Sunday, January 18, 2009
Food Waste Reduction Challenge
So my fellow Washingtonian Blogger Crunchy Chicken has set out on another challenge on her blog and I personally have been thinking about how I can reduce my food waste for awhile now. Having a compost bin has really really opened my eyes into seeing exactly how much waste that could have been eaten, but instead it went bad.
While I do think composting is EXCELLENT and creates some of the best soil out there, I still can't get over how much was edible before it made it into that bin. I've decided that my crisper in my fridge should be dubbed the rotten food maker because that's what it ends up being!
Consider this: 50% of the garbage that goes into the landfill is edible food and the food that does go into the landfill produces methane gas landfills put out. Ick. Glad I don't' live next to the dump. I don't think our landfill up here takes the methane and uses to to create energy. It would be great if they did. more research on that later.
But also consider how many people around you go hungry because of their lack of food--especially nutritious foods like veggies & fruits. Consider these sobering facts on World Hunger:
*More than 840 million people in the world are malnourished — 799 million of them live in the developing world.
*More than 153 million of the world's malnourished people are children under the age of 5.
Six million children under the age of 5 die every year as a result of hunger.
*Malnutrition can severely affect a child's intellectual development. Malnourished children often have stunted growth and score significantly lower on math and language achievement tests than do well-nourished children.
*Lack of dietary diversity and essential minerals and vitamins also contributes to increased child and adult mortality. Vitamin A deficiency impairs the immune system, increasing the annual death toll from measles and other diseases by an estimated 1.3 million-2.5 million children.
*While every country in the world has the potential of growing enough food to feed itself, 54 nations currently do not produce enough food to feed their populations, nor can they afford to import the necessary commodities to make up the gap. Most of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.
*Most of the widespread hunger in a world of plenty results from grinding, deeply rooted poverty. In any given year, however, between 5 and 10 percent of the total can be traced to specific events: droughts or floods, armed conflict, political, social and economic disruptions.
Stats from Care.org.
I know you are saying to yourself, yeah yeah...but we don't' live in Africa or China and there is hardly any hunger issues here in the US? Or it there?...
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that in 2007:
36.2 million people lived in households considered to be food insecure.
Of these 36.2 million, 23.8 million are adults (10.6 percent of all adults) and 12.4 million are children (16.9 percent of all children).
The number of people in the worst-off households increased to 11.9 from 10.8 in 2005. This increase in the number of people in the worst-off category is consistent with other studies and the Census Bureau poverty data, which show worsening conditions for the poorest Americans.
Black (22.2 percent) and Hispanic (20.1 percent) households experienced food insecurity at far higher rates than the national average.
The ten states with the highest food insecurity rates in 2007 were Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Maine, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. " Courtesy of Frac.org.
Makes you think doesn't it? I know it makes me. And it makes me sad too. Let's not forget the frugal side of this and consider how much food not only am I wasting but the $$ I'm losing by throwing it out! Not good.
Anyway, so how many of you want to join me? Or wait, how many of you just want to consider how much you throw out that COULD have been eaten if you had just monitored what was in your fridge a bit more??
I think that might be an easier challenge for many of you including myself!
Posted by MKD at 12:46 PM