If you knew that every year each individual American threw away 200 pounds of food, would you be more conscious of what went in your trash bag? If you knew that the emissions released by rotting food are more harmful than CO2, would you make an effort to change your habits?
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute have come together to form an alliance and are working toward publicizing the stats above in an effort to change consumer habits, reduce the amount of food sent to landfills and increase donations to food banks.
According to recent reports, a substantial portion of food is thrown away everyday because of cosmetic imperfections or overstocking, despite being completely edible. Although Americans have become increasingly aware of proper disposal for recyclables and yard clearance, they’re still lacking when it comes to properly disposing of excess food waste.
The three-year initiative hopes to draw attention to the importance of food composting—today only about two percent of food waste is composted or redirected from landfills, compared with the percentage of paper that is recycled, which has risen to 62 percent.
The alliance has agreed on a three-step plan of action: Conduct a comprehensive survey, influence public policy focused on the expansion of food banks, and research new technologies and practices that could further encourage the composing and responsible management of food waste.
Here’s something to ponder: In a country that currently has 50 million households plagued with food insecurities, if we could recover just one-fifth of our yearly food waste, we could feed 10 million of those who may go hungry. Charity, plus environmental sustainability, equals a really cool thing.