The World’s Food Waste And Hunger Problem

In a recent study, it was found that over a fifth of the world’s food production isn’t being used how it ought to be. In fact, nearly 20 percent of the food that is made available for consumption is either completely lost through waste or over-eating. The entire world’s population actually ingests nearly 10 percent more food than it actually needs while around nine percent is completely thrown away, discarded and never used. These are painful and embarrassing numbers when many places in the world see tens of thousands of people starve on a daily basis.

Slowly there are efforts being implemented that are attempting to reduce the billions of tons that are currently lost by increasing and strengthening food security. Part of this is to ensure that all individuals have access to an affordable, safe diet that is also nutritionally sound. Excess food waste can also pose a real threat toward the environment.

Lost To Over-Consumption

Researchers and scientists at the University of Edinburgh examined and studied the 10 stages of a global food system and some of their findings were downright eye-opening. What was incredibly jarring was the information that was gathered regarding the over-consumption that society is largely guilty of when it comes to food. Almost half of the harvested crops are lost to over-consumption. This is no wonder when obesity is becoming an epidemic in so many different parts of the world.

Many people in our society have access to food at an alarming rate. Simply the amount of fast food restaurants in any given city is emblematic of that. There’s also the case that economically, it is more difficult to eat well and not overeat when in a lower economic bracket. Cheap, supersized servings of tasty food that is horrendous for the body is sometimes all specific households can afford.

Waste, as well as inefficient food processes, is also a cause for concern when it comes to the amount of food that isn’t being allocated the way that it should be. There is also the fact that certain increased demand for foods like dairy or meat may decrease the manner in which these items can be efficiently attained – when meeting the demand will potentially compromise other facets of environmental safety such as the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity, and decreasing water supplies. The researchers surmised that encouraging consumers to eat less meat and dairy would help this particular issue.

Getting Smart

Another issue is restaurants and well-off households that throw away copious amounts of perfectly good food on a weekly basis. Many eateries are mandated to throw away leftover food each day after closing because they are legally unable to sell it the next day. Households allow food to go to complete waste and rot, instead of proactively freezing the food in order to sustain it. This is food that could benefit homeless shelters and the needy all over the country and world.

We need to really get smart about how we consume food and how much we consume. We also need to do better distributing and allocating nutritiously-sound food to those who don’t readily have proper access to it.

Proper Food Storage Prevents Tons Of Food Waste

March is National Nutrition Month which means several establishments and entities will provide information on how to live a nutritionally sound and fruitful life. In an attempt to lower our grocery bill and better allocate the amount of food that goes into our homes every month, there is an initiative to “Go Further With Food.” This essentially deals with being less wasteful and getting more actual use from the food you buy without it going bad from non-use or being stored improperly.

This country wastes an inordinate amount of perfectly good food on a daily basis. Up to 31 percent of food is wasted on a yearly basis with almost 28 percent of produce thrown out. This is something that we should feel ashamed of especially when there are so many that could benefit from access to free food.

Eat What You Have

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Melissa Majumdar says: “Far too often, good food goes bad before we get the chance to eat it. Before going to the grocery store, check inside your refrigerator. Eat what you already have at home before buying more. To reduce waste, also date all frozen items and use the oldest food first.”

Sometimes the issue comes down to what we feel like eating and what seems appetizing to us. Dining out or ordering in can seem like a much better, more mouth-watering option. But this essentially guarantees you wasting money erroneously if you happen to have a fully stocked refrigerator.

Produce becomes less fresh every day that it sits waiting to be used. Leftover meals that can continue to feed you or your family one or two more times only have about a three-to-five-day shelf life before they start to go bad.

Have A Meal Plan

One way that you can ensure you are wasting as little food as possible is to stick to a meal plan. Make a few dishes and seal them in airtight, glass containers so that they will be good for a large portion of the week. Always use glass containers because they are much safer to have contact with your food than plastic. They are also largely made with airtight lids which help the food to stay fresher longer.

It’s also a good idea to freeze at least half or a fourth of any meal you cook. This ensures that it can be used much later after it thaws. These tips will help allow you to get the full amount of use out of the items you purchase. Also, always go grocery shopping after you’ve eaten. Never go on an empty stomach because you’re much more likely to go over your budget.

Being wasteful is something that we, as a society, can and should prevent. Food shouldn’t be thrown out as it doesn’t help anyone. We need to be steadfast and dedicated to not only saving money for ourselves but also not creating unnecessary waste that could have easily gone into the stomachs of starving individuals.