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(Yahoo)   New study shows that Americans throw away over 40% of the food they purchase, or about 1,400 calories per person per DAY. Or, put another way, enough to give every starving person on this planet the same waistline as the average American   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 310
    More: Sick, Americans, starvation, LiveScience Store, barrels of oil, oil consumption, hot-button issues, Cornell University, natural resources  
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4423 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Nov 2009 at 10:50 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-27 07:54:48 AM
40 percent! That's crazy. Judging from Americans' waistlines, it looks like they're eating 100% of their own food plus their neighbors'.

/Yes, I realize that makes no sense.
//Neither does throwing out so much food.
 
2009-11-27 07:56:24 AM
Clearly we need to be sending our garbage to Ethiopia. Two birds with one stone and all that.
 
2009-11-27 07:56:28 AM
Fairly sure hotels, hospitals, ships, restaurants, etc. are probably the ones most responsible for getting the median up that high. It's not like the average person tosses out half the stuff in their fridge every week.
 
2009-11-27 08:05:43 AM
PPL_Wannabe: Fairly sure hotels, hospitals, ships, restaurants, etc. are probably the ones most responsible for getting the median up that high. It's not like the average person tosses out half the stuff in their fridge every week.

Many institutions have to throw out extra food for fear of lawsuits. I remember volunteering at a hot dog stand at a baseball game to raise money for a charity. By the end of the night we were left with three huge bags full of hot dogs but we weren't allowed to drop any off at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen because the organization could be sued if someone were poisoned or some other such nonsense.
 
2009-11-27 08:08:44 AM
The only solution is strict controls on consumption.
 
2009-11-27 08:19:20 AM
somebody must be tossing more than their 40%, because that does not happen in our household.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2009-11-27 08:25:12 AM
I grew up at the tail end of the generation when parents were instructed to tell their children factoids like this when they didn't like dinner.

"I don't like Brussels Sprouts."

"There are brazillions of starving children in Africa who..."

If you follow the Ig Nobel awards, you will know that Americans eat until they clear their plates, unlike Europeans who eat until they have had enough.
 
2009-11-27 08:45:11 AM
ZAZ: I grew up at the tail end of the generation when parents were instructed to tell their children factoids like this when they didn't like dinner.

"I don't like Brussels Sprouts."

"There are brazillions of starving children in Africa who..."


That sentence should end with: "...who don't have an eating disorder because their neurotic parents guilted them into overeating and now they get made fun of in school so they force themselves to throw up after every meal."

But yeah, got to clean your plate kids! You don't want to be made fun of for having sharp knees or anything like that.
 
2009-11-27 09:03:09 AM
kuaq: That sentence should end with:

Not everyone reacted to that mindset like you did.
 
2009-11-27 09:13:20 AM
Dancin_In_Anson: kuaq: That sentence should end with:

Not everyone reacted to that mindset like you did.


I reacted by eating my parents, which solved the problem on several levels.
 
2009-11-27 09:15:33 AM
Kublai Khan: I reacted by eating my parents, which solved the problem on several levels.

Did you purge afterward so that you didn't suffer from low self esteem at school?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2009-11-27 09:17:50 AM
The only solution is strict controls on consumption.

Cap and trade. Each person is allocated 2,000 calories per day. If you want more, you have to buy calorie allotments from somebody who wants to eat less. In the short term, children will be a great investment. The market will set a price. On food, I mean. Maybe children too. Assuming you distinguish the two.

Gardens, of course, will be illegal because they are impossible to accurately monitor.
 
2009-11-27 09:40:33 AM
I worked in events (A/V tech, anyone hiring?) and it was disgusting to see how much food got thrown out at these affairs. Usually the staff would chow down and if you were polite they'd invite you to join which was a real perk of working them, but even after people would eat and take doggie bags home there was still an incredible amount of food wasted.
 
2009-11-27 09:42:36 AM
coco ebert: Many institutions have to throw out extra food for fear of lawsuits. I remember volunteering at a hot dog stand at a baseball game to raise money for a charity. By the end of the night we were left with three huge bags full of hot dogs but we weren't allowed to drop any off at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen because the organization could be sued if someone were poisoned or some other such nonsense.

Yup, that's probably the reason. I was volunteering at a fundraiser breakfast last week and we had a decent amount of food left over. We had to either eat it ourselves, take it home ourselves, or throw it. The local mission lady was there fund raising too and could have easily taken it with her. We couldn't give it away because of the stupid liability.
 
2009-11-27 10:00:35 AM
These clearly aren't university students.
 
