There's a little bit of Australian vocab for you - whinging means to whine, complain, protest, etc. Didn't know you were going to learn about food wastage and vocab today, did you?
Anyhow, several factors led to this blog post - first, there was this article from Drover's. I'll be sort-of summarizing it so if you don't want to read a whole article, you can read a whole blog post. You're welcome.
Secondly, this blog post that I wrote on Monday.
A fridge full of leftovers for two people who couldn't possibly eat said leftovers in a normal amount of time before the food will be unappetizing, stinky and/or unpleasurable to the digestive system.
Hence, this post was born.
Food wastage occurs in a lot of different ways. I'm sure you're thinking, "Buzzard, you idiot. Food wastage occurs when good food is thrown away." Idiot, I am not. Food wastage, and this comes from the Drover's article, varies depending on the setting/income level of the country of origin. For example, my trashcan is an example of how food is wasted in a first-world or developed country. Sometimes, I throw away perfectly good green beans. But I am not going to save four or five bites of canned green beans when the Ninja refuses to finish them (he is my human garbage can). I am a human-being, not perfect. Did you know that up to HALF of the food that is purchased in Europe and the US is thrown away? Half, people. One 8 oz sirloin is thrown away for every pound of steak purchased. I am extremely embarrassed of that fact - one in seven people in the world go hungry every night and we are throwing away 1/2 of our food. If you're not embarrassed, you're part of the problem. Don't come whining to me about not being able to afford food if you throw out 1/2 your grocery cart every week.
However, food wastage in Malawi or a similar less than developed country is different because that loss occurs during harvest, when advanced technology isn't available to yield optimum levels. Wastage also occurs through improper storage or unfortunately, the all too common problem of a lack of infrastructure. This means the food is produced but the roads, government etc are so broken down that the food can't get to the people. Very sad. The more the developed the country, the further down the line the wastage occurs. Here, I drew you a picture:
How about those epic graph drawing skills? Thanks Ag Economics degree, you're coming in handy after all.
The reason this is all very important is of course, that we are projected to have a population of 9.5 billion by 2075. Or if you don't want to look that far into the future, 9 billion by 2050. We are going to need a lot of water, land and other non-renewable resources to feed all these hungry future-people.
Which is where my post from Monday comes in - by cutting down larger cuts of meat we can continue to utilize the efficiency of the beef industry (smaller herds but bigger cattle) without sacrificing any valuable protein to the garbage can. And if science is allowed to prevail and keep making advancements, I believe that the ingenious folks at John Deere, Monsanto, Pioneer etc can find ways to produce more with less.
Of course, it's not just on the shoulders of engineers and beef producers. You, yes you, can help with the whole feed the world mantra. Buying/preparing smaller portions. Saving (and eating) leftovers. Making your kids clean their plates or save their leftovers too (never too young to help the planet). Anyone else have any ideas or suggestions on how to make our food supply more efficient from a consumer stand point?
How's that for tying several different trains of thinking into one post? That was exhausting...
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
p.s. I hope that Jessie Vipham is impressed with my graph and that I have officially kind-of used my Ag Econ degree.
Labels: agriculture, beef, beef producers, community development, corn, crop production, economics, efficiency, feeding the world, food, food security, global agriculture, groceries, harvest, John Deere, Monsanto