In a country where 66% of its people are obese, why are one in ten households experiencing or at risk of experiencing hunger? The problem of hunger in the United States does not lie in food production, but in the uneven distribution of food.
In fact, if all foods are considered together, enough is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day. That includes two and half pounds of grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk and eggs. Abundance, not scarcity, best describes the supply of food in the world today. Increases in food production during the past 35 years have outstripped the world’s unprecedented population growth by about 16 percent (Moore).
Despite this fact, 33 million Americans live in households that do not have an adequate supply of food (Siddiqi). The greatest factors contributing to unequal food distribution in the United States are food wastage and poverty.
Food wastage often begins at the farm, continues through processing and marketing, and, finally, additional food is discarded as plate waste. In a society where food is regularly dyed, injected with air, and includes additives for an aesthetically pleasing meal, it is not a surprise that bruised, discolored, or irregularly shaped fruits and vegetables are discarded before even reaching the market. When transporting food, improper packaging and the passage of time can lead to spoilage or shrinkage. Proper methods of storage and reduced travel time for these foods by shipping to only local markets can save a considerable amount of food from this unfortunate fate but 100 billion pounds of food are wasted each year in the United States. Food in edible condition is removed from shelves because of damaged packaging or a particular brand began to manufacture new packaging. After their “sell-by” date has passed, many foods are still edible for a few days, but instead are thrown away because more can easily be...