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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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4430 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Nov 2009 at 10:50 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-27 11:05:47 AM  
cryinoutloud: 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.


this. every time i go to the grocery store i think about how they can't possibly sell all that food before it goes bad. it's the price we pay for demanding an insane variety at the places where we do our everyday shopping. and yeah, the whole "this is being thrown out, let's ruin it to make sure no one can eat it" mentality seems crazy to me. i mean... if its in the trash anyway, what's the harm? i guess they just don't want homeless camps sprouting up in every grocery store's back parking lot.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2009-11-27 11:06:25 AM  
destrip

Has the Bill Emerson act been effective in its goal? It doesn't seem like a legitimate use of federal power, insofar as it regulates primarily local acts, so state courts in which liability suits are brought may be reluctant to consider state laws preempted.
 
2009-11-27 11:07:01 AM  
Perducci: 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.


Listen pal, if I want to buy Cheez Whiz in a can and spell out my name on Townhouse crackers, that's my own damn business.
 
2009-11-27 11:07:23 AM  
Perducci: Imagine if people actually appreciated food.

I thought evolution took care of that for us:

1. Does it keep me from dying of starvation
2. Is it pleasurable to consume
 
2009-11-27 11:07:34 AM  
I would comment on this but I'm too busy throwing out food I just cooked and didn't bother eating.
 
2009-11-27 11:07:59 AM  
<b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=4801641&IDComment=56241366#c562 41366">ZAZ</a>:</b> <i>Has the Bill Emerson act been effective in its goal? It doesn't seem like a legitimate use of federal power, insofar as it regulates primarily local acts, so state courts in which liability suits are brought may be reluctant to consider state laws preempted.</i>

this seems like an excellent forum to discuss technical legal questions. about my penas.
 
2009-11-27 11:08:35 AM  
Lawyers...is why we cant have nice things.

They need to eat, so they need to sue...now the hungry cant have excess food.... sounds fair to me? perhaps if we all stopped hiring them, then they would find a way to change that rule....so they could eat.

//what a wonderful world....
 
2009-11-27 11:08:48 AM  
Pxtl: 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?


Hell no! Since when does having a compost pile and a garden make you a vegan? I do enjoy vegetables with my meat.
 
2009-11-27 11:09:13 AM  
Starving college kid here: my fridge is bare at most times. Nothing lasts long in there. No way in hell I'm throwing out 40% of my food.
 
2009-11-27 11:10:14 AM  
Well, bear in mind that a lot of what's counted as waste isn't really. A lot of people think they waste nothing, but when you count up the banana peels, corn cobs, melon rinds, and coffee grounds - that's food waste.

A lot of the rest is from spoilage or leftovers. And restaurants and institutions waste more than households. Grocery stores too are big culprits - they stuff dumpsters with day-old breads, expired meats, and moldy fruit. All that stuff counts too.
 
2009-11-27 11:10:53 AM  
I just wish you could buy half-loaves/packages of bread, hotdog buns, and hamburger buns. That is the majority of the food I do not consume before it goes moldy.
 
2009-11-27 11:11:09 AM  
Omegamerc: I would comment on this but I'm too busy throwing out food I just cooked and didn't bother eating.

Oh, no, go ahead and cook anyway, Lois, and we'll throw it out. I don't want you to get rusty.
 
2009-11-27 11:11:51 AM  
There are only two things I never waste: food and ammunition.
 
2009-11-27 11:11:53 AM  
i46.tinypic.com
 
2009-11-27 11:11:54 AM  
ZAZ:

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.


I was a visitor to a family thanksgiving yesterday. One of the more "roundish" moms asked if her son had cleaned his plate. She went on the note that she and her husband were also part of the clean plate club.

It makes sense if you take only what you need, but this was not the case.
 
2009-11-27 11:11:58 AM  
Aside from not tossing as much to begin with, composting is a good way to keep that stuff doing something useful. Seattle recently got composing for the whole city, all leftover food can go in there and it takes some pressure off the landfills while being reused.
 
2009-11-27 11:12:48 AM  
sboyle1020: I do enjoy vegetables with my meat.

That's what she said.
 
2009-11-27 11:13:22 AM  
Twigz221: 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.


This
 
2009-11-27 11:14:42 AM  
Claudia Chafer: ZAZ:

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.

I was a visitor to a family thanksgiving yesterday. One of the more "roundish" moms asked if her son had cleaned his plate. She went on the note that she and her husband were also part of the clean plate club.

