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Stop Food Waste in America #StopFoodWaste

This petition had 43 supporters


Across the United States, 46.7 million Americans are in poverty - and 48.1 million Americans live in food insecure households - of which, 15.3 million are children (in 2014). 

And yet, in 2010 alone, America wasted 33.79 million tons of food - which is enough to fill the Empire State Building 91 times!

40% of food in the U.S. is never eaten. The average American throws away 209-254 pounds of edible food each year. And 1.3 billion tons of all food produced in the world is lost in the production cycle or wasted.

How is it justified that billions of tons of food is wasted in the same world were millions remain hungry?

Moreover, less than 3% of the food wasted is recovered, while the rest is thrown away and disposed in landfills, which produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. So the injustice behind the food system in the U.S. is not only economically and socially catastrophic - but also environmentally detrimental. 

If the U.S. wasted just 5% less food, it would be enough to feed 4,000,000 Americans. And if it wasted 15% less food, it could feed 25,000,000 Americans annually.

What does wasting food cost us?

$750 million is wasted per year just to dispose of the food we carelessly toss in the trash. This contributes to 33 million tons of landfill waste. Not to mention, food production in the U.S. uses 25% of all freshwater in the U.S. and 300 million barrels of oil annually.

Restaurants, as we know it, are infamous for serving supersized portions, sprawling menus and inadequate training for food handlers when it comes to minimizing food waste. It is estimated that the total food loss per day amounted to 49,296,540 lbs in all full service restaurants and 85,063,390 lbs in all fast food restaurants. On average, a restaurant can produce 150,000 lbs of garbage per year.

Talking about supermarkets, firstly, 30% of what is harvested from farms never actually reach supermarkets and 30-50% of the food that makes it to the supermarket shelves is thrown away in the homes of the people that purchase it. And 10% of the 1.3 billion wasted food comes from grocery stores.

American families are struggling every day to feed their families. How can we allow restaurants, grocery stores and supermarket chains to be so irresponsible and inefficient when it comes to handling their food products ethically?

 

Thanks to a largely successful petition on Change.org launched by Arash Derambarsh, a municipal councillor in France, a new law was passed, requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity. In the words of the Founder of Feedback, a UK-based food advocacy group, this French victory has created an echo around the world.

It's now time to step up the campaign and call for the U.S. Congress to stop food waste in every state in the U.S. Across the U.S., 14 states exhibited higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average of 14.3%: Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Maine, Oregon and Kansas.

That's why we've launched this petition asking the U.S. Congress  to introduce a new directive calling on every supermarket, grocery stores, restaurants as well as college dining halls to give its unsold food to a charity of its choice. 

Our proposal is simple and effective : pass a law requiring supermarkets to provide all their unsold food to the charity of their choice.

Specifically, this law will allow any organization to recover unsold supplies from a supermarket, and distribute them immediately, the same evening, to the poor.

 

When we started this campaign, people told us that this French law can never pass in the U.S. because -

1. The U.S. is 49 states larger than the French Republic;

2. The interest groups supporting restaurants, groceries and supermarket businesses are too influential. Their job is to ensure that these business generate the most profit;

3. The U.S. Congress is too bipartisan and it will take forever for this law to pass.

 

It was rather funny because we realized that these were the very reasons behind us started this campaign -

1. The fact that the U.S. is so much larger than France means that passing a law like this will benefit not just the U.S., but significantly contribute to food justice globally;
 

2. Businesses will generate more profit if they practice more socially responsible business ethics. Using the lens of sustainability in business strategies allow for innovation, cost cuts, and brand differentiation - all leading to generating higher profit margins. Corporate citizenship ensures sustainable futures for every party involved. It is the moral obligation of restaurants and grocery stores to ensure that they reduce the ridiculous amount of food that they waste, understand their responsibility to the community that they take from, and give back ethically - for their very own benefit.
 

3. We are not opposed to the idea that lawmaking in the U.S. is slow. It is in fact a good thing that every legislator and every individual with the power to influence a legislative piece of this sort comes to a bipartisan understanding. It is important that the Congress comes to a bipartisan agreement on the benefits that a law of this sort can bring to the American people and people elsewhere. Having said that, we aim to raise the urgency of this issue to the Congressional agenda.
 

You are the ambassadors of this project. We are Millennials. And we believe that as Millennials, it is up to us to address the inefficiencies in our systems and bring them to the light of our elected leaders. The voice of the Millennials is strong and powerful. And we must employ that power to speak up and do everything in within our limits and beyond to eradicate global injustice and protect the future of our planet.

 

Let's start by signing this petition! Join the movement today.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/foodvocates

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram: @foodvocacy

Email us at: foodvocacy@gmail.com

 

Reference:

http://www.endfoodwastenow.org/index.php/issues/issues-restaurants

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-grocery-stores-throw-out-so-much-food-2014-10

https://www.nrdc.org/living/eatingwell/files/foodwaste_2pgr.pdf

https://www.takepart.com/photos/food-waste-facts/not-all-is-lost



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