Food waste is a massive environmental problem for a number of reasons, and a leaked photo has shown one airport isn’t exactly helping.
“For context, I work at an airport, and this is the typical waste from the bars and shops, etc.,” they captioned the picture. “[S]taff are not allowed to take any of it home, and staff who have have been fired for stealing. Mad.”
Perhaps “mildly infuriating” doesn’t quite cut it. So much of the food here could have been donated or given to employees to stop it from going to waste.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimated that around a third of all food produced globally gets lost or wasted annually.
This has a huge environmental impact. FAO also said that 8% of global heating pollution is a result of food loss and waste, almost equivalent to the contribution made by global road transport pollution.
“Food waste has always been a serious problem,” said another.
But it’s not just large businesses that are at fault regarding food waste. According to ReFED, U.S. household food waste accounts for 238 pounds of food per person annually, or 76 billion pounds in total.
For a family of four, the same report said that would amount to $1,800 of food wasted a year. While the environmental effects are indeed troubling, it is also coming at a financial cost to the consumer.
It’s clear that something needs to be done to dramatically cut the amount of food sent to the trash. One reason for such waste could be confusion over date labels, while another could be a lack of planning or appropriate storage.
Composting can provide a partial solution to reduce food waste from skins, peels, and rotting fruits and vegetables. Not only will this stop so much food from going to landfills and contributing to methane pollution, but it will also provide a sustainable, organic fertilizer to use in your garden.
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