Where are the “Food Shortages” When We Waste More than 40% of Total Food from the Global Supply?
Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Why are Americans tossing out more than $165 billion in food annually – from fork to landfill – when there is so much concern that we can’t grow enough food for the world population without utilizing GMO seed or the proverbial fatted calf made plump with hormones and antibiotics, unsavory fish farming practices, and the mass production of products full of high fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives that make us fat and sick instead of supporting true nutrition?
In a recent report published by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s food and agriculture program, it was proposed that Americans throw away almost 40% of their current food supply every year. This happens in grocery stores, restaurants, and even from our own pantries and refrigerators. Dan Gunders. A scientist with the NRDC said that “As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path. That’s money and precious resources down the drain.” For each America family, that equates to about $2,275 annually. Just a 15% decrease in the amount of food we threw away could feed another 25 million Americans.
This doesn’t just happen in the ‘Land of the Free,’ in Kampala, the largest city in Uganda, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that it takes around 1000 liters of water to produce just one liter of milk.
A poem often taught to Thai children translates as such, “Every time you eat those grains of rice, remember you are taking in our toiling, the smell of our perspiration makes you grow.” So, why in China, a country that has seen some of the worst famines in the world, are they leaving food on their plates?
The European nations also waste approximately 45-50% of their food supply as well.
If you were to listen to Monsanto, Dow and other Big Pharma companies that want to keep growing GMO plants, and even start planting GMO trees, farming GMO fish and GMO livestock, you would think that this drastic experiment with human help is a necessary evil in order to feed the growing world population.
Environmental experts are saying that massive waste in the food chain, from the resources utilized to grow food, to the time and money it takes to ship it, to the overall production is harming the environment on a huge scale.
The practices of over grazing, over cultivation, the use of polythene bags and the dumping of toxins in our soil, along with poor storage methods are all contributing to food waste, too. We sustain the illusion of fertile soil, but the truth is that we cannot keep these practices with a growing population, but neither do we need to turn to GMO foods. We can incorporate hydroponics, better irrigation, companion planting, planting organic high-yield crops, use zero grazing and even responsible fish farming methods to save the planet, and ourselves.
For a truly radical shift, we can stop over-producing some crops, remove waste in any part of the food supply chain, and look at smarter ways to farm, but also become 100% organic, like the small country of Bhutan in the Himalayan mountains that has declared itself to be the first GMO-free, all organic nation in the world.
Rather than turning over our complete food sovereignty to a monopolizing corporate agricultural system and becoming entirely dependent on genetically modifying foods to work in a degraded environment, we could simply stop wasting food and return to sane, healthy and local cultivation practices.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.