Food is one of the most necessary and valuable resources available to society. In order for humans to survive and carry on with everyday life, it is necessary for everyone to eat because it provides nutrition and energy for the human body. Although food is a huge necessity we tend to take advantage of it in many different ways day to day without even recognizing it. Food has been around longer than we have but inevitably with the huge population growth, the demand for more food supply increase, and food waste, things have shifted greatly meaning that as a society we managed to use and abuse one of the very few things that we need to survive and live on. Humans have always had certain tendencies to underappreciate the things we need while hyping up and creating a crave for everything else we don’t. It’s definitely become a habit that we don’t shine enough light on and that’s certainly an issue on its own but adding food, something that’s necessary for human life, to the equation just makes it that much worse. A majority of the population believes that breakfast is the most important part of the day, but if we truly stood behind that belief how is it that we as a society are fine with wasting half of our morning bagel knowing that others might not eat all day?
There’s a theory that maybe food isn’t even an issue at all but that we as humans are the problem. Food does not waste itself nor does it throw itself into the garbage but we do because it might not reach our standards of what looks or tastes the most satisfying at the time. Food waste is one of the biggest yet underestimated issues around right now. Picture yourself at a nice and elegant restaurant, are you researching and questioning how many times that place has thrown away pounds of good food instead of going and feeding the hungry? The answer is probably not because at the end of the meal, the leftovers are forgotten and it’s just more food gone to the trash instead of into a hungry mouth. The article “Food Waste” explains in the text that “As reported by Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data, a nonprofit think tank, food waste by consumer-facing businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants, and institutional food service vendors comprises 25 million tons, or 40 percent, of the total amount of food wasted in the United States each year.”( Gale,2017) Considering that 25 million tons is only considered about 40 % of the yearly food waste percentage is ridiculous and unexplainable.
Not only are we wasting our food but while doing so we are actually wasting our own money, yearly all the food that we waste costs us around $218 billion dollars compared to the little energy it would take from us to walk down to the corner to feed the homeless. It becomes inhumane when we have different statistics proving that the amount of people that go hungry is only increasing while we also have statistics showing that the amount of food we waste is also increasing. In the next article ” food” by Isaac Billy he states “The latest available estimates indicate that about 821 million people in the world were undernourished in 2017. That means one in nine people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.”(Billy). This statement simply goes to show the huge issue that food waste is and provides factual evidence as proof. Another form of food waste could arguably be over-eating, which may sound silly at first but is a huge issue. Imagine walking into Canes, knowing you’re barely able to finish the 3 finger combo but you happen to see someone walking past with the box combo(4 chicken strips included) and it’s looking amazing, which one are you going to order?
In many cases, temptation gets the best of people and so they end up with the box combo but ironically not wanting to waste any food, they force the last chicken strip down and go on with their day. But at the end of that day, the last chicken strip went to complete waste, the person was already full and their body did not require to have more and so it was another form of food waste. There are also huge companies that waste food on the days when Walmart, Frys or even Ranch Market don’t sell their produce quick enough, things will begin to spoil and go bad meaning they must throw it out. Take into consideration how many of these stores that there are worldwide before you dismiss this idea as “not a big issue”. A big reason on why there is no change occurring to fix the issue might be because no one is truly focused on it, but anyone living or anyone with children or planning to have children should. Our population grows faster than it dies meaning the demand the food also grows. In the article “Food supply, world” it is stated, “Even if food supplies keep pace with world population as a whole, fast population growth in developing countries, along with high prices, official corruption, civil war, and other factors, will put pressure on resources in the developing world”. This statement essentially gives us the idea that eventually our food sources will be scarce.
Since America does have so many grocery stores and farmers markets and everything else filled with products we have never felt threatened or felt the need to use everything we have cautiously and it’s an issue because we tend to take advantage of that. In the Ted Talk, “The Global Food Waste Scandal” by Tristam Stuart, he speaks about the pig he had when he was younger and in order to feed this pig, he would walk from place to place asking businesses for the “bad” food or basically the scraps when eventually he noticed something very strange. All the food he had received and was weekly feeding his pig with was good and healthy food simply thrown out because it didn’t reach the standards of these companies. Eventually, he began to eat this food to find something wrong with it, a reason as to why it was thrown but he just could not find any other reason than the fact that we love to be wasteful. Overall, there are many different issues that come with food such as people taking advantage of it in different ways. Clearly, food is necessary for our health and wellbeing and with that being said a change needs to happen in order for us to begin to properly use our resources.