It makes sense if you take only what you need, but this was not the case.


www.wired.com
 
2009-11-27 11:14:56 AM  
clearly this article is 100% accurate.
 
2009-11-27 11:15:20 AM  
GORDON: I just wish you could buy half-loaves/packages of bread, hotdog buns, and hamburger buns. That is the majority of the food I do not consume before it goes moldy.

This!!! Maybe if manufacturers stopped packaging food in behemoth sizes, not so much would get thrown out. I throw out tons of food because it goes bad before I get a chance to eat it. Believe it or not, some of us aren't shoveling food down our throats from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep.
 
2009-11-27 11:15:52 AM  
I don't think this is too accurate, at least not in my experience. Maybe there ARE a lot of wasteful people out there, but 40% seems a tad high.
 
2009-11-27 11:16:08 AM  
stored food is stored food, once it becomes fresh or prepared, you aren't gonna feed anyone across the world with it. period.
 
2009-11-27 11:17:22 AM  
I've thrown out about 40% of the dates I've eaten.
 
2009-11-27 11:17:47 AM  
Crackers Are a Family Food: GORDON: I just wish you could buy half-loaves/packages of bread, hotdog buns, and hamburger buns. That is the majority of the food I do not consume before it goes moldy.

This!!! Maybe if manufacturers stopped packaging food in behemoth sizes, not so much would get thrown out. I throw out tons of food because it goes bad before I get a chance to eat it. Believe it or not, some of us aren't shoveling food down our throats from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep.


But then you get the Greens biatching about 'excessive packaging'.
 
2009-11-27 11:17:52 AM  
farm4.static.flickr.com

You gets nuthin

If only we could take those wasteful Americans and grind them up into a wafer like food product, then ship it to countries in need.
 
2009-11-27 11:18:19 AM  
que lastima: this. every time i go to the grocery store i think about how they can't possibly sell all that food before it goes bad. it's the price we pay for demanding an insane variety at the places where we do our everyday shopping. and yeah, the whole "this is being thrown out, let's ruin it to make sure no one can eat it" mentality seems crazy to me. i mean... if its in the trash anyway, what's the harm? i guess they just don't want homeless camps sprouting up in every grocery store's back parking lot.

I'm curious, what is everyone's solution to this?

Maybe we could cut all food subsidies, but even then it seems like it is in the store's best interest to keep a certain level of stock. Whether the price of what they throw out is X or 2X no well-run business is going to throw out anything they don't have to, nor deliberately buy too much. They likely have pars for any given week and purchase the amount that will maximize sales and minimize loss.

Now, increasing that cost to 2X would make a store more likely to make discounted nearly-past-the-date items more easy to find I guess, but I'd wager we'd still see waste in those stores.

I also suspect with regards to something like dairy products, deliberately giving them to the homeless past the date would indeed end up qualifying as gross negligence. Should starving people not be covered by food safety laws? Tough decision in some cases.
 
2009-11-27 11:18:32 AM  
D-Liver: 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.

Oh you guys worked magic down there. While I was going there my girlfriend worked at the Coral Tree Cafe and brought home tons of leftover sandwiches and goodies at the end of the day. I don't think I paid for food my entire last quarter there.

/yes, bro, cool story blahblah
 
2009-11-27 11:18:41 AM  
What? Fatties like to throw food away? Say what?
 
2009-11-27 11:18:58 AM  
Dancin_In_Anson: The only solution is strict controls on consumption.

We need a program to limit how much people are allowed to eat. We can institute a system of "credits" and ration them.

We would call it "Scarfin' Credits"
 
2009-11-27 11:19:03 AM  
I'm not a big fan of waste so I make to use all foodstuffs.

Older bread gets put in the freezer and is used to make bread crumbs, crutons, and stuffing.

Older vegetables get turned into stock, along with chicken parts, meat parts, or seafood parts. (Although, the only thing my wife and I seem to let go of is lettuce.)

If we use fresh herbs, they get dried.

Leftovers get reconstituted into something else. You'd be surprised what you can make a meatloaf out of, even when you have no leftover meat.

If things aren't salvageable for human consumption, they go to the pile or to the animals.

\use what ya got
 
2009-11-27 11:19:03 AM  
Crackers Are a Family Food: GORDON: I just wish you could buy half-loaves/packages of bread, hotdog buns, and hamburger buns. That is the majority of the food I do not consume before it goes moldy.

