Food for the Future.

Do people know what they are putting into their bodies and if it is sustainable

Everyone loves food, who doesn’t? But what kind of food are we consuming on a daily basis, does anyone know how the food we eat is produced? Is anyone aware of the mass amount of pesticides used? Does anyone know how much food is actually wasted each year? The answer may be surprising to you.

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Food Waste

Food Waste is sometimes seen as a minor problem, but statistics say otherwise. About 40% of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted each year. That 133 billion pounds of uneaten food, that represents about 1249 calories per person. This amount is about $1500 wasted food, for only a family of four. It comes to about $167 billion dollars of uneaten food from homes, restaurants and retailers. It is shocking that Food makes up 20% of landfill weight. The methane released by food is 21 time for harmful than carbon dioxide.

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There is viable solutions for everyone, the most obvious being buying less food, preventing food to go bad and result in waste. Another option is to compost the food waste, it can be turned into sustainable soil additives or in some cases be used to generate electricity.

Now many people have been shopping but no one ever notices the fact that all the fruits and vegetables look so identical and are basically the same shape. Well a lot of food is wasted before it even makes it to shops, on farms they have machinery sorting out fruits and vegetables that are classified as “ugly”. Most the times those are wasted and thrown out immediately although they taste the exact same. One way to reduced the waste would be to go out and find places that sell these “Ugly” fruits and vegetables, this would help farms tremendously and for them to find new markets for these fruits and vegetable to be sold at, heavily reducing food waste.

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Pollution

Pollution is a raising problem and I assume basically everyone knows about, it isn’t just about cars and machines, food production maybe be one of the most rising causes of pollution and production of greenhouse gases. The rotting of food in landfill is heavily contributing to global warming, cutting food waste by 15% would have the same effect as taking 167,000 cars off the road, heavily reducing it’s contribution to the raising matter of global warming.

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Waste of Natural Resources

A lot of what we eat goes to waste, but has anyone also thought about all the resources we are wasting because we throw that away, all the water, fertilizer, land and animal feed, all of that can be used for something else. The amount of water polluted because of the use of synthetic pesticide and fertilizer is shocking. The amount of water made undrinkable because of that is devastating. About 25% freshwater is wasted, 45% of lands degraded to feed everyone, just for them to later throw that food away.

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Solutions

One solution that no one wants to hear is we have to go vegan, well at least try harder to limit out diet to more vegetable instead if just meat. Meat production takes up more than double the landed required of grow vegetables, they need free roaming area for the livestock, and in addition to that, to grow their feed it takes up just as much land as fruit and vegetable. For example cattles emitted 265 lbs. of methane per year. So one viable option is to cut down of production of animals, heavily cutting down on methane production from agriculture.

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Some smaller ways you can help out and eat more sustainable would be to eat more seasonal products, not only do they taste the best in season, and it supports local farmers and businesses. Also composting another great way to help out, instead of just tossing food waste into the bin, set up compost bin, if you have kids, get them to help you, it can be a fun family activity. There are so many benefits of composting, decreasing carbon footprints, reduce civic cost for waste collection and many others.

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Between 20 to 40 percent of food is thrown away because it doesn’t meet the standard of being good looking, some places won’t even have “ugly” fruits but next time you go shopping you can ask some employees if you can have the “ugly” fruits and vegetables, they are still perfectly healthy and nutritious, they just didn’t meet the requirements of being attractive. Unfortunately still a lot of stores don’t even have these, they straight up reject any product that isn’t up to standard.

Any small changes you make to your daily life can cause a massive effect over time, simply asking for the ugly variants or just going vegan one meal a week even, can help tremendously. Just hope everyone plays their part in the healing of this earth.

Written by

Climate Change Enthusiast. Melbourne, Australia. Student Writer. Coffee Obsessed.

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