By Mirjana Hutnik – 9th Grade, Peters Township High School
The world is an imperfect place. Every year, between 160 to 295 billion pounds of food are thrown away. The amount of food that is thrown away in America is the same amount of food that is produced in Sub-Saharan Africa in an entire year. Not to mention the amount of food actually being consumed by Americans.
Every single day we absentmindedly eat and snack without giving a second thought about the matter, but we should. Think about how much is eaten in a single day by an individual. In the morning, most people have a bowl of cereal with milk. Once the cereal is gone, most dump the leftover milk down the drain. As the day moves forward and lunch time rolls around, everyone is ready to eat again. A child opens their lunchbox and sees a boring old peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which ends up in the trash and a school lunch is bought instead. After going through the line, there is little time left to eat. The bell rings and half of that child’s second lunch also goes in the trash. It is finally time to go home and have a snack. This child grabs an apple and sits down to watch some TV. In a few minutes, they have eaten the outer half and no longer want it and more food goes into the trash. To end the day, their parents prepare a nice dinner. While sitting around the dinner table, their mom forces them to eat their veggies. Most kids decide to just throw them away while she is not looking, adding more food into the garbage can. If that is the routine of every person in the U.S., think about how much food is wasted in a day. It is incomprehensible for me to think about the exorbitant amounts of food around the world that are thrown away in a single day.
There is so much that everyone can do to help with this problem. Every sandwich or plate of vegetables that is thrown away is food that could have helped someone in need, a struggling family, or people in third world countries. Whenever there is easy access to food, nobody thinks about the people who do not have it that easy. Nobody thinks about the people who go days on end with only a single loaf of bread to feed an entire family. Most are fortunate enough to never have to experience something like that, but that does not mean they cannot help those who do have to. It does not take a huge gesture to help, it just takes millions of little ones from around the globe. Next time you go to the grocery store maybe buy an extra can of food and donate it to a soup kitchen near you. People need help and everyone is capable of giving it.