2009-11-27 10:52:59 AM
coco ebert: Many institutions have to throw out extra food for fear of lawsuits. I remember volunteering at a hot dog stand at a baseball game to raise money for a charity. By the end of the night we were left with three huge bags full of hot dogs but we weren't allowed to drop any off at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen because the organization could be sued if someone were poisoned or some other such nonsense.

In NYC there's also Nanny Bloomberg's trans-fat ban. If you show up with any of that, your donation gets shiatcanned - but at least the city's downtrodden won't have to worry about hardened arteries 30 years from now.
 
2009-11-27 10:53:29 AM
This is why the socialists want to turn the USA into a third world country.
 
2009-11-27 10:53:44 AM
I'm sorry, but if my vichyssoise is served to me one degree above 40°F then I will simply pour it on the floor and demand another bowl served properly. My uncle didn't die fighting in WWII in order for me to live like a damnable savage.
 
2009-11-27 10:55:10 AM
PPL_Wannabe: It's not like the average person tosses out half the stuff in their fridge every week.

I haven't opened my fridge in 6 years.
/I forget why.
 
2009-11-27 10:55:13 AM
Ever been to a Wegman's? It's insane how much food they probably have to throw away. They make a ton of food in house, especially desserts/baked goods and pizza. They have a rule that if a pizza sits out for more than an hour they have to throw it away and make a new one. Luckily they do have an agreement with homeless shelters, etc. where they can bring day old baked goods and what not. But still, they waste entirely too much food.
 
2009-11-27 10:55:28 AM
Makes sense to me. I grow fruits and vegetables every year, and never eat 100% of what I grow. It's nice to have extra. Raspberries, for example, I eat what I want off the bush and leave the rest, they just don't last more than about a day if I pick them.

Most food items, especially healthy ones, simply don't last that long. and you aren't going to eat all of them unless you are starving to death, which I'm not.
 
2009-11-27 10:56:20 AM
Gulper Eel: coco ebert: Many institutions have to throw out extra food for fear of lawsuits. I remember volunteering at a hot dog stand at a baseball game to raise money for a charity. By the end of the night we were left with three huge bags full of hot dogs but we weren't allowed to drop any off at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen because the organization could be sued if someone were poisoned or some other such nonsense.

In NYC there's also Nanny Bloomberg's trans-fat ban. If you show up with any of that, your donation gets shiatcanned - but at least the city's downtrodden won't have to worry about hardened arteries 30 years from now.


I worked for UC Santa Barbara's central kitchen and we donated leftovers to the homeless until one of them claimed he got sick from the food and lawyered up. This is largely an issue of corporate entities protecting themselves from liability.
 
2009-11-27 10:56:33 AM
Grocery stores are responsible for a lot of waste (OK, it's not "purchased food"). when food hits its "sell-by" date, it's tossed, and it can't be reused or given away or anything. they even have people who cut open all the packages, so that when they throw out a whole case of yogurt or cheese or something, someone doesn't go through the dumpster and retrieve it.

Homeless people know about this and will come get the food anyway, but the whole practice is insane. I've seen dumpsters filled with hundreds of pounds of steaks and dairy products.
 
2009-11-27 10:56:53 AM
Measuring the difference between nation-wide food production and population-based estimates of total metabolism only leads to the conclusion that "Americans throw away 40% of the food they purchase" if you have absolutely no ability to think critically about what a figure might mean.
 
2009-11-27 10:57:24 AM
PPL_Wannabe: Fairly sure hotels, hospitals, ships, restaurants, etc. are probably the ones most responsible for getting the median up that high. It's not like the average person tosses out half the stuff in their fridge every week.

This. Whenever they list this stuff they never break it down by sector. They're trying to make you feel guilty for letting the lettuce go bad.

I'd wager it's a lot higher than 40%.
 
2009-11-27 10:57:47 AM
My gf does this. She's a little chubby and always likes to buy a bunch of fruit and produce. She always ends up throwing about 1/3 of it away because it rots faster than she can consume it. This is why i no longer pay for her produce bill.

And what's up with Americans and their love for cheese and sodas. If they just cut those 2 things out, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be so many hippo hopping women thumping about.
 
2009-11-27 10:57:51 AM
coco ebert: PPL_Wannabe: Fairly sure hotels, hospitals, ships, restaurants, etc. are probably the ones most responsible for getting the median up that high. It's not like the average person tosses out half the stuff in their fridge every week.

