It’s no secret that the United State of America are pioneers in the act of destroying our planet – our country, while only makes up 5% of the population, annually produces 40% of the world’s waste. With ignorant politicians claiming that global warming is a hoax and your favorite foods coming packaged in pounds of plastic, it may seem like we will never be able to reverse the harmful actions put upon our planet. But there is an easier fix to it all, and it comes with redistributing the food we don’t eat.
In an informational video produced by Vox, conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan explains how uneaten food goes to waste and, essentially, ruins our planet. Out of all the food produced in America, 40% of it goes uneaten, meaning that 365 million pounds are wasted per day. When food goes bad it releases greenhouse gases, such as methane, into the atmosphere, which contributes to the warming of the climate. This statistic, while unfathomable and unbelievable, is also detrimental to Mother Earth.
Ironically, 1 in 8 Americans are undernourished or don’t have a steady supply of food in their pantries. Most stores, by code, have to throw out perfectly good food for multiple reasons: the food has a short shelf life, it’s out of code, or it simply isn’t selling. The answer to this problem isn’t that the big-wig companies need to stop producing so much food, but the uneaten food needs to be distributed to people who actually need it.
Dumpster divers have taken it upon themselves to salvage food found in dumpsters and eat it for free or donate it to local food shelters. Youtuber Shelbizleee, who is known for her environmentalist videos, uploaded a video of her searching for food in dumpsters, and the food she found was all perfectly fine to eat. While her reasoning behind sifting through trash was an effort to slow global warming, other divers simply do it because of the free cost. Either way, their tactics are bettering the environment and providing malnourished people with food.
Copia, the polar opposite of Postmates, is a relatively new company that distributes uneaten food to people who do not have access to regular meals. If one has leftovers or food that will go uneaten before the expiration date, they would contact a Copia driver to pick it up and deliver it to a food bank. Not only does this app feed the hungry, but it saves companies and individuals thousands of dollars a year.
If Americans didn’t waste as much food as we do now, we could save the environment, and if we redistributed the food we didn’t eat, we could save lives. Apps like Copia, dumpster divers like Shelbizleee, and every local food bank across the nation are making strides to improve the lives of the people.