'Tis the season… of food waste. The richest nations of the world waste some 222 million metric tons of food each year, according to the UN. And, in the US at least, most of that happens between Thanksgiving and New Year's.
The holidays mean a tripling in tossed out, perfectly good food—an extra 5 million metric tons of sustenance that could be going to the more than 17 million Americans still going hungry every day. Or the billion people worldwide who don't get enough food. And then there are all the environmental problems caused by the agriculture to produce that food in the first place—from an excess of manure to dead zones caused by fertilizer runoff.
To minimize waste, the Worldwatch Institute offers the following tips: go small rather than piling platters high with food or cooking more than anyone can eat. Give the gift of foods that will actually be eaten rather than fruitcake (though, anecdotally, that may be endlessly recycleable).
And, most importantly, eat—or donate—your leftovers. If you can't eat it, you can give it to a food rescue organization like City Harvest. Don't waste a chance to help feed the world.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]