Shocking: New Research Suggests Half Of All US Food Produce Is THROWN AWAY!

The demand for ‘perfect’ fruit and veg means much is discarded, we're damaging the climate and the people are left hungry. Discarded food is the biggest single component of US landfill and incinerators, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.



Americans throw away almost as much food as they eat because of a want of perfection, inflicting a heavy toll on the environment.

Vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the US 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, according to official data and interviews with dozens of farmers, packers, truckers, researchers, campaigners and government officials.





“It’s all about blemish-free produce,” says Jay Johnson, who ships fresh fruit and vegetables from North Carolina and central Florida. “What happens in our business today is that it is either perfect, or it gets rejected. It is perfect to them, or they turn it down. And then you are stuck.”

By one government tally, about 60m tonnes of produce worth about $160bn (£119bn), is wasted by retailers and consumers every year - one third of all foodstuffs.

When added to the retail waste, it equates to half of all produce grown, some experts say.

“I would say at times there is 25% of the crop that is just thrown away or fed to cattle,” said Wayde Kirschenman, whose family has been growing potatoes and other vegetables near Bakersfield, California, since the 1930s. “Sometimes it can be worse.”




“Sun-burnt” or off white cauliflower, grapes that did not conform to a wedge shape and a host of other perfectly edible but not pretty were dumped. Entire crates of pre-cut orange wedges were directed to landfill. In June, Kirschenman wound up feeding a significant share of his watermelon crop to cows.

Researchers know there is no clear accounting standard of food loss in the US. Some think-tanks such as the World Resources Institute are working towards a more accurate reckoning.

Globally, about one-third of food is wasted: 1.6bn tonnes of produce a year, with a value of about $1tn. If this wasted food were stacked in 20-cubic metre skips, it would fill 80m of them, enough to reach all the way to the moon, and encircle it once. Taking action to tackle this is not impossible, as countries like Denmark have shown.

The Obama administration and the UN have pledged to halve avoidable food waste by 2030. Food producers, retail chains and campaign groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council have also vowed to reduce food loss in the ReFED initiative.



Source: https://www.theguardian.com/
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