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Sierra Daily

Sep 13, 2013

Eat Everything On Your Plate

Food garbageAccording to a new U.N. report, about a third of all food for human consumption, about 1.3 billion tons, is wasted, along with the energy, water, and chemicals required to produce it. If “global food waste” was a country, its carbon*emissions -- 3.3 billion tons per year-- would fall behind only China and the United States, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization "Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources.”

In developing countries, inefficient farming and a lack of proper food storage leads to food waste; in developed countries, it’s exactly what you’d expect: We buy too much and throw away what we don’t eat. Last year, a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that Americans throw away nearly half their food every year, waste worth roughly $165 billion annually.

Image by iStock/lucentius

HS_ReedMcManusReed McManus is a senior editor at Sierra. He has worked on the magazine since Ronald Reagan’s second term. For inspiration, he turns to cartoonist R. Crumb’s Mr. Natural, who famously noted: “Twas ever thus.”

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