The enough acceptable ones to sell, over-shopping because

The
abundance of our waste gathers at the edge of our visions, and it accumulates
beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, and the thinkable.  Today production has reached a new kind of
peak, aspiring towards limitlessness. In fact according to the Food Waste
Reduction Alliance, “the world produces 17% more
food than it did 30 years ago, yet almost half of it never reaches our
bellies.” In
a way, the first part is a testament to the unbelievable progress we’ve attained
as a species by creating an overabundance of food to ensure survival. And while
we endure to make progress through technology to increase efficiencies in our
food system, we are now moving in an unmaintainable direction. With more and
more food being produced while nearly a billion people still don’t have enough
to eat, from the lack of knowledge on how to properly care for the food, to staring
at an inescapable
and fatal amassing of waste product and environmental damages, we have a culture of abundance.

Today, our image and idea of a
supermarket would be one that has fully stocked shelves of great quality foods.
Thriving in a culture of abundance, we are given a vast selection of foods at
any hour of the day. Although, we don’t come to think or imagine the amount of
production demands and waste that occurs behind the doors of the supermarkets. While
businesses continue to yield more, meeting the demands of vegetarians and meat
eaters have risen causing mass production, “we are left standing by waste that
is six times the amount needed to meet the needs of all the
hungry people in the developing world” (T. Stuart, Nutrition Research
Institution). Our culture is known for discarding cosmetically ‘imperfect’
produce on farms that was grown to make sure stores had enough acceptable ones
to sell, over-shopping because of tempting sales, over-ordering stock for
supermarkets, and purchasing or cooking too much food in the home. These are
all instances of profligate negligence towards food. While wasteful behavior
continues, the attitude and expectations of the consumers are set to higher
standards. Thus, resulting in higher production to make sure it is suitable for
human consumption. For example, like brought up earlier, in
order to guarantee delivery of agreed sizes while expecting unpredictable bad
weather or pest attacks, farmers occasionally make production plans on the safe
side, and end-up creating greater quantities than necessary, even if conditions
are “average”.

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Meanwhile, as the number of waste rises, the number of
environmental issues follow. Think of this, in the beginning, much of humanity
came to a conclusion, that the waste created by human society was of a small adequate
size that it could be simply absorbed by the environment. However, with rise in
the population, industrialization, urbanization and other developments, such a
view has developed to be entirely untenable. As we continue to produce and grow
an abundant amount of food, we end up throwing away a good portion of it,
leading to landfills. In fact, according to CNBC, studies indicate food has
been “the number one filler of landfills”. For example, the stocked shelves of
newly fresh produce at stores are cleared at the end of the day or fridges that
are forced to store the huge amount of foods will be emptied. This discarded food
will not decompose properly. Over time, the buildup of food waste will create
methane gas. According to American Wasteland by Jonathan Bloom, “this
greenhouse gas traps additional heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide”. This
results in unnatural climate change affecting the lifestyle and habitat of
animals. Plus,
massive changes have been discussed among society, the amount of waste
produced, as well as the amount of environmentally harmful waste. In fact, innovations
in waste disposal have lagged significantly. Recent increases in the attention
given to environmental issues have encouraged concern in relation to how waste
is dealt with and how society can decrease the overall amount of waste
produced; however, while this has been a promising development, far more work
remains to be done in this area.

Overall,
our constant mass production and abundance in food today leads us to act unmindful.
To be able to solve such a huge problem, we must put in the effort to restoring
our values. We thrive in a throwaway economy, where portions of items
are used with the leftovers immediately discarded, and food is no
exception. We civilized consumers must create change in mindset and daily choices
which are directed by the want to optimize our usage of food. To get to where
we want, we need to first become more aware of the food waste problem, open our
eyes to the amount of waste that is occurring, reexamine our values, educate
ourselves and others on the consequences of that waste, and change our behavior
while also raising our expectations of others. Instead of discarding the food
from store shelves, the food should be given to homeless shelters or food banks.
Meanwhile, there has been constant innovations to nourish the planet. For
example, according to The Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps are created into renewable energy and
compost for farms. “The facility’s state-of-the-art dry anaerobic
digesters use bacteria to break down food waste in an oxygen-free environment,
converting it into methane biogas to generate electricity”. With the lack of
attention, the environment, as well as, people are negatively affected by the
waste.

In conclusion, is overabundance the root of waste? Based off the
reading of American Wasteland, and further research through institutions, overabundance
is a threat and significant contributor of food waste to our culture and
landfills. While factors like great deals, farming choices, and consumer expectations,
we are creating a buildup of waste product. Thus, we are stuck in a great deal
of environmental issues. Overabundance issues started with us and can end with
us. With great innovations and an understanding of such, we wouldn’t be staring
at an inescapable pile of waste product. We must embrace our opportunities to
stop feeding landfills by realizing what an issue overabundance in our culture
is.