Cheap food is not cheap to produce, and easy to throw away
By Ben Pittman-Polletta, The Oregonian
July 9, 2010, The Oregonian
"Bananas everywhere," John Campaine says as he steers his
white van to the back door of a Northwest Portland
restaurant. "There's way too much bread and too many bananas
in this world."
Every morning before most people roll out of bed, Campaine
picks up what he calls "heinous quantities" of still-edible
but imperfect food for Urban Gleaners, a nonprofit that each
month gathers some 40,000 pounds of discarded food from the
city's restaurants, grocery stores, cafeterias and caterers
and delivers it to the hungry.
It's only a trickle in the swelling river of U.S. food waste.
A new study from the National Institutes of Health says that
a whopping 40 percent of what farmers grow ends up in the
garbage. That number has increased, too: in 1974, just 30
percent ended up as food waste.
This stinking overabundance, says the study, damages our
planet and our health.
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