General NPR: The Ugly Truth About Food Waste in America

tom_mai78101

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Each year, Americans waste 33 million tons of food. Dana Gunders, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and author Jonathan Bloom discuss the economic and environmental impacts of food waste, and what can be done to fight the growing problem.

Up next, some food for thought as you chomp your Thanksgiving leftovers. Recycling paper and plastic, as you know, is an effective way to save money and energy. So why not recycle all the uneaten food that goes to waste? And there is an awful lot of it.

Forty percent of the food in the U.S. today goes uneaten, which means Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion worth of food each year. But that's not all. Food waste, as it decays in landfills, also produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

So what can we do to cut back on food waste? Dana Gunders is a food and agriculture project scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. She's also author of an NRDC report published last month called "Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill." Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY.

 
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FireCat

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The news is hardly a surprise: Food are wasted "worldwide" yearly.
 

Slapshot136

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methane gets produced when food decomposes? but your body produces methane if it eats the food.. so why bother writing about that as a bad thing if it happens either way
 

FireCat

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methane gets produced when food decomposes? but your body produces methane if it eats the food.. so why bother writing about that as a bad thing if it happens either way
Maybe they didn't thought about that? lol
 

Dan

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methane gets produced when food decomposes? but your body produces methane if it eats the food.. so why bother writing about that as a bad thing if it happens either way
Grasping for stuff to write about I suppose.
 

Fatmankev

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Didn't read the actual article, but I'd assume if they're talking about the methane production from wasted food then they're probably suggesting that we be utilizing it as an energy source (biofuel) instead of letting it go out and mess with the ozone layer or whatever it does.

Edit: Or maybe not. Whatever, they probly are just reaching for anything.
 

phyrex1an

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methane gets produced when food decomposes? but your body produces methane if it eats the food.. so why bother writing about that as a bad thing if it happens either way
The alternative is to not produce the food in the first place. It's not like they are suggesting that americans should eat more food...
 

Slapshot136

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The alternative is to not produce the food in the first place. It's not like they are suggesting that americans should eat more food...
it's hard to predict how much food will be needed in the future, so farmers always over-plant, such that if a flood/drought/whatever happens, there will still be (enough) food - that means that most of the time there is a surplus, which is usually bought & destroyed (or distributed) by the government - the farmers have an incentive to over-produce because the government buys the surplus, and the government buys the surplus to prevent starvation (since that usually leads to a revolution)
 

Fatmankev

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another interesting alternative would be if Americans ate less (amount of calories needed depends directly on body weight, so if all the Americans went on a diet and became less fat
Don't go peggin' this shit on me, now...

Edit: Well now I can't even find what I quoted... so nevermind? I guess...
 

Varine

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Don't go peggin' this shit on me, now...

Edit: Well now I can't even find what I quoted... so nevermind? I guess...
The quote was bullshit that idiots who don't understand basic health say, so he was better off removing it.
 

Varine

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Reintroduce slavery. The average weight will sink drastically.
Productivity and exports will go up. From an economic standpoint it's a viable method to fix the problems.
 

Slapshot136

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The quote was bullshit that idiots who don't understand basic health say, so he was better off removing it.
I honestly didn't notice that he quoted me.. I couldn't word it such that it sounded right to me, so I gave up on it, and then noticed he quoted my WIP, suggesting I give up, so I left it like that
 

Varine

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That isn't the problem. In 1998 the government basically changed the definition which added some 30 million people to the list, despite having previously been perfectly fine by the standards. And for the record obese does NOT mean fat. If you're 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds, you are obese. Which means your high school quarterback was probably obese and reported on these charts same as the guy that has a wheel chair because he weighs too much for his legs to support. And yet everyone wants to classify complex shit into this little tables so that the broader population can keep up, which leads to extremely prevalent ignorance and lack of appropriate knowledge in most any given topic.
 

tom_mai78101

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You seemed to forget that there's another rule to being obese: Some certain levels of fat in your body. I seemed to forget what number it was, but that rule is used to separate strong, heavyweight champions and, well..., unhealthy individuals.
 

KaerfNomekop

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If you worked out and the fat was converted to muscle, would you still be obese?
 

Accname

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I think there are different definitions of obese. Over here it is measured by the amount of fat in every [insert measuring unit here] of your body.
 

tom_mai78101

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I think there are different definitions of obese. Over here it is measured by the amount of fat in every [insert measuring unit here] of your body.
That was it. I just don't know the number for it to call oneself "obese".
 
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