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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:39 PM

Half of world food goes to waste, global study says

Source: NBC News

As much as half of the food produced worldwide ends up being thrown away every year because shoppers are too choosy about the appearance of fruit and vegetables, a report said Thursday.

The world produces about four billion metric tonnes of food a year but up 2 billion tonnes is never eaten, the global study by the London-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers said.

The organisation lays the blame at every step of the food chain, from farming practices to consumers.

"With current practices wasting up to 50 percent of all food produced, engineers need to act now and promote sustainable ways to reduce waste from the farm to the supermarket and to the consumer," the report said.

Read more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/10/16449710-half-of-world-food-goes-to-waste-global-study-says?lite

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:43 PM

1. Instead of throwing it away, donate it to food banks and food pantries. Today they

don't even bother sending vegetables that are not perfectly shaped to the stores. The farms throw them away instead if the are not perfect. People that are hungry don't care if a tomato is not perfectly round or if a carrot has two bottoms.

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Response to appleannie1 (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:45 PM

5. I can hardly bear to go in high scale groceries like Whole Foods,seeing all that expensive deli food

that will surely be discarded. I saw a comment/explanation from workers once that stated the reasoning why more food is not donated--specifically from WF, but it certainly seemed inadequate (to say the least).

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:49 PM

6. I once asked a worker why they throw 11 eggs away if the twelth one gets cracked. She said it was

because of cross contamination. They find a reason for everything

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Response to appleannie1 (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:45 PM

7. ? That's why the seal the eggs with waterglass.... so bacteria etc. can't get into the shell.

?

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Response to appleannie1 (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:15 AM

9. You are ignoring the distribution system

My father had a small farm in the 1950s and early 1960s, he sold eggs, corn and Apples. He had a problem with Apples and Eggs, everyone wanted them to be perfect. Thus he ended up keeping the "Bad" ones for us kids, and sold only the "Good" ones.

Now, he had the ability to sell directly to the public for he lived near a large city, but what he could NOT sell directly he had a difficult time to sell wholesale. Wholesalers wanted large amounts, gathered by others and meeting their standards. Small Farmers (Less then 50 acres) just could not and can not produce the needs desired by these distributors. Thus he used them on the farm (i.e. for cattle feed, or feed to his family) OR thrown away. He could NOT afford to haul a pickup size load to any distributor who wanted tractor trailer loads.

The same today, these farmers have to sell the best, the worse they can NOT get rid of. Food banks do get a good bit of it, but most food banks are in urban areas, and farmers are in rural areas, even if they are small farmers (And with most small farmers, they primary source of income is some other type of employment, the farm is a supplemental source of income, one he or she works when he or she is not doing their primary source of income).

If the farmers are to far away from urban areas, they ability to even know of what food bank is where is slim, furthermore gasoline (or diesel) cost money and any heavy load reduced fuel efficiency to less then 5 mpg. Thus you are looking at $20-50 in fuel just to haul it from the farm to the food bank, $20-50 the small farmer does NOT have to spare.

Sorry, the food banks may have to have a web site and try to contact farmers in their area to donate such farms, on the condition the food bank will pick it up. Announcements in rural churches is a good way to do this (Rural communities are more dependent on their churches for information then are urban communities, thus the higher church attendance in rural areas). Churches could be a good place to collect such items for later pickup and distribution (Grange halls are another place for such collections, but the Grange's hay day was around 1900 and most no longer exists, but those that do can be and are centers of their community).

Even larger farmers would contribute, if they can AND the costs are NOT excessive. Farmers gets about 10-20 cents out of every dollar spends on food, the rest is the cost of distribution (and that 10-20 cents includes paying all the costs to raise the food).

http://www.thehandthatfeedsus.org/farm2fork_As-Food-Price-Rise.cfm

For more on the Grange:
http://www.nationalgrange.org/

Find a grange page:
http://www.nationalgrange.org/news/10166-2/

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:43 PM

2. It is hard, especially for singles, not to waste, but I surely have been working on it...

I'm much more conscious about freezing extra portions and/or cooking fresh produce immediately. It not only saves from waste, but is ultimately time saving as well.

I'm horrified to think how much food I (and my family) have wasted over the years. But, along with being conscious of how much I drive, how much gas used, I'm very conscious of food savings and food waste.

Perhaps the one good thing to come from this horrible recession is that others may be doing similarly.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:43 PM

3. I won't buy any of it. It's GMO, pesticide laden and basically poison. When they stop that, I'll buy

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:45 PM

4. Other countries don't even want our food anymore. It's mostly frankenfood. They are afraid with good

reason

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:16 PM

8. on top of 10 for 1

 

Especially wasteful as it takes something like 10,000 calories of petroleum to drive the tractors, make the fertilizer, and deliver 1000 calories worth of food. No oil, no food.

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