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Food Waste as Explained by John Oliver

John Oliver Food WasteDid you know that the US throws out as much of 40% of all the food product they make? 

Did you know that Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food every year? That’s about 20 pounds of food per person EVERY month!

And did you know that that translates to 730 stadiums full of wasted food per year?!

Wow! I don’t know the Canadian stats, but per capita, we aren’t much different.

And we are getting worse. The “US per capita food waste has progressivly increased by about 50% since 1974.” 

What’s wrong with this?

Obviously, waste like this is horrendous. As kids, my sister and I learned only a few Japanese words from our Canadian born, but Japanese heritage (3rd generation Canadian), mother. The only words that weren’t related to food were: “yakamashi” and “motainai.” Yakamashi means noisy. Not being noisy was a very important trait for us to learn. Motainai was equally important for us to avoid. It means wasteful. 

First of all, many people don’t have enough food!

Second, we’re using up resources to make the food that is just tossed out.

Third, by throwing food into landfills, we’re creating methane–a greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat.

Fourth, we’re wasting money. You’re wasting your money if you’re throwing out food. 

So, What Can We Do?

Steps you can take to change your relationship with food waste:

  1. Don’t discriminate against “ugly” fruits and veggies. Just because they may be shaped differently or have marks on them, doesn’t mean they are not good to eat.
  2. Consider “best before” or “sell by” dates as guidelines. The food may still be fine to eat. 
  3. Don’t buy more than you can eat.

Oh, and watch John Oliver’s video here and share it. He’s way more entertaining than me!


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