Food Waste in America Explained

– Hi, I’m Jerry James Stone
and in today’s What the Fork we’re going to talk about something I care about a lot, food waste. This is a very serious issue. It’s a global issue,
but it’s also a really big issue here in America
because we waste so much food. So much food. You’ve probably have seen
recipes on my YouTube channel before where I’ve
talked about how you can use all parts of the vegetable. To use that as an ingredient in a recipe, because we waste so much food. We waste like 40% or more of the food that’s grown in this country. Now, that seems like
an astronomical amount and it is, we’re actually up. We actually throw away 17% more food than we did just 30 years ago. That’s a huge amount. We talk about food as a
product, what that means. Food affects our energy, it affects our water, it affects our workers. I mean there’s so many
things that food touches, that this is a really a
serious, serious issue. I saw this really great
TED Talk, not too long ago by Tristan Stuart, who he described food waste in a really
fun visual way. (laughs) I say that cause like woo-hoo
fun, we’re wasting food, but like in a fun visual way that I think you guys will really appreciate. So I wanted to show you
it in my own fashion. He used cookies, I’m gonna use bread. Let’s talk about a little
bit of food waste, okay? So as I mentioned, Tristan
Stuart did this really great TED Talk, and he used cookies but I’m going to use a loaf of bread here. So what I have, is I have
nine slices of bread. Which pretty much
represents all the food that we grow in the world, for the most part. This is just to give you an idea of what we grow, and what we get rid of. Each year one slice is completely lost just because of the farm. Just bad handling,
refrigeration, packaging. It just goes completely away, thrown away. One slice just totally
gets thrown away for that. Three slices are actually taken away, because we use that to feed animals. That means this is the produce
that we grow for feeding a cow to make a burger, or
feeding a chicken to make eggs, or feeding sheep to get milk, to make sheep milk or cheese or whatever. Anything that we grow to feed animals for their supply of food. It’s about three slices here. Three slices of the world’s produce. Now, while we do actually take away three, we actually put one back. Because animals, while we do feed them, and they are horribly inefficient
when it comes to food, we get one slice of food out of it. So we take two slices,
we take three slices away for feeding the cows
and the chickens and the sheep and everything else, but we put one slice back cause that’s
what we actually get to eat. But then we take away two more slices. The reason we’re taking
away two more slices is because that’s everything that we have that ends up in the garbage. Now we’re talking about
when you’re at a restaurant, if you don’t eat your
meal, whatever the reason maybe, you take something home, you buy it, you don’t eat it all. Take away those two slices. So in the end, we’re
left with four slices. This is all of the food that’s left to us out of the nine slices
that we had from growing. Due to poor handling,
due to feeding animals and due to our own food waste. That’s not a whole lot
that’s left when you think about it, that’s
less than half is left after all the food that we grow. Being really efficient with
our food is really important. That’s what we’re left with, four slices. That’s not a whole lot considering how much food we grow in this country. Food uses a lot of, a lot of resources. It takes up 50% of our land, it uses 30% of our energy, and then 80% of our fresh water. Think about that, that 50% land, that 30% energy and that 80% water. Half of it just goes
straight into the trash. We grow it, and then we throw it. And that’s just not
the thing to do, right? Hopefully this visual will
help you think about the food that you waste, and maybe
talk to other people about the food that they waste. Because it really is a
problem and that we all need to come together to fix. There’s so many things you can do. Just as a quick tip, you
can use the greens from root vegetables, like from beets and carrots. You can use those in salads,
you can use them as a pesto. So many different ways to use the produce that we have and not toss it away. I would love to know what
you think about this video. Leave it in a comment down below. Tell me how you fight food
waste, and also if you have any questions drop me a line. Give me a thumbs up if
you like this video, and hopefully you will subscribe. I’ll see you next time. Thank you.

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