Let me tell you something you may already know: food is for eating! It is grown with the thought that the 7 billion people living in the world will be able to sustain themselves through this harvest.
Lately, the topic of wasted food has been sweeping the nation. Governments are noticing that the ‘buy one get one free’ deals (BOGOF) are a factor behind the huge amounts of food that is bought and wasted on the consumer level. The governments are also saying that rather than being sent to the landfill, this food can be turned into an energy source. Which is a better alternative than to simply dump the food in trash where it decomposes and creates a methane gas that contributes to climate change.
Supermarkets on the other hand, such as Whole Foods, are finding ways to turn the food into fertilizer. So rather than donate the food, they are hoping to turn it into fertilizer that they can then eventually sell to their customers. And when it comes to customers themselves, the thought is, higher prices on food will discourage most to throw away unused cheese or milk, simply because the cardboard says it reached its sell-by-date.
But I feel the entire story is all wrong, and none of these article or initiatives seem to address the most important topic at hand: food is for eating, to be consumed by people. It isn’t grown to be turned into fertilizer, and is not meant for energy use…if it was, what would be the point of wasting so much water, land and fertilizer into growing it in the first place? This just doesn’t seem right.
So while I’m happy to see more people talking about food waste, I’m sad to see that the real reason behind why it is morally and economically wrong isn’t addressed. Instead, companies and governments seem to focus on what to do with the waste product to make a profit, as opposed to focus on stopping the problem in the first place. Ex: an awareness campaign about a law that takes away liability from organizations that want to donate produce to food banks and charities.
I feel that this conversation is moving in the wrong direction. So we, the consumers and advocates for food security and environment, need to start educating people about laws that protect donors, and educate the public about the need to demand that our governments and supermarkets change their behaviors.
Do any of you agree?
With much love,