"Our food wastage is getting to critical mass," said John Oliver in a comprehensive and critical, yet humorous, discussion of the 40 percent of food that goes from "farm to not a table" in our country. On his "Last Week Tonight" show recently, he covered it all including food that goes straight from the farm to dump, food that grocery stores throw away, the arbitrary "use by" dates on foods, the myth that donating food could lead to lawsuits, and the 25 percent of the food that most people throw away that they buy in the grocery store.
This segment is absolutely worth the 17 minutes it takes to watch all the way to the end.
“And at a time when California is shriveling up like a pumpkin in front of a house with a lazy dad, it seems especially unwise that farmers are pumping water into food that ends up being used as a garnish for landfills,” Oliver quips.
I particularly liked the illustration about the personal food waste. Oliver said it's like going to the store, buying four bags full of food, dropping one of the bags in the parking lot on the way to your car and not bothering to pick it up. Of course, most people would pick it up if that happened, but then they allow it to go to waste anyway without getting eaten.
"At this rate," he said, "in 40 years when you order pizza from Domino's, they'll just deliver it straight to the nearest dumpster.”
Oliver ends the segment by saying, "We all have to address our relationship with food waste."
If you want to address your relationship with food waste, check out some of these tips and resources.
- 'The Salvage Chef Cookbook' combats home food waste
- 7 expert tips for reducing household food waste before it starts
- 7 tips on how to reduce food waste in your kitchen
- The weekly, intentional fridge check curbs food waste
- How to use the freezer in your food waste fight