The Hidden Problem of Food Waste

GleaningEvery year in the United States, we waste around 40% of the food available for consumption. Within this measure, 52% of the produce in this country is wasted. Consumers, of course, are reprehensible for a large portion of this waste. However, farmers, burdened by aesthetic standards, market fluctuations, distribution agreements, and a lack of skilled labor, among other things, are often induced to waste a surprising amount of the produce that they grow.  Dana Gunders from the Natural Resources Defense Council has written an excellent post on Civil Eats detailing this phenomenon. Here in Vermont, Michelle Wallace of the Vermont Foodbank is leading a fantastic gleaning project that rescued over 250,000 pounds of fresh produce this past year, which was delivered to Vermonters in need. However, we need greater support for this program and others that are trying to change the narrative of wasted produce.

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