Food Waste Likely to Be More Severe

It us estimated that sixty million metric tons of food are wasted every year in the United States, costing about 162 billion dollars. Worldwide, the average food waste is a third of the food produced, costing about 400 billion dollars.

Just reducing food waste by 20%-50% could save about 120 billion to 300 billion dollars a year. The food discarded in most developed countries would be more than sufficient to feed the 870 million people of the world that lives in starvation. If this trend continues, the waste is estimated to cost 600 billion dollars a year in 2030. Despite the economic costs, food waste also carries an environmental cost. Food production uses a huge amount of water, fertilizer, and land. Not only that, fuel is burned to transport, refrigerate and process the food.

Most food waste is thrown in landfills, where they emit about 3.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases globally in a year, which amount to 7% of total emissions. Good to say, however, some cities and counties in the U.S have begun fighting food waste like Hennepin County, Minnesota who gives grants to businesses or non-profit organizations that recycle food waste or practice compost.

Food waste is a huge problem, not only because of economic and social reason, but also environmental reasons. Food waste creates an excess amount of pollution; therefore, I believe that there should be a federal mandate against food waste. However, compost bins, resources, and information will be supplied. It can also be made into a grant with conditions of aid; the top 10 states to reduce their food waste in a year over a set number of years will receive a grant.

– Huy D.