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What a waste: Jonathan Bloom wants the US to reduce its food waste problem

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“On a fundamental level it doesn’t make sense to me that we waste so much food when so many other people have trouble getting food,” he emphasizes. “There is a fundamental incongruity in that, which needs to be addressed,” he says. He estimates that as much as 25 percent of the food we bring into our homes is wasted. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that an estimated one-third of the food produced worldwide for human consumption is wasted annually.

“On the big picture level, the biggest challenge is to get people to see that food waste is a problem,” Mr. Bloom continues. “For so long it has been seen as the cost of doing business and families have seen food waste as something that just happens.”

Mr. Bloom says that there is a significant opportunity for households to reduce their food waste.  But he points out that getting consumers to change their behavior continues to be an uphill battle.

“Getting people to step back and see food waste for what it is and then change their behavior is a challenge because it means getting people to buy less food, which is easier said than done,” he explains.

In addition to its impact on food security, food waste also has consequences for the environment. In the United States more than 34 million tons of food is wasted annually. Much of this food waste ends up in landfills, where it produces methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Mr. Bloom hopes that his blog will help others think about food waste in environmental terms.

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