Sustainability and Food Shortage?

| 11/19/2012 4:51:50 PM

Tags: sustainablility, food, Chris Downs,
Is there really a food shortage in sustainability?  The answer is no.  I am going to share with you some amazing facts that I have known for a while, but have not shared.

When I first got out of the service, and was living on Oahu I became homeless.  The housing was expensive and even though I had a job, the money was not that great.  I could rent a room or a couch every once in a while so that I could stay clean, but to eat, that was another story.  There was fast food, but I could only eat so much of it, not a steady diet.

garden blocks
I would pick up coconuts on the beach, but too much coconut would cause me to have to go to the bathroom a lot.   After I had not eaten for a couple of days, I started looking in dumpsters at different grocery stores and restaurants.  The “throw away” food was tremendous!   Some of the food was fresh and of great quality.  Potatoes that were a little small, fresh heads of lettuce, tomatoes and even boxes of bananas that were just starting to turn too ripe for their sales bins.

What brought this back to the front of my mind, was a story on CBS Sunday Morning on 18 November 2012.  They shared how much food is thrown out annually by Grocery Stores, Restaurants, as well as by food left in the fields and plowed under because of the lack of transportation.  There are actually TONS of food left to rot in this nation.

Sustainability, to me, means to be able to maintain an operation or a way of life.  Sustainability is a way to keep life healthy and happy through proper nutrition.  This includes people, animals, water, food and the earth.  There has been much talk about energy, unemployment, food, water, air, land and life in general in the last year here in the United States because of the elections.

But now that the elections are over, do we not pay attention to the same things anymore?  Sure, there are many other things that are in the news, but nothing hits home more than being hungry, truly hungry to the point that there is no food in the house.  How do you feed your children?  Where do you go for help if you have a “Special needs” diet? has shared some more information on food waste in this story here.  With all of this waste, what is it that we can do to help feed all of the people that are going without.  Lots of things, but the most difficult of all will be this:

eric hickey
12/28/2012 10:06:52 PM

Chris, Less food would be thrown away or "wasted" if there were not so many lawsuits. Food is thrown away to prevent someone coming back and suing them. Our nation has become a litigious society and as such usable food is destroyed. It is less expensive to throw it out and write off the food loss as a business expense which offsets profits and lowers taxation than to have a court battle with lawyers and professional scientific experts and bad press (Social Media). The folks who are truly "food" hungry, who would be grateful for whatever they get blemished or not, loose the opportunity for usable food because of folks that are "class" hungry that see the court system as a shortcut to prosperity. It is a society issue not a food issue. There is also a growing entitlement mindset that folks believe they deserve the same perfect unblemished premium “food” as others even if I do not have to pay for it (food programs). It follows the same for cell phone, internet,cable tv, health care, etc… We do a diservice to people when we take away their ambition and responsibility to at least try to improve their own lives.

mary cunningham
11/25/2012 10:41:31 PM

Wonderful article and so glad to see someone who thinks about this like I do. I also saw that piece on CBS Sunday Morning and it's heart-breaking to see how much gets tossed and so many agencies have guidelines in what can be used to feed the poor.....excuse me? Sorry, you really hit a pet peeve of mine,....LOL

milk maid
11/23/2012 7:22:40 PM

What a wonderful article this is. I find it funny that when I buy veggies in the store, they tend to not get eaten and the hens get a treat but when the garden is producing its yeild for us, the hens don't get their treats, for us eating what our garden produces. We are a wasteful lot. Guilty as charged and will do better.

nebraska dave
11/21/2012 2:03:22 PM

We, indeed, are a wasteful food country. We have become accustomed to the blemish free vegetable. As you say much of the food is tossed for no other reason then is has a slight blemish of some sort. Food grown chemically have spoiled us into thinking that unless the harvested vegetable looks perfect in every way, it's bad. As you know, nothing could be father from the truth. The food that we throw out in the country could feed another country quite well. My town has taken to either fencing in the dumpster with locks on the gate or locking up the dumpster directly to prevent any foraging. I'm not a big advocate of hauling food great distances so that I can have the choice of eating watermelon in the dead of winter or eating the artificially ripen tomato that puts crunch in my salad. I believe sustainable food will become an issue in the future. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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