The IDAHO FOODBANK sent us a batch of press releases proclaiming that while there are plenty of needy folks in Idaho, the rest of us pretty much “stepped up to the plate” and provided turkeys and cash for the Holiday Season to feed the hungry.
They also included a national report which explains why it costs so much to eat out.
Expert dumpster diver Timothy W. Jones, a prof at the U of Arizona, concluded that 14% of the food people buy winds up in the trash at a cost of $200 billion a year. Another $100 billion worth of edible food is thrown out or withers on the vine.
Jones is one of a handful of “contemporary archaeologists” worldwide who study cultures by examining their trash. You just never know who you are gonna meet at the dumpster.
“People look at (food) as a commodity to be consumed–not something that nourishes and sustains our bodies,” he says. The French see food in an even different light we are told–they like to eat because it is fun and the food tastes good.
Jones and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2003 estimated that more than 50 million tons of edible food is wasted in the United States each year. The GUARDIAN calculator says that puts the value of trashed food (garbage) at $4,000 a ton.
We figure one aim of the press release is to shame us into helping the hungry, but we should help out of a sense of humanity, not to inprove the trash numbers. Besides, who has the heart to toss Auntie Jane’s Christmas fruit cake if Prof Jones is going to lay a DOUBLE guilt trip on us?
Bad enough to diss Auntie, but the hit on the economy isn’t nice either.
More info and a chance to help at http://www.IDAHO FOODBANK.
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