This!!! Maybe if manufacturers stopped packaging food in behemoth sizes, not so much would get thrown out. I throw out tons of food because it goes bad before I get a chance to eat it. Believe it or not, some of us aren't shoveling food down our throats from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep.


They do sell half loaves of bread, you're shopping at the wrong store. And you do realize that drawer below your fridge is called a "freezer" and you can put stuff in there and it will keep it fresh. And get this, when you take it out, it thaws and you can eat it again!

I have a loaf of bread and hot dog buns in my freezer as we speak. And frozen bread thaws really quick.
 
2009-11-27 11:19:26 AM  
I wonder if this counts the food service industry as well (drtfa)...they waste a LOT of food.
 
2009-11-27 11:19:45 AM  
ObscureNameHere: 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.


** Sigh **

Anyway, there's an all-you-can-eat sushi joint I went to that has a novel concept.

You start out with your basic buffet price (lunch or dinner).
If you take more than you can eat you get billed extra for what's left on your plate!

Actually, I'm not too fond of AYCE buffet places. I find I get satisfied to quickly for it to be worth it.

But when I do get roped into going to one (as part a group get-together) do notice the fatassess filling up their plates 5-6 times to my two!
 
2009-11-27 11:21:48 AM  
Crackers Are a Family Food: GORDON: I just wish you could buy half-loaves/packages of bread, hotdog buns, and hamburger buns. That is the majority of the food I do not consume before it goes moldy.

This!!! Maybe if manufacturers stopped packaging food in behemoth sizes, not so much would get thrown out. I throw out tons of food because it goes bad before I get a chance to eat it. Believe it or not, some of us aren't shoveling food down our throats from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep.


Use your freezer. Most basic bread products freeze quite well.
 
2009-11-27 11:22:20 AM  
Day_Old_Dutchie: ObscureNameHere: 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.

** Sigh **

Anyway, there's an all-you-can-eat sushi joint I went to that has a novel concept.

You start out with your basic buffet price (lunch or dinner).
If you take more than you can eat you get billed extra for what's left on your plate!

Actually, I'm not too fond of AYCE buffet places. I find I get satisfied to quickly for it to be worth it.

But when I do get roped into going to one (as part a group get-together) do notice the fatassess filling up their plates 5-6 times to my two!


Ugh, any sort of buffet grosses me out. Just big spoons in big vats of stuff and people with their hands all over them. As you can imagine, I hate cruises.
 
2009-11-27 11:22:44 AM  
to the people rooting through my garbage: beer bottles are not edible.
 
2009-11-27 11:22:49 AM  
I lived in the US for a while, and I was amazed at how much food people threw away. Also, how much perfectly good stuff people put out on the kerb because they needed something newer. It boggled the mind.
 
2009-11-27 11:23:37 AM  
Crackers Are a Family Food: GORDON: I just wish you could buy half-loaves/packages of bread, hotdog buns, and hamburger buns. That is the majority of the food I do not consume before it goes moldy.

This!!! Maybe if manufacturers stopped packaging food in behemoth sizes, not so much would get thrown out. I throw out tons of food because it goes bad before I get a chance to eat it. Believe it or not, some of us aren't shoveling food down our throats from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep.


you haven't watched the "Today Show" have you? every day they are on there clamering about buying in larger quantities, save the enviornment by not buying all the packaging that goes in the land fills, etc.

/this is a double edged sword my friend, I don't like it either.
/prepared food is a local commodity, not international.
 
2009-11-27 11:23:57 AM  
FAIL. My waisteline requires way more than 1400 calories.
 
2009-11-27 11:24:48 AM  
Doggiewoggie: I lived in the US for a while, and I was amazed at how much food people threw away. Also, how much perfectly good stuff people put out on the kerb because they needed something newer. It boggled the mind.

I'm getting a kick out of your comment since I replace my printer every time it needs a new cartridge.
 
2009-11-27 11:25:05 AM  
I know this is old, and kind of outdated, but it has seriously helped me lose a ton of weight. Link (new window)

When you think about the mindless eating you do throughout the day, how much of that food do you actually enjoy or are you eating out of boredom/oh look its 12, I'll eat a lunch even though i'm not hungry.

The best way for me to control food intake is this, "Is the flavor of this food good enough to justify the calories?" When you start measuring your meals in that way, you start leaving a lot of food behind. I'm down to 1 meal a day, 2 if I'm feeling like splurging. But the food I do eat is full of fats, sugars, and all kinds of terrible things. I've lost 25 lbs in the past 3 months and I sure as hell don't skimp on liquor, bacon, cheese, or hot sauce.


