Food Waste

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Food wasting is a situation in which food overproduction leads to more food than can be eaten being made. Several scholars have used writing to put forward the debate on food waste and its effect on the climate, the economy, and culture. Adam Chandler and Stuart are among those who have shed light on the topic of food waste, so this essay will shed light on the controversy that Stuart and Adam have brought about in their debates on food waste and how to combat the problem. In addition, this paper would incorporate new approaches to solving some of the root problems of food waste.
Stuart’s Debate on Food Waste
According to Stuart, there is a massive food waste globally that takes place from the production, distribution, and consumption of food (Stuart 11). In his book, Stuart mentions the situation of food production in developed countries in Europe, America, and Asia. The food production in these countries is 3-4 times more than the amount of food required by its population leading to waste from surplus production (Stuart 21).

According Stuart, we consume less than 30% of the total amount of food we produce. He adds that the remaining 70% is lost in the food acquisition process (Stuart 39). A simple example is in the process of harvesting in the farms; harvests that look less appealing regarding meeting the cosmetic standards get discarded as waste. A huge percentage is lost in this process since not all the goods collected in the farms meet the corrective standard and due to the competition and desire for profits (Stuart 30; Cordell et al. 305). In the production process, some farmers cull their harvest choosing only the best grades leaving the other portion to rot in the fields.

The food that expires in the retail grocers and at homes ends up getting spoilt. Stuart suggests some of the measures that can be adopted to alleviate the food waste problem. One of the ways is to food cook the waste food that is set aside for the feeding of animals such as pigs to save on the food that would have otherwise be wasted. (Papargyropoulou et al. 112).

The people should also embrace the culture of social unacceptance to food waste as practiced in countries such as China. It is applauding to notice the cropping of such movements in Europe in countries such as Britain. It is one of the means by which the society gets sensitized on the need to reduce food waste. In educating the society on curbing food waste, platforms such as social media can be used in order for the information to reach a vast number of people.

Chandler’s Debate on Food Waste

Adam chandler asserts that wasted food in America is the single biggest resident in USA landfills as found by the Environmental protection Agency. According to a guardian report released on July this year, 50% of the total American produced food goes to waste. He further points that the major reason for the food waste is due to the low food prices in the country ministered by food subsidies (Adam).

Adam focusses majorly on food waste in the United States and emphasizes that the country has a lot to do in combating food waste particularly on cultural levels. Adams hope that with the rise of food management education policies, so will an embracement of local crops which help mitigate food waste as there will be no need on extra food imports which propagate food waste (Adam).

Adam argues that the food waste can be reduced by banning supermarkets from disposing food and instead donate unsold food to those who need them i.e. developing nations and direct the expired food in the shelves to compost. The move will help reduce the number of food wasted (Adam).

What should be Done to Alleviate Food Waste

Processing, Preserving, and Donating Excess Farm Produce

Americans must adopt measures to address the hitch from agricultural products which do not meet the cosmetic standards of the market. To curb this, setting up of channels or service factories in regions involved in intense, large scale farming is important (Cordell et al. 300). These companies should participate in the acquisition of the harvest assumed not to conform with cosmetic market standards, process the products, preserve them, and send them to the countries in the third world that are hunger stricken. Such companies can work with NGO’s and government Aid agencies that have programs for assisting countries that are hunger stricken and have delivery channels to ensure the products reach the designated population (Papargyropoulou et al. 113).

Groceries selling less than perfect food at a low price should stop buying more than they can resale to avoid food waste. The selling of less than perfect food is caused by scenarios where vendors buy more than they can resale, in the event, products overstay reducing in quality and because they avoid making losses, they sale the food at low prices. The food is hardly bought due to quality leading to food waste.

Redistribution of Food

As identified, there is a huge percentage of food wasted in the distribution of food. It arises in cases where a farmer is not able to harvest all the produce on his farm, or a retail grocer has ordered in excess leading to food waste. In such cases, the element of food waste can be alleviated through institutions such as food banks and other similar organizations (Cordell et al. 304; Stuart 37). By giving these foods to such support organizations which may or may not offer some compensation to the farmer or retailer will assist in the redistribution of food to outreach programs and groups.

