Food prices are clearly rising, and people all over the world are going hungry. People in Haiti are even eating yellow mud patties just to put something in their stomach.
Want to know something even more depressing? Americans waste 27% of food ready for consumption.* That means almost a third of food that is fit to be eaten is not actually consumed. This included food thrown away in homes, restaurants, and grocery stores - anywhere food ingredients are up for sale.
98% of this discarded food ends up in landfills - the other 2% I suppose is composted or fed to animals.
A 1997 study by the USDA showed that over 96 billion pounds of the 365 billion pounds of edible food in the USA was thrown out.*
So. You want to make a difference? CLEAN YOUR PLATE. Your momma was right - there are starving children in China. And Haiti. And Darfur. And right in your backyard - the good ole U S of A.
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*According to a recent government story covered in the New York Times.
Photo courtesy of BirdFarm. It is of a market in Managua, Nicaragua.