The Environmental Impact of Food Waste

Up to a third of all food produced is wasted, though that food could easily feed the hungry. This percentage varies. For example, up to 80 percent of food is lost in production due to pests and food that rots because they lack refrigeration. Food waste also wastes the resources used to produce food. Let’s look at the environmental impact of food waste in all its forms. Larger Ocean Dead Zones If you’re planting 20 percent more land than necessary because of food waste, you’re consuming fresh water and fertilizers to feed those crops. The runoff ends up in the ocean, fueling algae growth. The end result is dead zones where the natural ecosystem is crippled or outright dead. Increased Pest Populations The simplest example of this is seen in the animals crowded around food left on the ground or trash can. It is birds fighting over French fries and bears going after food in the garbage dump. When you have more food waste, you’re both fueling the growth in their population and their tendency to feed on these unnatural sources. You also get more flies and other pests feeding on food waste in the garbage can and the […]

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