Picky Eaters — The Shocking Story of Wasted Food in the US

Food waste in landfill
Photo credit: PBS NewsHour / YouTube
Reading Time: 1 minute

Millions of American families struggle to put food on the table every day. At the same time, nearly half of all the fruits and vegetables grown in the US ends up in landfills where they rot — releasing large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that traps over 20 times the heat that CO₂ does.

Why are they rejected? It’s about money. If a vegetable is the wrong size, wrong shape, wrong color, wrong whatever, it won’t get the best price — so out it goes.

Wouldn’t it make sense to donate these less-than-perfect-looking fruits and vegetables to the millions of poor?

In this short video, you’ll learn more about the scope of the problem — and about some innovative programs that find a way to end the unconscionable waste, and redirect the food to where it can do the most good.

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3 responses to “Picky Eaters — The Shocking Story of Wasted Food in the US”

  1. Erica Padmore says:

    First, you have to buy only as much food as you’re going to actually eat. Second, why is there that obsession with good-looking fruits and veggies? Isn’t it all about taste?…Crazy people.

  2. editorsteve says:

    So… watch the video, and it simply does not support the idea that “nearly half” of all food is thrown away before it reaches consumers. The video says 1 to 30% is rejected for market and 40% ends up uneaten. Having tried to collect these statistics myself, I know they are about as fuzzy as moldy peaches or Trump’s haircut. Most food waste is generated by consumers buying unwisely and throwing out a quarter to a third of what they buy. Studies suggest there are HUGE regional differences and family size and income differences in the consumer-discard number, but there are few recent studies at all!. The video dances around this inconvenient truth and ignores the solution — better consumer education.

    In the future, maybe it would be wiser to give these types of stories maybe 1% of the reporting effort and thought of, say, Saudi involvement in 9-11.

    I love the idea that a few farms are cooperating with food banks. But gee, they need a better tax deduction or credit (bet they want a credit… but the video confuses the two)! These aren’t for the most part family farms. They are corporate farms. Maybe they should get a better deal, though. What’s the deal now? And how much money to corporate farms would save how much food for the food banks?

  3. High Ranking Official says:

    Absolutely outrageous! Millions of people living in poverty in the US wondering where their next meal is coming from and we have perfectly edible food being wasted? Totally unacceptable. This has to change.