Americans throw away almost half of their food, which not only creates unnecessary costs for the waste of a precious resource, but also contribute to environmental damage, according to a report by the Board of Natural Resources Defense (NRDC), also known as the Green Wave.
The report states that food waste is equivalent to a loss of U.S. $ 165,000 million a year and also represents a quarter of the water consumed in the U.S., which is used for the cultivation and production. The decomposition of wasted food also gives off methane gas that pollutes the atmosphere.
The phenomenon becomes more important considering that the U.S. is experiencing a severe drought that is impacting the amount of food and the prices thereof which also has global repercussions.
There are humanitarian organizations, however, that active are responsible for collecting and distributing food that otherwise would end up in the trash.
The food waste can not be eradicated entirely but much can be controlled, Scientifica NRDC-Onda Verde, the subject of food and agriculture and the author of the report.
The problem is not very different from what happens in several industrialized countries but in America there is not much awareness about it. It is rooted in the behavior and culture.
"It is common to go to the supermarket once a week and buy a lot of food, because we changed plans and went to a restaurant, the food at home is ruined," said the researcher.
"In restaurants the portions have grown and we are presented with huge amounts of food that we can eat and ends up in the trash," he continued.
Gunders indicates that the consumer is very unconcerned with the amount of resources needed to grow and produce food. When you throw in the trash not thinking about how much water or fertilizer, and fertile land that went into the production.
"In the U.S. agriculture covers half the land for food production and this, in turn, consumes 80% of the fresh water. If 40% of food is wasted, that represents a quarter of the water wasted "scientific calculated.
This factor is particularly onerous today, as the country is experiencing a drought. But fertilizers and pesticides are items that need a lot of resources to produce.
The waste also has negative implications on the environment. The only food production in the U.S. consumes 10% of all energy produced in the country but also the most wasted food ends up in landfills where it decomposes large fires and methane.
"The methane is a powerful greenhouse agent and food waste generates almost a quarter of all emissions in the coun
The Green Wave report was based on studies and data from government agencies like the National Institute of Health who analyzed the food supply based on calories consumed and landfill problem and is corroborated by organic decomposition Protection Agency Agency (EPA).
The document includes a series of recommendations to achieve more efficient use of food resources with objectives for the government, the food industry and consumers.
"From the government needed a thorough study to understand the size of the problem and its drivers," said Gunders. "They should also follow the example of the European Parliament has set targets to reduce waste by half by 2020."
With regard to trade and industry recommended a detailed analysis of their own waste. Restaurants should offer smaller dishes and menus.
"As individuals we can start in our own refrigerators," he advised. "There are many foods that can be frozen as bread, milk and other dairy products."
He also suggested that a procurement system would be more successful if you visit the grocery store several times a week for what is needed, instead of once.