It feels rather strange to be writing about the topic of wasted food once again in such short order, especially since my attention span is short and usually tends to wander from random topic to topic. But it turns out that events are happening in this domain that seem to line up with my attention being drawn to the subject.
A few weeks ago, after a lot of thought, I wrote a piece about the wastage of food, specifically bread, that I see at the food bank I volunteer at. I called the piece The Economics of Wasted Bread. Having not followed the subject too closely in the past, I felt that I might be a lonely voice in the wilderness speaking on the topic of food waste. It turns out that I was wrong.
More recently I posted a blog where I provided a link to an article addressing food wastage. I had found the link in an e-mail from an organization dealing with social issues. It turns out that there are other more capable people thinking about this subject. If you track down the links in the article I pointed to, you will see that some of the numbers quoted in there come from a report by an organization called the NRDC. If you really want to dive into the weeds on this topic, you can read their complete report here. The folks at NRDC tackle a variety of subjects of the “tree-hugging” variety, and having encountered them in a different life, I can say that the report ought to be taken with a grain of salt. But having said that, and also based on my own experiences, I have little doubt that the general tone of the report is correct and appropriate.
Whether you believe the numbers or not, the topic is in itself noteworthy, and the best person to present this topic in an entertaining manner is John Oliver.
If John Oliver is right, the concept I had of the “Expiry date” of products from the legal perspective was incorrect. But I think some my thoughts on the subject were on the right track.
So, at the end of this blog, you should know NRDC’s answer to the question as to what percentage of food produced in the United States never gets eaten. I find the numbers shocking.
PS. A thank you to my daughter for providing the link to the video.