Waste not, want not…

Emma Shuster, Staff Writer

A major concern in America is the amount of food waste that is produced. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply.” This is the equivalent of 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food (in 2010). The sad truth to these numbers which are rapidly growing represent the unfortunate impacts on both hungry individuals, as well as the deteriorating environment. Food waste contributes immensely to the increase in methane, making it the third largest source of methane in the U.S.

Returning to those in need of food, according to an article from the Seattle Times, the hunger in Washington is currently above the national average, with 15.4% of households in 2011 reporting that they struggle to obtain an adequate amount of food. Both of these colossal concerns impact everyone. A simple action that anyone can follow in their everyday lives is to avoid wasting food when possible. This not only will help eliminate the waste problem continuing to arise in the U.S., but  will also express respect for your food, and for those who are not as fortunate as to be able to afford food whenever they are hungry.

A common response that I have noticed in the school cafeteria is the disposal of an uneaten apple. If you purchase an apple during lunch and end up not wanting to eat it (which is perfectly understandable), instead of tossing it in the compost, you could give it to a friend or save it for later. I mean, who doesn’t love free food? Little steps towards reducing the impact you have when it comes to waste can benefit both the environment, as well as the hungry people around you.