Many institutions have to throw out extra food for fear of lawsuits. I remember volunteering at a hot dog stand at a baseball game to raise money for a charity. By the end of the night we were left with three huge bags full of hot dogs but we weren't allowed to drop any off at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen because the organization could be sued if someone were poisoned or some other such nonsense.


A local McDonalds got fined heavily by the county or state for doing that. They always have patties on the grill and when closing time was up, they'd make them into burgers and give them to a bunch of local homeless people. For better or worse, it was exactly the same food people paid for at the McDonalds. The government wouldn't have it.
 
2009-11-27 10:58:16 AM
300 million x 1400 cal
 
2009-11-27 10:58:17 AM
I worked at a store in a strip mall once, where every store shared the same large dumpster. When a bagel shop moved in, there wasn't enough room for everyone's garbage anymore because the damn thing got filled up with the bagels they threw away at the end of each night. The waste was incredible.
 
2009-11-27 10:58:29 AM
Amount of food is not the problem for global hunger. We easily have enough food to feed the world.

The problem is distribution and corruption. We have food for starving people, the problem is GETTING it to them. Third world governments often turn away food, or even worse, just take it for themselves and not give it to the people that need it. There are a ton of problems that are leading to mass hunger. Amount of food is not one of them.

That being said, wasting food is a bad thing, and we SHOULD be doing more to cut down on throwing it out.

As individuals it's as simple as making only what you need, then using and eating leftovers. As for restaurants and hotels, it gets a lot harder thanks to lawsuits. That's a problem I can't think of a good solution to.
 
2009-11-27 10:58:30 AM
Just adding a voice of support to those who realize that the majority of the 'waste' is government/legislation mandated.

Up here in Canuckistan, Tim Horton's used to sell bags of 'Day Olds' - 1 day old donuts. Haven't seen that in years. And when I worked there when I was 17 (for about 6 weeks) part of the nightly duty was throwing out GARBAGE BAGS full of food that was now 'too old'. Sheesh.

Fear of Litigation drives so much stupidity in North America.

/CAUTION! Sign has sharp edges, etc.
 
2009-11-27 10:58:58 AM
html fail.
TripSixes: 300 million x 1400 cal

is much less than 1 billion x 3000 cal
 
2009-11-27 10:59:19 AM
We rarely throw away food. I'm pretty good about eating leftovers, and I tend to cook just about what's needed for the meal. Leftovers usually end up in fried rice.

It's usually something like "oops, I forgot that bell pepper was in there" and it goes mushy
 
2009-11-27 10:59:50 AM
ZAZ: I grew up at the tail end of the generation when parents were instructed to tell their children factoids like this when they didn't like dinner.

"I don't like Brussels Sprouts."

"There are brazillions of starving children in Africa who..."

If you follow the Ig Nobel awards, you will know that Americans eat until they clear their plates, unlike Europeans who eat until they have had enough.


Yeah, I remember that one as well.
 
2009-11-27 10:59:51 AM
All of you people harping about liability should get informed and present the lamebrained organizers of these events with the facts. A simple GIS revealed this:

"The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, and protects the donor and the recipient agency against any liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct. According to Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code, wholesome food that is properly saved, donated to an approved agency and properly receipted is eligible for an enhanced tax deduction equal to ½ of the donated food's appreciated value."

...

"To augment food rescue in Los Angeles County, 'Feed His People' is now working in conjunction with a Southern California food bank whose facility includes a 24,000 square foot warehouse with freezer and refrigeration space which can hold 4.5 million pounds of food at any given time. "We will pick up the food, transport it and deliver it to the hungry. All we need is your leftover food," says Norwood , "and hopefully, together, we can end hunger in America ""

Source: http://www.1888pressrelease.com/extra-food-hungry-people-what-s-the-problem-1-5- million-t-pr-150829.html
 
2009-11-27 10:59:56 AM
I toss a lot of half eaten old produce (half a head of lettuce, celery...) but that's about it. I better start throwing out a bunch of stuff so I don't look weird.
 
2009-11-27 11:00:54 AM
pvd021: My gf does this. She's a little chubby and always likes to buy a bunch of fruit and produce. She always ends up throwing about 1/3 of it away because it rots faster than she can consume it. This is why i no longer pay for her produce bill.

And what's up with Americans and their love for cheese and sodas. If they just cut those 2 things out, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be so many hippo hopping women thumping about.


I don't get the soda thing either...but don't you dare talk about cheese like that. I'd live entirely off of bacon and cheese if I could.
 
