Food, Lifestyle, Opinion

Hunger Series: The average household discards 20 pounds of food a month

“Take what you want, but eat what you take,” my dad would say every night as our family sat down to dinner. He told my sisters and me that’s what he heard daily from the Navy chef during his World War II stretch in the Pacific Theater.

Back in the 1960s, there wasn’t much food thrown out in the Brotherton household. Our waste management system was to dump leftovers and veggie skins into a garbage pail sunk into the ground in our backyard. Once a week, the man from the piggery would come and take it away. Food for his hogs; recycling at its most basic.

Today, my wife and I throw out an inconceivable amount of food: bags of lettuce, fruits and veggies past the expiration date, leftovers that sit in the fridge too long.

We are not alone. The average American household throws out 20 pounds of food each month.

Statistics show that up to 40 percent of the food in the United States is never eaten and 90 percent of that wasted food ends up in landfills. At the same time, one in 10 Americans struggle to put enough food on the table.

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