It doesn’t take an expert to know that us Americans, are among the most wasteful people on this planet. Living in a first world country, everything from daily necessities to luxurious items are readily available everywhere within our reach. This type of privilege undoubtedly breeds the lackadaisical and carefree nature in many of us today. With capitalism slapped right in front of our TVs and cheap labor being available overseas, it is the perfect recipe for us to impulsively hoard anything our gluttony and greedy selves tell us to.

But what is one thing we waste the most?

According to a Guardian report, almost 50% of American products are thrown away each year, which equates to almost 350 million tons. That’s enough food to feed millions of hungry people in the world. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2012, 20 percent of what goes into municipal landfills is food. So for what reasons are Americans throwing away so much food?


For years, Americans have chased for the aesthetic quality of the product rather than for its nutritional values or taste. Stores/farmers throw away fresh produce just because of its minor blemishes or distorted features, knowing that it won’t be appealing enough to sell. The problem with this is not just the fact that foods are being wasted, but that food is being wasted even when there are people who are living in poverty. In the United States alone, statistics has shown 48 million people living in poverty without reliable access to affordable food, which includes 15 million children and more than 5 million seniors.

In 2016, the world saw over 795 million people go hungry or suffering from chronic undernourishment. Water is also a necessity to sustain life, but 780 million people do not have access to drinkable water and 2.3 billion others are living with unsanitary water conditions. With numbers like this, I sometimes wonder how such a pressing issue can fly past our heads. Us Americans are either too busy indulging in ourselves or too ignorant to even care.

But it’s not too late to make things right. Here are 5 quick ways you can do to reduce food waste:

1. Shop Smart and Realistically

When going grocery shopping, do not excessively buy everything you crave. Make sure that you can finish eating everything you buy so no food can go to waste. It lightens the burden on the environment and also your wallet.

2. Eat Your Leftovers

If you're going to have leftovwrs, make sure you store it in the right places for your next meal. If not, food can spoil and you will end up throwing it out, putting you back on square one.

3. Practice FIFO (First In First Out)

After grocery shopping, be sure to push the old food out before you store the new ones in. That way, you will see and eat the old food first so that it wont expire. Try to repeat that cycle every time you store food.

4. Donate.

If you really can't finish the excess food, consider donating it then. There are many food charities where they will collect uneaten food to give back to those in needs. Be sure to only donate food that isn't expired and still edible.

5. Invest In Compost.

Convert your food waste into a resource. Putting nutrients back into the soil is easily the best way to settle your spoiled food. Start a small garden in your backyard and watch it grow.