While millions of people in America and around the world go hungry, we waste a lot of food in the US. In fact, the average family throws away about 40% of its food. Not only that, farms grow far more food than is needed, and only sell the best crops. Grocery stores stock more food than is sold, and end up throwing away the majority of it. This video from comedian John Oliver explains why.
Warning: This video contains crude language and adult jokes, so children should not watch, nor anyone who is offended by such content.
Other, it offers an extremely blunt and insightful spotlight on the incredible amount of food that Americans throw away, in a very fresh and humorous way that makes it understandable and engaging.
Poverty and hunger is a very real and serious problem in the U.S. and around the world. It’s one of the problems that we could easily solve. There’s no food shortage. There is more than enough food to feed everyone.
Yet people go hungry because we throw away food that “doesn’t look good.”
There are very tangible ways you can help. On a personal level, don’t waste food. Buy what you need, eat what you have. Buy things that are close to the expiration date, or may not look as “appetizing.”
On a large scale, there are a lot of organizations that help turn wasted food into food that the hungry need. Waste No Food is a nonprofit that helps grocery stores, restaurants and farms donate their excess food, and they facilitate delivering it to charities and shelters. You can help by donating or volunteering.
Food Finders is another organization that also helps get extra food from restaurants and grocery stores to people who need it. They also encourage you to coordinate food drives, in addition to their own. You can also help by volunteering or donating.
Look up organizations in you own local community, there are a lot out there that do similar things. If one doesn’t exist, go to local restaurant and ask to pick up their leftover food before they throw it out, and deliver to the local food bank. They are protected by the Bill Emerson Food Donation Act, which makes them not liable when they donate food.