23 May '11, 6pm

Two percent of U.S. energy goes to wasted food

The U.S. wastes a stunning amount of food -- 40 percent of what we produce, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland . That’s way above the already-staggering global average of one third. That means that 40 percent of the energy, water, and fuel we put into farming goes straight into the trash. All in all, Bloom says, “2 percent of all U.S. energy goes to food we’re throwing away.” And this waste is built into the system. Farmers are forced to toss crops that aren’t up to aesthetic standards, and often have to plow under whole fields if the market value isn’t high enough to pay for labor. Given that they’ll often plant backup fields in case it’s a low-yield year, this means that farmers are almost never harvesting everything they plant. Getting to market isn’t the end of the wastefulness, either; distributors will dump anything they can’t sell. And that’s ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-05-23-two-percent-of-u.s.-...

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