This NYT article on global food wastage is timely — just as the food riots have begun to break out around the world — and shocking. Makes me want to become a freegan.
You'd never know it if you saw what was ending up in your landfill. As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food – an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study – and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American.
Grocery stores discard products because of spoilage or minor cosmetic blemishes. Restaurants throw away what they don't use. And consumers toss out everything from bananas that have turned brown to last week's Chinese leftovers. In 1997, in one of the few studies of food waste, the Department of Agriculture estimated that two years before, 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food in the United States was never eaten. Fresh produce, milk, grain products and sweeteners made up two-thirds of the waste. An update is under way.