September 5, 2011

Really Natural Books: American Wasteland

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How much food do you throw away each time you clean out your refrigerator? I'm ashamed to admit it is usually quite a lot in my household. Not only is this wasted money, it is wasted resources that could feed hungry people. Add the amount of food wasted on farms, grocery stores, and restaurants to be astounded that Americans actually dispose of nearly half of all food produced.

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) by Jonathan Bloom is thorough exploration of food waste and how we can improve our inefficient ways.

Since the Great Depression and the world wars, the American attitude toward food has gone from a "use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without" patriotic and parsimonious duty to an orgy of "grab-and-go" where food's fetish and convenience qualities are valued above sustainability or nutrition. Journalist Bloom follows the trajectory of America's food from gathering to garbage bin in this compelling and finely reported study, examining why roughly half of our harvest ends up in landfills or rots in the field. He accounts for every source of food waste, from how it is picked, purchased, and tossed in fear of being past inscrutable "best by" dates. Bloom's most interesting point is psychological: we have trained ourselves to regard food as a symbol of American plenty that should be available at all seasons and times, and in dizzying quantities. "Current rates of waste and population growth can't coexist much longer," he warns and makes smart suggestions on becoming individually and collectively more food conscious "to keep our Earth and its inhabitants physically and morally healthy."

Bloom's book gives much food for thought, so once again I will vow to waste less food while feeding my family.  From saving the planet to saving our pocketbooks, there are so many reasons to read Bloom's book and amend our ways. 

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Read More in: Food | Organic Food News | Really Natural Books

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at September 5, 2011 3:09 AM

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