Is Food Waste a Real Problem?

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When it comes to living more sustainably, ca88会员登录入口听到很多关于改变能源使用方式的建议, reducing our meat consumption, recycling, and more. 然而,ca88会员登录入口没有听到的是食物浪费的问题. Unbeknownst to most of us, 浪费的食物是导致气候变化的最主要因素(接近化石燃料), thanks to its high levels of methane emissions. 

Is Food Waste a Real Problem?

For many of us, 食物浪费是一个巨大的经济和环境问题,可能看起来并不明显. To clarify, we are talking about wasted edible 食物,而不是鸡蛋壳、蛋壳、骨头等被丢弃的食物所产生的废物. So how big of a problem is wasted food?

A financial problem. 美国有40%的食物没人吃. 也就是每人每月20磅的食物. 在财务方面,每年有2120亿美元被浪费. 一个四口之家平均每年扔掉价值1800美元的食物. 

An environmental problem. Burying food in landfills produces methane gas, 是一种比二氧化碳造成更大危害的温室气体吗. 此外,该国每年80%的淡水供应都用于生产食物. If 40 percent of that food is wasted, 用于生产和运输的资源也损失了.

A moral problem. 在全球范围内,每9人中就有1人(超过8亿人)食不果腹. 一项研究估计,美国四分之一的被丢弃的食物.S., the U.K.欧洲可以轻易地养活所有这些人. In the U.S. alone, nearly 40 million people are hungry, 而ca88会员登录入口扔掉的三分之一的食物就足够喂养它们了.

The Causes of Food Waste

There are many ways food is wasted. On farms, crops go unharvested due to weather, disease, labor shortages, cosmetic imperfection or market conditions, 比如农作物价格过低,收获在经济上不可行. 

食品加工供应链中也存在浪费现象, manufacturing and distribution, 比如储存和运输不当造成的变质. 在零售层面,从杂货店到大型折扣店,还有更多的食物被浪费, 食物因为过了标签日期而被丢弃, or when ready-made food, like rotisserie chickens, are not purchased at the end of the day.

公共和私营餐饮服务业也造成了食物浪费. This isn't just restaurants and food businesses; think cafeteria services in schools, universities, hospitals, and other institutions. 然而,美国食物浪费的最大来源是个人家庭.

Food Waste at Home

U.S. 家庭每年浪费760亿磅食物. 那就是每人238磅,或者一个四口之家每年952磅——将近半吨! 这种浪费的成本不小:平均为1美元,800 per family of four, or $450 per person, gets scraped into the trash each year. 

Household food waste takes many forms, 但一项研究表明,有一半的家庭扔掉了食物, by total mass, was unused fruits and vegetables, and a third was uneaten leftovers. 鱼和海鲜被丢弃的比例最高, 31%的购物最终都被扔进了垃圾桶.

家中食物浪费的原因包括易腐食品的不当储存, like meat, fish, dairy, fruits and vegetables, which can lead to spoilage; poor planning leading to overshopping; and sometimes food simply getting lost in the back of the refrigerator. 但造成家庭食物浪费的最大原因之一是混淆了食品包装上的印刷标签日期, 仅仅因为过了“最佳食用日期”,就导致消费者扔掉非常好的食物.

Impact of Wasted Food

就影响而言,重要的是要记住当食物被扔掉时, it's not just the food. 所有用于生产和运输食物的资源, the land, the water, the energy and so on, are being thrown away as well. 

现代农业并不是最有效的体系. 但举个例子,ca88会员登录入口80%的淡水供应用于种植食物和牲畜. 

To put that into perspective, 生产一磅苹果所需的水量相当于洗一次43分钟的澡. A pound of cheese is a two-hour shower. And staggeringly, 生产一磅牛肉所需的水相当于洗6个小时的澡.

如果ca88会员登录入口扔掉40%的食物,ca88会员登录入口也就扔掉了40%的水. 

现代农业的负面影响也是如此, including the greenhouse gases, deforestation, pollution, 生物多样性的丧失等等——40%的损失都是徒劳的.

What Can We Do?

When it comes to addressing the systemic issues, government can play a role, 公司可以实施政策来减少浪费或重新利用食物. But what can you do at home to waste less food?

减少食物浪费的影响(如果不是浪费本身的话)的一种方法是 compost. Putting food in landfills generates methane, but composting doesn't. 然而,在所有被浪费的食物中,只有5%最终被制成堆肥. 

Increasing the amount of food waste, and food scraps, 这是堆肥,而不是埋在垃圾填埋场, 会显著减少温室气体的排放吗. 一份报告估计,从垃圾填埋场移走食物残渣相当于从道路上移走20%的汽车. 

Planning your shopping and meals,更频繁地购买新鲜物品,拥抱 imperfect produce, storing your food properly, and using your leftovers, are all good ways to minimize food waste. Also, learning to understand "best by" dates, 哪些是生产商制定的质量准则,与腐败或食品安全无关, 将会导致更多可食用的食物被丢弃.

As you can see, ca88会员登录入口有很多资源可以帮助你找到如何减少家庭食物浪费的方法. 这是一个ca88会员登录入口可以一起解决的问题.

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  1. http://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-2017-report.pdf

  2. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=46377

  3. http://feedbackglobal.org/knowledge-hub/food-waste-scandal/

  4. http://wrap.org.英国/行动/食品饮料/行动/ action-on-food-waste