But i only like the legs on the lobster!
50% is a pretty scary figure. I occasionally forget there are leftovers in the fridge or find that I'm full when there's still some food on the plate, but not enough to be worth saving... but HALF? That's crazy. Imagine what it would do for 3rd world countries if we came up with a better method of food preservation.
Personally I'm against the subsidizing of any industry. However the fact that the Government then destroys the crops it purchases when they could, I don't know, send them to starving nations, just seems very stupid to me.
Then again it is Washington we're talking about. Logic has little to do with that town.
On a personal level I try to waste very little. I portion out my dinners. What I don't eat I save and eat for/as part of a later meal. I don't do this out of some altruistic desire to lower my carbon foot-print or ensure that there is food for the starving. I do it because food is expensive. And when you are the one paying for it, you try to stretch it out as long as possible.
I used to work at a grocery store. When I started we were able to make down all of the "day old" bakery/deli items. People would come in and they would sell out. Eventually the store said we couldn't do that anymore, we would have to throw away huge garbage bags full of perfectly fine food and less people bought stuff from the bakery.
I feel like I remember seeing a lot more "day old" racks at the grocery store about ten years ago when I first started shopping for myself. Do you know if the regulations changed on that or if it's just been a consumer driven trend?
I get rid of anything that is close to the expiration date that smells funny. If its past the date it goes. Im not getting sick to save a few dollars. I also dont buy a lot of food that I dont eat so I usually only end up throwing out condiments. If you buy food closer to the date you expect to eat it, its less likely it will be thrown away and fresher when you eat it.
@ home: I throw it away when I feel unsafe about eating it (whether it be a funky smell/look or a year over the date given by the producer) or when I'm done with it. Living where I do, food remains are separated from other garbage and end up on a big biomass heap (to produce fertilizer) or in a biomass plant (to produce electricity) so even if I throw away food, I never ever feel like destroying its value.
@the shop: Stores here (in the Netherlands) don't regularly throw away food, they give it to the 'foodbank', a private institution that divides the freely-given food under those that are having a financially hard time. (I deliberately try to avoid calling them 'the poor', for being poor in the Netherlands would still be rich outside of the west, but they do mostly have serious problems that can cause malnutrition (because you want to pay your rent) or eviction (because you want to buy your kids food))
Now the foodbanks have been noticing a reducing amount of food from the supermarkets, because with the crisis hitting all sectors, the supermarkets have begun using their brains when buying in supplies. Smarter buying = less redundant food = less food for the poor.
Going slightly side-topic here, because I know it will be brought up sooner or later if this thread goes over a few pages:
On the other side, 'throwing away food' causing a buzz or like here leading to the creation of a thread usually has to do with the idea that the majority of the people in this world have to live with less than recommended food intake. Even though it hasn't been mentioned yet, I do want to say that this is not so much the problem of the west as much as it is a problem of humanity's disability to stop reproducing. When we look at, for example, Somalia, a country with 10 million people but with only 1.64% arable land, then we have to consider if it is really worth sustaining a population which lives in an unsustainable location (read: an outright desert). Food problems are usually caused by overpopulation in underdeveloped countries, not by wasting in developed ones.
As a couple people have noted, the bulk of the food waste likely comes from Markets who have hard sell-by dates that they have to go by for legal reasons, as well as the other thing noted that is the shoppers will cherry pick cosmetically pleasing produce & meat. Restaurants are probably next (at least in the US) as they tend to provide way more food than most people can eat for each meal, so lots of wasted cooked food, as well as the expiration rules that they have to follow for their non-cooked food.
I think that makes a much larger percentage of what's thrown away versus people clearing out their fridge or not eating all the left overs.
But to add to this all the shops who are about to have food items going out of date could donate it to shelters (or similar) however most will throw it away in dumpsters where it will be illigal to take it from afterwards, since its still technically the stores items.
Funny how much positive response places could get if they gave items like that to charity instead of thinking 100% of their own profits.
---------- Post added 2013-01-13 at 06:44 AM ----------
Last edited by Mandible; 2013-01-13 at 05:47 AM.
"Only Jack can zip up."
The word you want to use is "have" not "of".
You may have alot of stuff in your country, but we got Lolland.
That and incentivizing farmers to waste less helps too.
I've barely ever thrown out food. Freezers are god.
But I also have a bottle of butter chicken that expired in 2010
I put maps of Africa and Haiti above my trash can so I can get that warm fuzzy feeling whenever I throw away food.
Really the only thing you can do is shop at places similar to this. I don't doubt a significant portion of food thrown out is from grocers, and if you shop at places that simply stock less food, you'll be doing your part. Plus you'll be supporting a smart business practice, which feels nice in that sense.Trader Joe's maintains low prices by having smaller and plainer stores and carrying a smaller variety of products and getting more turnaround on products they do carry, which enables the purchase of larger quantities of perishable items closer to the expiration date at better prices, knowing that they can be sold within shelf-life limits.
Destroying crops after they have been harvested to keep prices down seems petty to me, but folks seemed to think that doing so has helped our economy in the past. I would love to see someone find out if we are still doing that in the last few years, I would think they would put them towards making bio diesel instead of just destroying them.
Proud member of the zero infraction club (lets see how long this can last =)
Something to think about. A lot of people become overweight because they are taught not to throw away food. I know a lot of adults over the age of 40, not so much younger adults, who very reluctant to see food go to waste. My grandmother had fridges and a large freeze. All of her freezers were full because throwing away food was horrible to her.
Think of it the way people jump all over Steam sales. A lot of people will buy games just because are sale because they remember not being able to afford games when they were kids. Throwing away food is different scenario but the mindsets are similar.