Awareness and Food Waste Measurement Protocol

One of the key ways of managing food loss is through awareness. Once the consumers are informed of the percentages of food that goes to waste, they will take responsibility and take part in the necessary steps to managing food waste in their households. Information on tips of food storage and preservation is one of the key ways where the information on preservation of these products are printed on the wrappers of these foods (Papargyropoulou et al. 109).

Food waste management through setting up of measurement protocols to curb losses at the industrial level will have to include government initiated policies. The measurement protocol will provide companies with consumer data to help companies cut down on the production and in line reduce overproduction which is a key factor promoting food waste.

Government regulations such as setting up codes of “sale by”, “used by” and “best by” should further be embraced. Sale by codes will help the company’s consider the number of productions over the dates of product consumption, by doing so they will produce products that can be depleted within a time frame before the products spoil and go to waste.

The company’s should also embrace food preservation measures such as freezing to add on time of perishable goods, the added time will add on purchase numbers reducing food waste. Company’s such as those producing corn should adopt storage facilities such as silos to keep the products on good condition till they are purchased hence reducing waste from disposing spoilt food.

Reuse through Fertilizers

One way in which waste can be handled is through the reuse of expired food products especially those from groceries. Companies interested in the reduction of food waste should work handily with the grocery stores to use the expired foods as fertilizers(Pfaltzgraff et al. 312). The process ensures the expired food does not go to waste but is used as manure in growing crops. One of such companies is the California Safe Soil which is involved in the processing over 3750 pounds of expired supermarket foods that would have been wasted. The process in such companies includes the conversion of expired food products into liquid fertilizer. This type of fertilizer is considered safe for the environment through the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions by over three million pounds(Pfaltzgraff et al. 307). This liquid fertilizer from the expired food products has substituted for over one million pounds of nitrogen fertilizers.

Collaboration with Stakeholders

Interested parties in the food industry which include companies and its consumers should work together to reduce the food waste experienced in the country. The use of technology and modern practices are important in tackling behavioral issues in the reduction of food waste. First is the improvement of the food planning through the monitoring of consumer consumption in line with the quantity of food produced(Pfaltzgraff et al. 310). Companies should invest in new and improved techniques in the preservation of processed foods to lengthen their shelf life. Improved logistics management by the involved parties will assist in ensuring the packaged food products can reach designated targets in third-world countries who require this food before they go stale.


As explained in the articles, food loss is not only a national issue but a global threat that requires the same attention as pollution and global warming. It is due to the effects it has on the environment as brought about in the discussed articles. Stuart’s debate is inclusive of all parties and not a selected few (Stuart 41). The discussion appeals to everyone to play their role responsibly on the global issue of food waste. Persons in developed countries have the mandate to assist those in the developing countries as who are victims of malnutrition through hunger and famine (Adam). The paper has highlighted the debate by Stuart and the issues he addresses in his discussion and has also joined in the deliberation by pointing out how food waste can be identified, the effects on the environment reduced, and at the same time cutting down the production cost of food processing industries.

Food waste can also be alleviated when surplus country governments lay strategies aimed at reducing waste i.e. Obama played a good role by setting up a private campaign aimed at reducing the over two million calories wasted by Americans by 2030 to see an increase in food efficacy, decoding labels and finding ways to supply food to the one in six Americans that face hunger issues (Adam). Such food waste policies should be embraced by all governments as apart from reducing food waste, they uphold humanity making the world a better place for everyone.

After the study, it is evident that food waste policies breed advantages to the general world hence all everyone should take a personal responsibility on ensuring that no food goes to waste and the surplus food are channeled to healthy tunnels as presented by Adam and Stuart. Governments should also take immediate action on formulating food policies aimed at reducing the amounts of food that go to waste.

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Works Cited

Cordell, Dana, et al. “The Story of Phosphorus: Global Food Security and Food for Thought.” Global environmental change 19.2 (2009): 292–305.

Papargyropoulou, Effie, et al. “The Food Waste Hierarchy as a Framework for the Management of Food Surplus and Food Waste.” Journal of Cleaner Production 76 (2014): 106–115.

Pfaltzgraff, Lucie A. et al. “Food Waste Biomass: A Resource for High-Value Chemicals.” Green Chemistry 15.2 (2013): 307–314. Print.

Stuart, Tristram. Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. WW Norton & Company, 2009. 05-60.

August 09, 2021

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