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We are Hauser Junior High sixth-grade students, and we are learning about food waste in social studies. Food waste increases poverty, wastes money and harms Earth.
Each year 1.3 billion tons of food is produced, about a third of all that is wasted, including about 45 percent of all fruit and vegetables, 35 percent of fish and seafood, 30 percent of cereals, according to the Guardian’s article, “Produced but never eaten: a visual guide to Food Waste.” The article was posted in 2015.
There are huge environmental factors involved with food waste. Food waste increases global warming. While it’s rotting in landfills, the waste is emitting methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
The global volume of food wastage is estimated to be 1.6 billion tons of “primary product equivalents,” while the total wastage for the edible part of food is 1.3 billion tons. Compare that amount against total agricultural production (for food and non-food uses), which is about 6 billion tons.
Beyond its environmental impacts, the direct economic consequences to producers of food wastage (excluding fish and seafood) run about $750 billion annually, FAO’s 63-page report estimates.
But, this is not impossible to solve. We know that is hard to change the mentality of the people around the world but there are some solutions we could use. If more people take home food they buy from restaurants, the waste scale will go down.
It will decrease even greater if more people donate extra food to local food pantries and buy a little less at grocery stores. Donating food feeds people, not landfills.
Increasing refrigerated food storage and transportation would keep food from rotting faster, which equals still less waste.
Ayla K., Rebekah S., Miranda V.
Hauser Junior High 6th grade
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We are sixth-grade students from Hauser Junior High. We are currently in the middle of our social studies informed action unit. Our team’s goal is to raise awareness and suggest a solution to the devastating problem of food waste.
We have conducted research of the issue and came up with possible solutions. Our research demonstrates that most of the food that we harvest goes straight into the garbage before even making it to the market.
This is due to food “imperfections.” Food imperfections relate to grocery store standards. Big grocery chains believe if an apple is oddly shaped, nobody would want to buy it, so if it is not put on the shelves, it is rejected.
Forty percent of food in the U.S. is wasted, averaging about 400 pounds a year per person. We ask for the opportunity to raise awareness for a massive issue, and to suggest simple solutions that can help decrease the effects of food waste.
Our main solution is to donate the wasted, rejected but edible food to charities and food pantries. Though it is a small and simple thing to do, if the majority were to do it, it would make a big difference.
Though food may continue to be wasted and rejected, the rejected food would go to a good cause, and it would be able to help other individuals fight hunger. We don’t necessarily have to completely stop the issue from happening, our goal is to provide a solution to help decrease the effects of the food waste.
Kate N., Natalie K., and Nick G.
Hauser Junior High 6th grade