Although you would think that most of the food wasted globally occurs in developed countries, this isn’t quite true. A significant amount of food is wasted in the developing world, but it probably pale on how much is wasted in the United States alone. The reality is that developing nations simply cannot afford the waste as we can. Every morsel of food they produce is needed to feed poverty-stricken citizens, but here at home, it’s another story altogether. We waste things mostly because we don’t want them.
Landfills See the Brunt of Food Waste
According to some of the latest government figures, roughly 40% of the food produced here goes to waste. That is a sad commentary on society but even sadder still is what that waste is doing to the world we live in. With such a large amount ending up in the garbage and then in landfills, you can only imagine what will come of the food as it sits there rotting. If you guessed methane gas which is a leading factor in global warming, you are right. However, we could better embrace solutions, one of which is to reduce food waste with flexible packaging.
Flexible Packaging – How Does That Work?
A large part of the technology that has gone into flexible packaging offers extended shelf life and this is where much of the waste takes place. Most people don’t know just how much food is beyond the sell-by date. This is also why developed countries see more waste than those still developing. It is because we have a stable economy and a huge difference in food availability. Yes, much of the food waste comes from uneaten foods in homes and restaurants. Still, even that is relatively insignificant in comparison to food waste due to shelf life and packaging.
Food Waste in the Home
Admittedly, much of the world’s problem with food waste happens on a lower, grassroots level. With so much food wasted in the home, it is difficult for ecologists and environmentalists to get a strong grip on the problem. The government can do a few things to correct waste in restaurants and stores, but even then, how can you fine a company because products didn’t sell? Perhaps one solution would be to regulate the kinds of packaging foods that can be packed to extend the shelf life both in stores and at home in cupboards.
Beyond Methane Gas
Methane gas and global warming are one side of the very serious issue of food waste. Beyond that, just think of all the resources used, and thus wasted, in the production of that food laying there in landfills. It is a serious problem, more serious than most of us realize, and so it’s probably time that we all do something to reduce food waste, even if only a few ounces at a time.