Dear Food,Dear Food,I know you already know this,but I need you,You bring my family together,you sweeten my celebrations,you make my deals,you satisfy my senses,and you keep me alive.
You work so hard to make all of this possible,spending your life growing in the field,the factory or the sea.I try to be good to you.I give you half of my land,two thirds of the water I consume,a tenth of my energy and one-sixth of my workforce.But I want to apologize.Because after all that,you deserve to be eaten.But instead,I throw away almost half of you enough calories to feed 150 million people.
From harvest to home,I waste half of all fruits,vegetables,seafood,and a third of all grains. I'd better to meat and dairy, wasting only 20 percent, but this is a double waste, because essentially I'm also dumping the grain or grass the animals ate to make the muscle or milk. And I waste you in many ways: For example, sometimes I leave you in the field to die because it costs more to harvest you than you're worth.
Other times, I mistakenly damage, contaminate or spill you. Or, reject you when you're imperfect, because I judge by appearance. But mostly I squander you in supermarkets, restaurants and homes, when you are so close to being eaten. I offer too much of you, so I take too much and I can't finish you, or I can't sell all of you before you go badly. At home I forget about you or I cook too much and don't know how to store you.
Or maybe I just don't like leftovers. Part of the problem is that on average, I spend a smaller fraction of my household budget on you than in any other country or any time in history, and my spending is spread out over days and weeks, so I don't notice the cost of wasting you. But my lack of noticing adds up:I devote four California's worth of land and more water than all non-agricultural water consumption combined just do grow food that doesn't get eaten.
This is not your fault-it's time. Only I can buy less of you and eat more of what I do buy. Only I can accept your imperfections, realize that "best-before" doesn't mean "use-by, "and store you better.
In general, I need to learn more about you because this is about us and our relationship. I help you grow, and then I eat you. Anything else is a waste.