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Wasteful America/ food waste - Research Paper Example

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With this increase in food production, comes increasing wastage, especially in America.
Americans throw out about $74 million worth of food every year…
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Wasteful America/ food waste
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Food Wastage in America Food production around the world has been increasing and is going keep increasing for the next few decades (Dyson, 1999). With this increase in food production, comes increasing wastage, especially in America.
Americans throw out about $74 million worth of food every year (O’Hanlon, 2004). In 1994, the food supply of America produced approximately 3800 calories per person per day for every person in America. This was more than enough to supply every American with their dietary needs but all the excess food went to waste (Kantor et al, 1997).
The main avenues by which food is wasted can be categorised into 4 parts in the food production process: 1) farm and post-harvest 2) processing and wholesale, 3) in retail and 4) consumer and food service (Kantor et al, 1997). At the farm and harvest stage, waste may be due to weather conditions or storage losses. During processing and whole sale, waste is due to poor handling or transportation losses. In 1995, retail losses were 2% of the total wastage and this was 5.4 billion pounds of food and losses in consumer and food service made up 26% and 9.1 billion pounds of food. Wastage at these levels is mainly in fruits, vegetables and dairy (Kantor et al, 1997).
The waste of food contributes to over use of freshwater and fossil fuels. This, in conjunction with methane and carbon dioxide from food decomposition, can affect global climate change over time (Hall et al, 2009). There have been attempts to minimise food wastage but it has not been adopted by everyone (Kantor et al, 1999).
In conclusion, food wastage is a major problem that is facing America today and is mainly due to overproduction of food. While efforts have been made to curb this wastage, it appears that a there needs to be a concentrated effort at a national level.
Works Cited

Dyson. T. World food trends and prospects to 2025. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 96,(1999): 5929–5936. Print.
Hall, K.D.; Guo J.; Dore M. and Chow C.C. The Progressive Increase of Food Waste in America and its Environmental Impact. PLoS ONE 4.11 (2009). Online.
Kantor, L.S.; Lipton,K.; Manchester,A. and Oliveira,V. Estimating and Addressing America’s Food Losses. Food Review 20. 1 (1997): 2-12. Print.
O’Hanlon, L. Food Waste Epidemic in America. Discovery News. Discovery Channel. Retrieved from http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20041122/foodwaste.html. Read More
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