Food And Food Pollution : The Contributions Of Food Waste

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Introduction: Food is a necessity to life, but we don’t always treat food as if it keeps us alive. We waste it. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that “…33 percent of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally” (Carolan 54). In America alone, 165 billion dollars is thrown away each year because of food waste; even simply reducing the amount of food Americans eat by just 15 percent, that would feed more than 25 million Americans every year (Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill). Wasting food not only throws away money but is has a large negative impact on our environment. We as human beings, rarely consider the relationship between food and the environment, and we are killing our planet because of it (Hoek). Contributions to Food Waste: Food waste can happen at any stage in was is called a food supply chain (FSC). Along the FSC, food wastage can occur if there is any spillage, breakage, degradation of food during handling or transportation, and waste occurring during the distribution phase. The later that the product is long or waste along the FSC the higher the environmental cost. This is because of a term called life cycle analysis (LCA). “LCA is a methodology for exampling environmental impacts associated with a product, process or service “from cradle to grave” – from production of the raw materials to ultimate disposal of wastes” (Lundie and Peters). LCA takes into consideration all the work and energy that had to be put in to creating the final product. So, the further down the cycle, more work and energy was put in. The “… highest carbon footprint of food wastage occurs at the consumption phase… this is because when food wastage occurs along the FSC, impacts of all the phases that product has gone through (e.g. processing, transport), are all added to in the initial agricultural impact and the final end-of-life impact” (Food Wastage Footprint Impacts on natural resources). That is why if food is to be wasted, it should be wasted at the beginning of the cycle. At the beginning of LCA, farmers must harvest their crops, but some of the food is never harvested. Food is not harvested for a multitude of
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