World Wastes Nearly A Third Of Its Food Every Year - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

World Wastes Nearly A Third Of Its Food Every Year

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DELMARVA – 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger, about 49 million of those people are living in the United States.

However, what makes these numbers even more distressing is the amount of food that is grown and just thrown away.

A United Nations study says that the planet wastes nearly a third of its food every year. That's 1.4 billion tons.

For fruits and vegetables, 44% is wasted. On Delmarva, however, that's not the case. At Dickerson Farms in Laurel, only about 10% gets tossed.

The Maryland Food Bank reports similar stats. "Of what we're procuring from our farming relationships that we have, 8%-10% would come to waste out of this facility," says Jennifer Small, Managing Director.

Vince Buonanotte, of Brick House Farm in Laurel, says it's all about staying local. "The less shipping that any fruit or vegetable incurs, the better it will arrive to the ultimate consumer," Vince says.

Much of what is wasted gets tossed because of cosmetic blemishes. A lot of that so-called "ugly" produce winds up at the Maryland Food Bank.

"What we're seeing is thousands of pounds of produce that is either refused from retail markets whether it's bruised or spotted…so that we can feed people it's, good, edible nutritional product," says Jennifer.

Intermarché, a supermarket chain in France is thinking along the same lines, as they embrace the idea of 'ugly' produce -- seeking it out -- and selling it at a 30% discount. In two days, 1.2 tons of "misfit" produce were sold, at each store throughout France.

So, could that idea work here?

Jennifer Small says if that day were to come, she'd be on board."I think overall in general, it's a better thing. Everybody's pretty health-conscious now. Everybody's looking to minimize waste as much as possible," she says.

It's estimated that in order to feed the 842 million people going hungry every day, it would take less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK, and Europe.  (link to Intermarché's YouTube video.)

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