Lewis Diuguid

Food waste a real American problem

A driver lowers the back of the truck after dumping his load of food and compostable waste. Food waste accounts for a lot of what households and businesses throw away in America
A driver lowers the back of the truck after dumping his load of food and compostable waste. Food waste accounts for a lot of what households and businesses throw away in America The Kansas City Star

Mini-mountains sitting on the outskirts of many cities are filled with massive accumulations of waste that households and industries daily produce.

We pay to have our garbage hauled away to landfills, which constantly belch the greenhouse gas, methane, into the air. It would be unsanitary to have the trash collect where we live. But we aren’t doing the planet any good with so much waste.

Harvest Public Media reports that a lot of that waste is in food that didn’t get consumed. The story in The Kansas City Star estimated that as much as 40 percent of the food produced in the United States, or $165 billion worth of vittles, goes uneaten.

The Environmental Protection Agency is quoted saying food waste amounted to 35 million tons in 2012. The EPA said consumers are responsible for 40 to 50 percent of the food waste; businesses, 50 to 60 percent.

What’s sad is a lot of people go hungry in this and other countries while food in this land of plenty is being tossed out. On the flip side, the majority of Americans now are overweight and have no business consuming more food.

Fast-food restaurants add to the problem of food waste. So do grocery stores and delis.

It is a concern that begs for a solution.

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