Factors Contributing to the Problem of Food Waste

Forty percent is a significant value. It represents four out of ten people, items, or ideas. Sometimes it indicates progress, sometimes it indicates regression. However, there is a specific forty percent that accounts for a big problem that involves all the people on this world. This percentage causes hunger, suffering and death. According to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), of the total food that is produced in the United States, forty percent is thrown away each year. Food is not being properly distributed nor consumed, and the least lucky are paying for it with their lives. There are many fields and areas involved in food production and responsible for big amounts of food waste, but a big part of this problem occurs at our houses while we live our daily life. There are three major reasons why people throw food away; they do not like it, they have had enough, and/or they think the food expired because a label tells them so.
When that much food is discarded, it has an effect on the country’s economy and it ultimately affect all the people living in it. There is approximately a $48.3 billion loss each year that is caused by food waste. The problem is even more concerning when we add the fact that we throw as much food as the total production of entire regions in the world, for example, sub-Saharan Africa. While there is people suffering and dying of hunger every day, there is also people who does not take full advantage of the resources that are given to them.
There is one thing that stands out when talking about causes of food waste, and it is the “best by” or “consume before” labels. 90% of Americans gets confused by this labels and throw food away the day after it “expires”. A good percentage of these labels are n...

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...ces where food is sold and consumed. For example, Central wholesale market in Lahore, Pakistan. The food trade takes place “among unsanitary conditions, causing major health hazards since food is handled and piled on the ground close to the gutter. This kind of market environment also causes food waste, since the unsanitary conditions and rough handling cause deterioration of fragile fresh products.
In conclusion, we should all improve our approach towards all activities related to food. This is a situation that needs to be handled carefully because food is something extremely valuable that we cannot afford to throw away. Food is unequally distributed throughout the globe and while most of us can’t solve the problem of distribution, the least we can do is use the resources that we acquire wisely. In that way, we save money and help the world become a better place.

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