During this process, we were required to write a persuasive essay for a specific audience to publish it to.
My link to the website that I published. During the publishing process, I already had an idea of what demographic I was targeting, which was the teens. So finding this website was not that difficult. Eventually, I got voted top, and received the editor's reward for my efforts.
Snack Time? Not Quite: Why You Should Always Read the Labels
Imagine yourself trying to find a snack in the fridge. You skim through all the available options and rest your eyes on an apple. Checking the tag, you find that this expired a day ago. Naturally, you throw the fruit in the bin. What’s wrong here? For one, you wouldn’t be eating apple for a snack, but otherwise, you just wasted a perfectly fine fruit.
Of course, there are arguments from parents all over the world that if a product is expired, it must be poisonous, right? Well, not really. This is a very misdirected point of view brought to you by decades of advertisements. Company corporations schemes aside, “expired” or “best consumed” dates are not only quite arbitrary, but a lot of food is wasted because of it.
Taking a look at the statistics, about 15% to 25% of food is thrown away in a household. To put this in perspective, if every person that went shopping for food bought four bags, they would throw one away immediately. Adding everything up, about $6000 is wasted every second in Canada and the United States alone.
Unfortunately, most of this is your fault.
Like all problems, this one has its roots in the simplest of all things: You. When was the last time your family threw away food because it seemed “expired”? Well, my mother did just that earlier today. In fact, she does it every week. This process of throwing away food has become a routine so mundane that I have ceased to even question it. You may not see the link between you and the problem yet, but trust me, you are to blame not only for hunger, but worldwide poverty. When you hear poverty, where do you think of first? Africa? If you do, then you are not taking a close enough look at your neighbors.
Many orphanages and charities are facing issues from lack of food and money. Even though this is the case, you are still leaving pure, pristine, and perfectly edible food out there to rot and degrade away in landfills just because it is one day beyond its “best consumed” date.
For many types of pastries and canned food, the “best consumed” date does not refer to the time when the product magically turns inedible overnight. Instead, it refers to the time that the crumbs on a pie may be the crispiest or when an apple may taste the freshest. Do you really have enough money that you can throw away edible goods just because it may not be the “freshest”? If you do, the rest of the world certainly doesn’t.
According to the US census and the World Bank, 15% of American citizens still live in severe poverty and 12.7% of the world population still live on less than $1.90 a day. This means that 900 million people still live without a steady supply of food. In fact, over 21,000 children has died of hunger since your breakfast yesterday. Just think, how many lives you could have saved if you kept that piece of food past its best consumed date. In fact, you could have donated those fresh foods to people in need, next door neighbors, or simply started buying the amount you can actually consume.
This food crisis does not just stem from the households; the biggest culprit in this issue is in fact grocery shops and their seemingly perfect selection of not only fruits and vegetables, but also meat.
Haven’t you ever wondered why the items on display in large chain supermarkets always seem so perfect? With every item being uniform, flawless, and perfect, one must wonder: where do all the rejects go?
Official report estimates that over 10% of the food is lost simply on its way to your table because of “imperfections.” These flaws include the fruit or vegetable not meeting a certain size, having one or two flaws on the skin, or it just looked at the farmer wrong. Despite all this, the food itself remains edible. Basically, agriculture communities everywhere are collectively throwing away one tenth of their hard work every month just because markets want you to buy products that look good. Even then, one quarter of the time, you are still going to throw it away.
Corporations would argue that they could bring people the best of the best, cream of the crop, so to speak. In reality though, they are taking the food that appears edible and grown to perfection and forcing farmers to abandon the rest. This causes the remainder of the farmer’s food to be useless as they no longer have any buyers. As you can see, even things as simple as your daily fruits and vegetables have been through the toughest selection process in the world, and one-fourth of that is lost before it even reaches your local market. .
There is of course, only one point of interest in this argument: You. It is you after all, who threw away the “inedible” and “expired” food. It is also you, that decided to submit to the corporate marketing of “perfection”. In fact, over 20 children has died of starvation since you started reading this article. So for once, think about it before you decide to throw something away. Even better though, think about it before you decide to purchase an product. If you are not going to finish the product, then don’t buy it. It is as simple as that.
Companies and supermarkets are not going to start bringing deformed tomatoes or tiny apples into the stores anytime soon. Over a century, these markets have found a way to make money and pay their employees. You may not be able to change these companies, but you can change your own lifestyle. If more people are educated about this problem, they will be more aware of what their actions and how they are contributing to the global food waste problem.. This is not a problem the concerns a person or a society, this is a representation of how humans, as a species, have shaped the world we live in, and how we will continue to survive.