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About one-third of the food Americans buy is wasted, hurting the climate and their wallets

21 Comments
By Brian E Roe

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Like most things in life there are no simple solutions to complex problems.

Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Educate people so they take responsibility for their own actions; more is achieved by people doing things them selves than can be achieved by governments and bureaucracy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the politicians, corps and banksters are planning on inflating away their massive greedy debt blunder onto main street, they now want you to buy their "meal kits" probably (cost not mentioned) at a cost way more than traditional meals. Funny how these stories about how we should accept a lower level of class will never point the finger at who got us here.

invalid CSRF

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Educate kids to buy what they eat, and eat what they buy when they grow up. And make American fridges smaller, so they are not treated as extensions of grocery shops, to select food from. That's how it gets wasted.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Says a lot about the US consumer/instant gratification culture.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

U.S. consumers waste a lot of food year-round – about one-third of all purchased food.

Quite an assertion. No links to source? Just accept the credentials of the writer?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Overbuying is also due to over packing of more items than what is really needed. Look at the size of American shopping trolleys.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Educate kids to buy what they eat, and eat what they buy when they grow up. And make American fridges smaller, so they are not treated as extensions of grocery shops, to select food from. That's how it gets wasted.

I'm not sure I can entirely agree with that. I don't think limiting someone from what they can buy or eat is the answer, I come from a very large family and we eat everything, almost nothing gets wasted, so I think for the people that DO waste food they should take your advice, but for someone like my family, we need two shopping carts, even in Japan when I go to Costco, the cart is filled to the max because we all eat and eat a lot, but we don't waste food.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As if the people over buying has no idea of the issue at hand and need an article to tell them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You don't shop in Costco daily and bulk buy which is the plan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They waste a third of the food bought yet many are so obese?

Thats the "weekly shop" ... drive to the mall, buy a ton of garbage mentality.

I shop most days, pop into local shops on the way home from work. My burnable trash is one small bag evry two weeks. No food gets wasted.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Plan your meals ahead, buy what you need at the cheapest price available, eat what you cook and only cook what you need. Compost the peelings. Avoid plastic packaging as far as possible (if brave, strip it off in the shop and leave for them to dispose of, if it becomes a cost they will rethink). If you have the space yes grow your own.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@bass4funk.

The standard fridge in the US is too big for the standard family, so it encourages a weekly shop for anything that might be eaten. It enables waste. Reduce the standard size fridge and it reduces waste. If you have a family the size of the Osmonds, buy an extra fridge or shop more often. 80% of America are using a fridge appropriate to the needs of 20% of its families, because it is seen as standard. Its the same with cars. Smaller cars are lighter and use less fuel. Americans don't all need SUVs but it is a standard model and has status attached to it. Ditto America's larger homes. Buying more and bigger than needed as an act of conspicuous consumption and convenience may lie at the heart of the US's eco issues.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The standard fridge in the US is too big for the standard family,

Well, that is your opinion. I have a sister that is single and she has a typical fridge, but it's not filled to the brim because it's only her, you can't generalize because every person has different needs, but having a smaller fridge better? According to whom? You buy what you think is right and based on your needs. I personally hate Japanese fridges tbh, in my opinion not as practical or good as a GE or Maytag on a number of levels, but this is again my personal opinion.

so it encourages a weekly shop for anything that might be eaten.

For some, but the Japanese fridge makes me do that, even when I was single.

It enables waste.

If you happen to be the type of person to waste food.

Reduce the standard size fridge and it reduces waste.

Again, it would depend on the person.

If you have a family the size of the Osmonds, buy an extra fridge or shop more often. 80% of America are using a fridge appropriate to the needs of 20% of its families, because it is seen as standard.

Again, you do you and I do me, I personally like and will ONLY go for the large American size, even in Japan, I have a Maytag. I hate the small Japanese-sized ones.

Its the same with cars. Smaller cars are lighter and use less fuel.

Also to a degree less safe, but again, if people prefer composite cars, go ahead,

Americans don't all need SUVs

Sorry, you don't get to determine who can, who should, and what we should have.

but it is a standard model and has status attached to it. Ditto America's larger homes. Buying more and bigger than needed as an act of conspicuous consumption and convenience may lie at the heart of the US's eco issues.

Well, I respect your opinions on these issues, but I have to say, I have to decline all of them as well as most Americans. Get what you need and get what makes you happy, do your own thing and never be influenced by others.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Q. What do Americans who use two shopping carts at CostCo wear?

A. Depends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Japan, you can whatever size fridge you want, provided you can pay for it and have the kitchen space. We have a large fridge with three compartments. 180 cm high. Fridge/vegetable drawer/freezer drawer. Eco model and uses less power than the previous small one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

U.S. consumers waste a lot of food year-round – about one-third of all purchased food.

Quite an assertion. No links to source? Just accept the credentials of the writer?

The writer based this on figures from the US Dep. of Agriculture. The scale of food wastage in the US and other wealthy nations is not a new thing.

https://www.usda.gov/foodwaste/faqs

All the world’s nearly one billion hungry people could be fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK and Europe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lots of food in America,is wasted by stores,they prepare lots of meals,that people are not willing to pay the price,such as as Salmon meal, something the average person cannot afford or eat

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In Japan, you can whatever size fridge you want, provided you can pay for it and have the kitchen space.

Yes and yes!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't hurt the climate!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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