How much of your last meal did you actually eat? How much did you throw away? I don’t mean to cause any undue feelings of guilt, but according to a recent CNN article, we waste tons of food. To be specific, 1.3 billion tons per year. Apparently, that’s equivalent to 8.6 million adult blue whales. I can’t visualize that many of anything together, let alone blue whales, but I’m sure it would be jaw-dropping.
The amount of food we waste is unsettling news to say the least. And of course, living in one of the world’s wealthier nations, we probably do a little more eating and wasting than others. But what gives this news greater cause for concern is the world’s growing population. Recent projections put the global population at 9 billion by the year 2050. All of those people will need to eat—and most of our farmland is already in full use.
Hmm. Rest your chin on your fist and start thinking about that one.
The good news is, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Anything to reduce the “blue-whale count” would be beneficial. Consider these ideas:
- Buy a little less at the grocery store; go back for more if you run out.
- Take home your restaurant leftovers—and more importantly, eat them!
- Donate the cans of food lining the back of your shelves to a local food pantry.
These are just starting points. The point is, we can all probably find ways to waste less.
The availability of food will become a bigger issue as the world’s population continues to grow. However, could we reduce the size of the issue by become smarter shoppers and more efficient eaters? It’s something to think about as you eat your sandwich—including the crust.