No one wants to admit that they’re wasting anything, but sometimes, such as during the holiday season, we go overboard. The result is waste, including packaging and gift-wrap waste, money waste, and even food waste, pretty much all of it bad for our wallets and the environment.
Considering that there are millions of people who go without enough food every day, it may come as a surprise that food waste is a very real thing. Some estimate that there is enough food on the planet for ten billion people, and yet some 0.8 billion people don’t have enough to eat. That’s about 62% efficient on a worldwide scale. What this means is that the food is going somewhere, and I’m not talking about people who eat too much. That other 38%, averaged out over the year, ends up as food waste, but holidays and parties bump that number up significantly.
Let’s face it, when we want to have friends over, a big party means big food, and the culinary-inclined may spend hours, days even, preparing mountains of food for their guests. Those less culinary-inclined may order out, but the result is still the same, food waste if people don’t eat everything prepared. Of course, ordering one less plate of food in the US or the UK won’t feed starving children in Africa, but it will affect them in one way or another.
The problem with food waste is not only economical, but also environmental. When food breaks down, it generates greenhouse gases, mainly methane and carbon dioxide, methane being about twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases, in turn, are driving climate change, which will make food, in some parts of the world, even more scarce. According to one study, global food waste carbon dioxide emissions alone are the equivalent of three billion cars. Not only this, but emissions from the planting, harvesting, processing, and transportation is also wasted. This holiday season, every other season, can you do your part to reduce food waste?