Scott: We know that humans are responsible for quite a bit of the pollution in our air. But a new study suggests that cleaning your plate could help clean the atmosphere. Keith Kocinski takes a closer look.
Person 1: Boats cause pollution.
Person 2: Airplanes.
Person 3: Big corporations, factories.
Person 4: Most things with engines, really.
Keith: Those are the usual suspects, but what if I told you the food you throw away is also a big creator of greenhouse gases?
Person 5: I wouldn’t expect that all.
Person 6: That’s really sad because we waste a lot of food. I mean, I know my family wastes a lot of food.
Keith: Greenhouse gases are those like carbon dioxide, or CO2. Many scientists say high amounts of these gases contribute to the rise in the Earth’s temperature. These gases rest in a layer above the Earth, then trap the heat of the sun in the atmosphere like a blanket, causing a warmer climate. And new data by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says the food the world throws away gives off 3.3 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
Pedro Sanchez: When the food starts to rot, whatever it rots and begins to smell, you are emitting greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Keith: Put it this way, if it was a country, wasted food would be the third biggest emitter after China and the U.S.
Sanchez: It is a serious problem. In developed countries, the amount of food that we throw away from the refrigerator into a trashcan is enormous.
Keith: To give you a better idea of where the problem starts, a third of all food humans can eat is wasted. This equals about 1.3 billion tons of waste that is releasing CO2. What is 1.3 billion tons really? Well, it weighs as much as nearly 5.8 million Statue’s of Liberty, over 80 million school buses, and around 18 billion Justin Biebers!
It costs a lot to waste that much food too. In fact, about $750 billion. That is enough money to feed over 2.3 billion teens, based on the average cost per month.
Rotting foods aren’t the only problem. Making that wasted food releases greenhouse gases. Producing food causes 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
A solution to the problem may start here but it needs to happen sooner than later. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that we will need 60% more food to meet our growing population demand by 2050. Cutting down our food waste could help feed more people.
Scientists say we can’t stop all food waste, but we can make an impact with changes on the farm, in the supermarket and on our plates.
Person 7: Eat more local food could help.
Person 8: Measure how much food I would eat before buying or purchasing anything.
Person 9: Give away more or not buy as much when I am buying it.
Person 10: Using leftovers and keeping food for more than one day before just throwing it out.
Keith: These are a few simple changes experts say can help make an impact.
Keith Kocinski, Channel One News.
Scott: Feeling inspired? Well, tomorrow is World Food Day. So, what is your plan to help? Well, check out Channelone.com for some ideas for how you can make an impact.