Inside Out 258: Wasting Food

10.31.12 | Martha Manikas-Foster

Food. We need it, want it . . . and waste it. Forty percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Americans are throwing out more than 20 pounds of food per person per month. Every year we toss away food worth $165 billion.

“We just buy too much,” says food blogger and today’s Inside Out guest Anne Simpson. “Whether it’s because we see great deals in the sales ads and we think ‘I need to snap that deal up; I might never see such a good price again,’ and so we buy too much of it. Or it just looks good.

“As Americans,” she says, “we have so many choices and so many options for everything that sometimes it’s hard to narrow down exactly what we really need to eat— what we really will eat.”

If we love God and believe He has called us to manage well His world and His resources, it serves us to pause to consider the money and resources wasted when we throw out uneaten food—money and resources that others are dying to share. From a hunger perspective, by the latest estimates from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, there are 925 million undernourished people in the world who could benefit from better food management on our part.  

From an earth stewardship perspective, it’s worth thinking about the resources that are used for no good purpose to produce, package and distribute food that we then throw out uneaten. “About half of all land in the U.S. goes to agriculture; some 25 percent of all the freshwater consumed in this country, along with 4 percent of the oil, goes into producing food that is never eaten,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Moreover, uneaten food accounts for 23 percent of all methane emissions in the U.S.”

We may not be able to change the world--not immediately--but we can change how much food we waste as individuals. Anne Simpson joins us in this Inside Out podcast with straightforward strategies to help minimize the amount of food we waste on the home front. Anne’s a spouse and mother who works from home, teaching piano and writing e-books and blogs about food—and food waste—at http://authenticsimplicity.net/. You can access her e-book “Your Grocery Budget Toolbox,” by clicking here: http://authenticsimplicity.net/yourgrocerybudgettoolbox/

Join us (by clicking on the “Listen” icon above) for this conversation on food management at home. Let us know what you think by typing a comment or two below.

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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