2009-11-27 11:00:56 AM
I don't know which way to go with this. My first thought was this study is complete and utter bullshiat. No one I have ever known throws out 40% of the food they buy. Maybe 10-20% with things like milk going bad, rotten vegetables, and other perishables, but I would think that would even be extremely high.

Now for all of the people that think we should just be giving this food to other parts of the world, I can't quite justify that either. If the world's population keeps increasing at the rate that it is, soon enough we will all be out of food anyway. Starvation is a fantastic way to keep human population down. Besides, do we really want the poor, sick and homeless reproducing?
 
2009-11-27 11:01:01 AM
subby's math is terrible

30 million in US x 40% = 120 million

last count i heard close to a billion people not getting enough food each day.

same waistline?

/I know, they said there would be no math.
 
2009-11-27 11:02:18 AM
Pxtl: PPL_Wannabe: Fairly sure hotels, hospitals, ships, restaurants, etc. are probably the ones most responsible for getting the median up that high. It's not like the average person tosses out half the stuff in their fridge every week.

This. Whenever they list this stuff they never break it down by sector. They're trying to make you feel guilty for letting the lettuce go bad.

I'd wager it's a lot higher than 40%.


I'd point out that the profit margin at restaurants is generally low enough that they are indeed concerned about food cost. What they aren't worried about is people buying more food than they eat and throwing it out later, which is not the fault of the business, but the consumer.

I do agree with you that there is no way the average family is pitching 40% of what it buys, and I also think its hard to believe that this is 1400 calories per person per day. I mean, that means we are buying 4900 calories per day (wow!) and consuming an average of 3500. Ok, American's are lard asses, that much I believe. Still, 3500 calories a day average? I dunno about that. That means we would also be putting on something like 2 pounds a week. We are fat asses, but there is no way we average 100+ pounds overweight.
 
2009-11-27 11:02:38 AM
destrip: All of you people harping about liability should get informed and present the lamebrained organizers of these events with the facts. A simple GIS revealed this:

"The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, and protects the donor and the recipient agency against any liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct. According to Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code, wholesome food that is properly saved, donated to an approved agency and properly receipted is eligible for an enhanced tax deduction equal to ½ of the donated food's appreciated value."

...


Source: http://www.1888pressrelease.com/extra-food-hungry-people-what-s-the-problem-1-5- million-t-pr-150829.html


Any lawyer with half a brain can weasel their way through that language to force a settlement and/or embarrassing public lawsuit.
 
2009-11-27 11:02:48 AM
And yet most places outlaw dumpster diving
 
2009-11-27 11:03:00 AM
bsphotos.com

Move to where the farking food is.

/Oh
/OHHHHHHHHH
 
2009-11-27 11:03:32 AM
Come and get it then.
 
2009-11-27 11:03:41 AM
Not only do Americans waste huge amounts of food, but a lot of the stuff that the average person does eat is terrible. Tons of filler, artificial colors and flavors, ingredients that have been over-processed to the point that they have virtually no nutritional value, empty-calories, chemical preservatives, artificial sweeteners, fat and grease, salt salt salt...

Imagine if people actually appreciated food.
 
2009-11-27 11:03:53 AM
ZAZ:
Cap and trade. Each person is allocated 2,000 calories per day. If you want more, you have to buy calorie allotments from somebody who wants to eat less. In the short term, children will be a great investment. The market will set a price. On food, I mean. Maybe children too. Assuming you distinguish the two.

Gardens, of course, will be illegal because they are impossible to accurately monitor.


You have a future in Washington, Son.
 
2009-11-27 11:03:57 AM
I started a compost pile next to my garden. Any food (within reason) that we don't eat just gets thrown in there. Problem solved.
 
2009-11-27 11:04:54 AM
pvd021: My gf does this. She's a little chubby and always likes to buy a bunch of fruit and produce. She always ends up throwing about 1/3 of it away because it rots faster than she can consume it. This is why i no longer pay for her produce bill.

And what's up with Americans and their love for cheese and sodas. If they just cut those 2 things out, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be so many hippo hopping women thumping about.


Obviously fat chicks are a concern for you. If guys like you would just stop dating girls like your fat little girlfriend, I'm pretty sure the loneliness and rejection would motivate them to slim down and become normal.
 
2009-11-27 11:04:59 AM
Perducci: Imagine if people actually appreciated food.

Food cost money and time, and doesn't have as much delicious fat and sodium.
 
2009-11-27 11:05:36 AM
sboyle1020: I started a compost pile next to my garden. Any food (within reason) that we don't eat just gets thrown in there. Problem solved.

So you're a vegan?
 
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