Places like dear Somalia are going through a devastating drought, and in America there are still people suffering from chronic hunger who would love to have the excessive amount of uneaten foods being disposed of every day. Each year at least 120 billion pounds of food is wasted in America. This is heart-breaking & unfortunate, and instead of just criticizing or feeling helpless about this issue…we all can help in many ways to decrease the problem.
- Many households waste tons of food and then it ends up in massive garbage dumps, which increases methane emissions in the landfills & causes environmental problems as well. Methane, a greenhouse gas, is way more harmful/deadly than Carbon Monoxide. Some solutions include finding out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside the refrigerator, not putting excessive amounts on our plates & then disposing of the rest (Our eyes being bigger than our stomachs), not forgetting or wasting leftovers placed in the fridge, and grocery planning with meal plans & expiration dates in mind, which is also more healthier/cost effective than eating out consistently at restaurants.
- Every day restaurants and food stores throw away unsold items that could go to those who are in need. Of course, they claim it is a liability problem so no one is at fault for a person becoming ill, but it is really about businesses that want to gain profit from all of their items instead of giving away free unsold food to the hungry. Fortunately, there are some food businesses that partner with communities and organizations to give away unsold food. Grocery stores like Sprouts support organizations like local food banks & Starbucks has now started giving away ready to eat fresh meals through FoodShare program, which also partner’s with food banks that help feed the hungry and homeless. Of course, supporting and donating to non-profit organizations/charities is a great way to give back and help in fighting chronic hunger. Hopefully in the near future more food chains will not throw away their unsold food, and instead give it away to those who are suffering from chronic hunger.
- Being grateful and having a caring/sensitive conscience are some of the beginning steps to help decrease food waste as well. I believe this because if someone genuinely cares about the problem & has immense empathy for those who suffer from chronic hunger, including precious children, then this makes it more natural & easier to actually want to do more & implement change.
Of course, there are other great ways to help decrease and eventually end food waste . The suggestions and information above are ways we can directly help, but the agricultural system also needs changes as well… such as food crops being disposed of or forgotten before getting the chance to be distributed. All in all, no matter who we are or where we live in the world….implementing positive change should be a shared responsibility. Let’s not think we have to be wealthy to make a difference!
*** If you would like to help dear Somalia due to the devastating current drought, then here are some organizations to research & donate to: Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, & UNICEF.***