October 16 Is World Food DayOct 15th, 2013 | By Admin | Category: Community News
By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
According to a 2012 National Resources Defense Council report, more than one third of the food produced in the United States is thrown away uneaten each year. In physical terms, imagine 2.7 million apples and 22,000 pounds of tomatoes thrown away…every 40 minutes. In a news brief entitled Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food From Farm to Fork to Landfill, NRDC revealed that: America trashes up to 40 percent of its food supply each year, valued at $165 billion. The average American family of four throws away the equivalent of $2,275 annually. Food waste is the single largest component of solid waste in U.S. landfills. There has been a 50 percent jump in the amount of U.S. food waste since the 1970s. Just a 15 percent reduction in losses in the U.S. food supply would save enough food to feed 25 million Americans annually. Wasted food is also a waste of natural resources – the energy, water and farmland necessary to grow and produce the food that ends up being discarded. A big part of the blame is the hodge-podge of “sell-by” and “use-by” labeling systems that vary from state to state and company to company, misleading consumers into throwing out perfectly good food, but the report goes on to suggest that American families could save a substantial amount of money in a time of sky-rocketing food prices by shopping more wisely, cooking only the amount of food they will eat and incorporating leftovers into their meal plans. The September issue of Real Simple magazine takes it a step further by suggesting that people honor World Food Day (Oct. 16) this year by donating their surplus non-perishable food items to a local community food bank. In Madison County, local food banks include Consolidated Christian Ministries, and any local churches in Madison, Greenville, Lee, or any other community, that maintain food pantries and accept food donations. Ask your church if it has such a pantry.