One of the things that we should talk more about in this country is the amount of food insecurity present. This is a vast problem and is significantly underrepresented in the media, and I believe it needs more attention. 42.2 million Americans live in a food-insecure household, which is just a shockingly high number, and I did not expect that. There are so many things that we can do to help reduce these numbers and keep people fed and healthy.
We have programs in the states that can help people in the situation, such as the federal government’s snap benefits. That’s not to be said that we can also do our part, and one of the ways that we can help with this food insecurity is to help stop food waste. Estimated at 30 to 40% of the food supply in the United States is wasted. That’s 80,000,000,000 pounds per year; just think about how many people we could feed. No, I did not miss count those zeros; I meant to say 80 billion pounds. If we can just buy less food and make sure that we’re planning out our meals so that we don’t have usable products ending up in the trash because of our poor planning, we can save so much. If you look at more of these statistics about our food supply in the United States, here’s the link to that.
I’m guilty of this from someone who finds it easier to eat out, as a college student coming home after work and classes and cooking a meal is a lot easier said than done. I see those expiration dates on ingredients, and some of them I read like the law as if I have to throw it away as soon as the day passes. But there are so many ways to preserve foods and cut down on our waste that ignorance is no longer the excuse. Not only will we be able to save money if we go through some of the waste-cutting measures, but we can get food to people who need it and help reduce the number of food-insecure.
I know this wasn’t my usual light and fun topic, but I came across a friend’s Facebook post about the issue, and it just made me want to talk about it. If we talk about something, it’s easier for us to start a discussion and find better solutions to a problem, so that’s what I was hoping to get out of this post. It’s also good to know that if you suffer from food insecurity, many people are going through the same thing, and if you do need help, here’s a list of resources you can reach out to. I hope everyone can get a little inspiration from this post, waste less, and keep it cooking.