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Why We Waste Food
Your household will probably waste $1,500 of food this year, but there's a way to fix that
A recent report by some of my colleagues at Harvard Law School estimates that up to 40 percent of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten and that consumers waste approximately 160 billion pounds of food each year. Put differently, the federal government estimates that each year the average four-person household wastes more than two million calories, the equivalent of $1,500. Why exactly are we paying millions of dollars to throw away food?
One answer—maybe the answer—is law. A mix of federal, state and local laws make it almost impossible to get food that would otherwise be wasted to those who could use it. If you donate food to someone and they get sick or even die, then you could be legally liable for their injury. That risk, however small, means that when choosing between giving away and throwing away food, the least risky choice is to toss it. Some restaurants have found ways to manage this problem by carefully picking recipient organizations and transporters and carefully documenting their own preparation practices, but many have not. Often it is easier to do the wrong thing; or rather, the law has made wasting food the only thing for many restaurants. Read the full article.
Originally published August 24, 2016 by TIME.com. By Jacob Gersen.
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