Food waste is actually a much more critical issue than you would assume, and it is a serious and growing problem in America. There are many benefits to quitting food waste, three of them being helping fight pollution, saving money, and resolving global hunger. Food waste plays a huge part in pollution. Food produces carbon dioxide when being broken down and discarded into landfills, and even worse, it’s the biggest supplier of methane pollution to our atmosphere. In fact, agriculture accounts for 33% of our world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide is one of the main causes of global warming, but even that doesn’t make as big a difference as methane, which traps in heat twenty-five times more efficiently than carbon dioxide, causing global warming and polluting the atmosphere. Because of the synthetic fertilizers used to nourish crops, half of which will go uneaten, the land is also being polluted. The fertilizers sink into the soil, polluting it, and over time they will end up degrading the soil’s water retention and fertility. The soil is also being polluted wherever we choose to place a landfill, and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, The U.S. has 3,091 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills. Once soil has lost all of its water retention nothing can be planted in it, and because of that we will eventually run out places where we can farm. This could cause huge problems, like the loss of access to food, for example. We will also run out of suitable places for landfills at some point, and we will have to find other places to dispose of our uneaten food, and destroy the soil and any water near the place in the process. Food waste also contributes to water pollution. The waste we throw in landfills, a significant part of that being food, leaks into our streams, flows into rivers, and eventually pollutes some of our main sources of freshwater. We have very little available freshwater, and when pollution gets into our water systems, that water will become unavailable, and eventually we will run out of freshwater. Pollution is a critical problem, and food waste plays a huge part in that problem. Food waste is also a huge waste of money. According to The Atlantic, CNBC, and Business Insider, the U.S. wastes approximately $165 billion worth of food in just one year. Because all of that food is not being eaten, we’re basically just throwing away $165 billion. The amount of money it takes to produce all of that food is a lot, and it could definitely be put to much better use. For example, we could use it to solve other pressing issues like global warming. Food waste is a massive waste of money, which is a big problem. We are throwing away food that, if salvaged, could resolve global hunger. As stated before, America wastes approximately $165 billion worth of food in just one year. There is so much money being spent on food that just gets thrown away, and instead it should be being used to help solve major problems, rather than just being thrown out. Solving the global food crisis would only cost $30 billion a year. Using just $30 billion worth of the food that we are wasting now, we could solve the global food crisis, and we would still have $135 billion worth of the food left over. If we didn’t waste all the food that we do, we could use it to eliminate global hunger. Food waste is a huge problem in the U.S., and it needs to be resolved. With food waste not only being a problem in itself, but by causing pollution, being a substantial waste of money, and being counterproductive when it comes to solving global hunger, this creates a much bigger problem than you would think.
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