This morning as I was looking at the what remained of my seedlings after the dog explored the garden my first thoughts were of the waste. The lettuce and beets seedlings had been thriving until Sophie decided to chase bugs by digging into the garden bed. There was no rescue for those that had been removed…. but there is still time to replant.
Nonetheless I wasn’t experiencing the best start to my pay and I thought a cup of tea, a quick check of my email, and read through my blogs and forum would provide a fresh start while it was still early morning.
Usually I play a You-Tube video in the background while I work and this morning I selected a John Oliver episode about Food Waste, just the topic for this day. While I am upset over the waste of a few head of lettuce and what would have been at least a peck of beets John Oliver was telling me about how this country sends 40% of its perfectly fresh produce directly to landfills straight from the farms!
This is appalling! Farmers were actually saying that it isn’t even cost-effective for them to donate the produce to food kitchens, etc.
In sharp contrast, in France it is illegal to throw away good food, whether it be a restaurant, or a market.
Sorry folks, it just doesn’t make sense to me.
The farmer described how it would involve the cost of planning where the food would go, arranging for trucks to deliver the food, etc.
Perhaps if he spent a couple of hours one day phoning area churches who hold soup kitchens, or safe houses, or other local organizations who feed the poor and the homeless he would find that “they” would be more than happy to come to him and collect the free food.
Maybe I am being harsh in believing that there is no reason thousands of tons of fresh, edible food should be going to the garbage dumps instead of the thousands of hungry families struggling each day to put food on their tables.
I vow, if my garden ever gets to produce a sufficient harvest to feed both my family, and another, I will be sharing the excess with those less fortunate.
For more information on Food Waste and what you can do follow these links:
Huffington Post: Farm to Landfill
2 thoughts on “Food Waste: Our Country’s Disgrace”
I’m with you in the same thinking, Kath. In our community, it’s not difficult to get people from food banks to come out and “glean” for you. And stuff less than perfect goes for animal feed or composting. We do, however seem to have fewer takers in our local community type farms where a person can put in the work and then get free fruit and veg. Our small village also has a “feed to need” farm that grows specifically for food banks. I’ll tell you though, our local farmers market have been pricing their fruit and veg so high this last year, that I really don’t buy from them anymore. Charging $4 a lb for tomatoes when the store has them for 88 cents a lb doesn’t help the average Joe on a tight budget. I think the problem with our local village market is that they’re trying to be chic like the Santa Fe market.
I agree, it sounds like they are trying sell to the tourist or upscale market. Instead, they should be focusing on their local customer base. It’s okay to charge more than the stores since they are probably growing healthier produce, but don’t price yourself out of the market. I’d rather sell everything for a little less, and not have to throw it away…. there’s no profit in that.