At year end, it is always fun to share predictions and stats. It is even more delightful to shock.
As reported by Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, “The National Resource Defense Council estimates that about 40 percent of all food here in the United States goes uneaten – that’s about $165 billion wasted each year; and costs the average family of four between $1,350 and $2,275 a year…that's about 20 pounds of food wasted per person each month. As we have seen America’s waistlines grow, so has the amount of food we waste.” This is awful.
But, we of the varying body types, appetites and health munch right along rather than take a hard look at our restaurants, food purveyors or even our own kitchen tables. We are a nation of excess in a world which has far too many starving children and families. We give the topic short shrift - pass the buttered peas, please. We may practice portion control - another roll, matey. We place expiration dates and ingredients on our products – make that a double Whopper, Miss. We shake our heads at the landfills – save the last piece of pie for me, Mom. Gosh, we feel guilty – you forgot the sprinkles.
It seems as if it might be time for some behavior modification.
The better informed we are, the better we can make astute choices. That is the thinking, so product ingredients listed makes some sense. We could also begin a public awareness campaign, like they have in Europe. As Lempert pointed out, one company suggested that just providing standardized and clarified expiration data on food products would reduce food waste by 20% in our homes.
Let me share some other stats which might catch your attention. The CDC (Center of Disease Control) also reports that about every 25 seconds an American will have a coronary event, the most common is a heart attack. In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack with the American Heart Association projecting that by the year 2030 the costs of this disease will rise to $389 billion per year. The risk can be greatly reduced by taking steps to controlling diet and exercise.” Talk about the need for behavioral action.
I have always been slim, never weighing more than 150 pounds, ever. But, just like everyone else, as we age, we have some health issues. So, I watch my diet, have a low salt intake, but I can basically eat anything and everything. I am not as compassionate with overweight folks, and I should be, for there are many reasons for that state of physicality, beyond the urge to consume. I do see a nation’s weight, waste and health challenged. We all are consumers and can change!
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