by many factors, one of them simply being the waste of food due to disinterest in unappealing fruits and vegetables. The waste of food seems to occur more in developed countries like America rather than undeveloped ones since food is generally cheaper in America which makes the food less valuable to it. Other factors that lead up to this issue include farming, processing and distribution, retail and grocery stores, disposal etc. Developed countries, such as America, tend to take advantage of cheap produce by wasting it which affects citizens since they are the ones that struggle through the consequences of hunger.

There is a huge problem in America’s food system. It is not how much food they produce, but rather how much they end up throwing away. More food goes into landfills across the country than any other source of waste.

Mostly everyone is guilty of wasting food at least once in their lives, even the ones who struggle through hunger. One out of every six people live in a food insecure household, which is equivalent to around 50 million people struggling to put food on the table. This is due to the fact that 40% of all food produced in America is thrown out and wasted. By throwing away that amount of food, America pours around $165 billions dollars in food down the drain each year. That is worth 133 billion pounds of food that could have been used to put food in the stomachs of all the starving children and adults around the world. One of the main factors contributing to this problem is farming. Roughly seven percent of the produce that is grown in the United States simply gets stranded on fields each year. Some growers plant more crops than there is demand for because in some cases, the food gets damaged by natural diseases and weather conditions which results is loss of money. However, growing more crops than needed seems to lose them and the country more money since a lot of the stranded food goes to waste.

Another contributor to this social issue is imperfect produce. It seems to be one of the more major reasons. Every year, over six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables are thrown away just because they are simply “ugly”. Grocery stores throw away all of the unappealing food because they believe that they would put down their sales. The processing and distribution step is partly guilty as well. Plenty of food gets trimmed and packaged during the processing stage, however there is a well enough amount of wasted food caused by over trimming. Technical malfunctions in processing and refrigeration are one big factor in the distribution process. Food can sometimes sit too long at improper temperatures and spoil which leads to food waste. In the food industry, Restaurants toss away 133 million pounds of food per day, and most of it ends up being in landfills. Food is also wasted through the disposal process. Around 3% of thrown out food is composted.

Most of it end up in landfills and eventually decompose releasing methane, a greenhouse gas, and 23% of U.S. methane emissions is caused by landfills of wasted food. Even though a lot of the population in the U.S. realize that this is an issue, American families throw out between 14 and 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. This can cost the average family between $1,365 to $2,275 annually. People tend to waste food themselves by over-buying at grocery stores, throwing away left-overs and being worried about the expiration dates which makes them throw away perfectly good food for no reason.

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