Reconciling Food Waste & Hungry Americans

A report out this week by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that nearly 1/3 (ONE THIRD!) of the food Americans bought went to waste. That is roughly 133 billion pounds of food ( Now consider this- in 2012, 49.0 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children (

In cased you missed that: 133 billions pounds of food was thrown away while 49 million Americans went hungry. OR 7.5 pounds of food per day for each hungry American Neighbor went to landfills. To me what this shows is that we need to collectively, drastically, change the way we look at food: how we prioritize getting food to hungry bellies and change how society handles food waste.

Enter the Food Recovery Network. This agency takes leftover food from college cafeterias, food that would otherwise be thrown away (and contribute to that 133 billion pounds of wasted food), pack it up, weigh it and donate it to emergency shelters and other agencies that feed our hungry neighbors. There isn’t a chapter in Kansas or Missouri but I hope that changes soon.

Food Recovery Network

But this is a multi-layered issue and will need multiple solutions and saving college leftovers is just one way. What do you see as other ways, big or small, that can shift how Americans treat food? Commit to buying less at the grocery store? Donating almost expired items to a local food bank? Vowing to eat leftovers over throwing them out?

How will you reconcile the fact that 1/3 of our food goes to the dump while so many neighbors go hungry?