RP – Social: Clean your plates!


“A 2004 study showed that forty to fifty per cent of all food ready for harvest in the United States never gets eaten” (Jones, 2014). The amount of food that’s thrown away across the world each day is absolutely despicable. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released an estimate between 2010 and 2012 that estimated nearly 1 in 8 people in our world are “suffering from chronic undernourishment.” The first biggest change that our society needs to make is learning how to reduce our food waste. In order to do this, we must learn how to cut down the resources we use and adopt better techniques for predicting how much will be needed per day.

In this day and age, it is accurate to say that most of the modern world is aware of the hunger problem in our world. It is also obvious that the amount of perfectly good food that is thrown away each day can and should be drastically lower. Some people have begun to take action and do what they can to address this serious societal problem. A new term, “dumpster diving” has been adapted to describe those who eat by rummaging through the dumpsters at grocery stores. They generally find plenty of perfectly fine, packaged foods that are thrown out because their packaging date is expired, however these people tend to find that the food has not gone bad. It is a trend that is catching on around the country, and helping to make a positive impact, once people get used to the idea of it.

The first step to making a change is awareness. That is exactly the goal of The Food Waste Collective. Food Tank, the food think tank recently published an article about an event that the FWC held in England this past October. They collected food surplus food from restaurants, stores, and community members and then redistributed it to the public for free. Publishing information like this shows that society is becoming more aware of the problem and there are starting to be more active supporters against wasting food. They emphasize that it’s important to start recognition at a local level so that people can see just how much impact their own community has. Change is starting to happen and it’s amazing.

The way I see it, there are three major areas to focus on. The first as mentioned above is to reduce wasting food. The second is to find ways to reuse and redistribute it to effectively reduce the hunger in the world. And finally, we as a society need to form a better relationship with our food and the importance of meals. Food tank emphasized in their article how “the mission of the FWC goes beyond simply providing meals to those who may need it, but brings attention to the lack of social importance that should be placed on meals” (Craig, 2014). I completely agree with this article and the missions of both Food Tank and the FWC. I think this is a topic that is rarely talked about, but is something that affects each and every one of us multiple times a day. I think once people take personal responsibility, we will start to see change on a larger level.

The information provided in this article and from Food Tank in general appears to be reliable and high quality. They are listed as a non-profit organization and state that they are a site for “farmers and producers, policy makers and government leaders, researchers and scientists, academics and journalists, and the funding and donor communities.” It appears to be openly biased in favor of social issues, however this topic will only have that spin on it, so it should not conflict at all.

Sources:

http://endhunger.org/food_waste.htm

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm

http://foodtank.com/news/2014/11/social-surplus-reducing-waste-feeding-the-hungry-and-creating-community

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