As for destroying throw away stuff, I had to do that when I used to work at Big Lots, for anything we threw away, the best was getting rid of furniture, my manager and I would chuck crowbars through headboards.

/has to not go to the gym in 26 minutes.
 
2009-11-27 11:26:38 AM  
Day_Old_Dutchie: But when I do get roped into going to one (as part a group get-together) do notice the fatassess filling up their plates 5-6 times to my two!

wow, who would have guessed that people who eat more than you on a daily basis also eat more than you when you go an all you can eat restaurant!

I don't think fatasses can be blamed for everything in this thread though. I mean, which is it, do they eat everything put in front of them, or do they throw away 40% of potential calories? You can't have it both ways, and if fatties can eat 5-6 plates of food, they definitely aren't the ones looking into their fridge and confused by how they will manage to eat everything before it goes bad.
 
2009-11-27 11:27:16 AM  
vudukungfu: 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.


These guys had a similar problem with forgotten fridges. (new window)

/somehow couldn't find an image of the actual open fridge, so settle for subpar AMV, I guess.
 
2009-11-27 11:28:08 AM  
sboyle1020: 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.

When my brother-in-law ran a ( Dunkin Donuts franchise, the rule was that you had to throw out any donuts that were out more than 4 hours and they required a certain minimum of Donuts be up at any time. The result was MASSIVE wastage during the slow times. Since he could never get official permission from corporate to donate them anywhere, we came up with a workaround:

His donut disposal trash cans just happened to be several very clean storage containers in his walk-in freezer. And me and several other family members just happened to be the folks who would come by and be his garbage disposal guys. If a local homeless activist friend of mine just happened to have a few dozen ziploc bags with a dozen mixed donuts each to hand out to his regulars every morning? Why that must have been pure coincidence...
 
2009-11-27 11:28:44 AM  
Doggiewoggie: I lived in the US for a while, and I was amazed at how much food people threw away. Also, how much perfectly good stuff people put out on the kerb because they needed something newer. It boggled the mind.

Yeah, there are a lot of wasteful people, but not all of us are like that.
 
2009-11-27 11:29:02 AM  
As the primary provider for a family of 6 and the one who does 90% of the grocery shopping as well as the cooking, I can tell you that this is BS in our house. We watch our food budget closely and prepare meals with the correct number of potions for the number of people eating dinner that night - my kids know they are not allowed to bring a friend to dinner without asking or there is a good chance there will not be enough to go around. Leftovers are almost always eaten within the next two days. I would estimate that we throw no more that 10-15% of all food purchased/prepared, and this mostly amounts to a handfull of veggies left in the bowl or on the plate that would not be worth saving.
 
2009-11-27 11:29:29 AM  
Doggiewoggie: I lived in the US for a while, and I was amazed at how much food people threw away. Also, how much perfectly good stuff people put out on the kerb because they needed something newer. It boggled the mind.

it boggles my mind, and I've lived here my entire life. Today is one of the most depressing days of the year for me. If Black Friday shows what our country is about, get me the hell out of here.
 
2009-11-27 11:29:35 AM  
Girion47: I know this is old, and kind of outdated, but it has seriously helped me lose a ton of weight. Link (new window)

When you think about the mindless eating you do throughout the day, how much of that food do you actually enjoy or are you eating out of boredom/oh look its 12, I'll eat a lunch even though i'm not hungry.

The best way for me to control food intake is this, "Is the flavor of this food good enough to justify the calories?" When you start measuring your meals in that way, you start leaving a lot of food behind. I'm down to 1 meal a day, 2 if I'm feeling like splurging. But the food I do eat is full of fats, sugars, and all kinds of terrible things. I've lost 25 lbs in the past 3 months and I sure as hell don't skimp on liquor, bacon, cheese, or hot sauce.


As for destroying throw away stuff, I had to do that when I used to work at Big Lots, for anything we threw away, the best was getting rid of furniture, my manager and I would chuck crowbars through headboards.

/has to not go to the gym in 26 minutes.


I'm no nutritionist, but I'm pretty sure 1 meal a day isn't very healthy. In fact, I'm pretty sure they all 1-3 large ones. But hey, if it's working, good for you.
 
2009-11-27 11:30:22 AM  
Where are the muffin tops!?

/Rebecca DeMornay
 
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