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30-50 Percent Of Food Produced In the World Goes Uneaten
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30-50 Percent Of Food Produced In the World Goes Uneaten

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Cleaning your plate may not help feed starving children today, but the time-worn advice of mothers everywhere may help reduce food waste from the farm to the fork, help the environment and make it easier to feed the world's growing population.

Hard data is still being collected, but experts at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago this week said an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of the food produced in the world goes uneaten.

The average American throws away 33 pounds of food each month -- about $40 worth -- according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, which plans to publish a report on food waste in April.

In a year, that means each person throws away almost 400 pounds of food, the weight of an adult male gorilla. (Graphic, U.S. food waste in 2010: )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 23 percent of eggs and an even higher percentage of produce ends up in the trash.

"We forget we have all these fresh fruits and vegetables, and at the end of the week we have to throw them away," said Esther Gove, a mother of three young children in South Berwick, Maine. "Now, I don't buy as much fresh produce as I used to."

But the impact of food waste stretches far beyond the kitchen.

Agriculture is the world's largest user of water, a big consumer of energy and chemicals and major emitter of greenhouse gases during production, distribution and landfill decay. Experts say reducing waste is a simple way to cut stress on the environment while easing pressure on farmers, who will be called on to feed an expected 9 billion people around the world in 2050, versus nearly 7 billion today.

"No matter how sustainable the farming is, if the food's not getting eaten, it's not sustainable and it's not a good use of our resources," Dana Gunders, a sustainable agriculture specialist at the NRDC, said at the Reuters Summit.

In richer nations, edible fruit and vegetables end up in landfills because they are not pretty enough to meet a retailer's standards, have gone bad in a home refrigerator or were not eaten at a restaurant.

In developing countries, much food spoils before it gets to market due to poor roads and lack of refrigeration.

High food prices are another factor, since some people can't afford the food that's produced, said Patrick Woodall, research director and senior policy advocate for Food and Water Watch.

"It's not a situation where you have to massively ramp up production," Woodall told the Reuters Summit. "Even in 2008, when there were hunger riots around the world, there was enough food to feed people, it was just too expensive."


DuPont is working with farmers in Kenya to extend the life of raw milk. Often farmers have to travel up to 20 kilometers to get their milk to market, and due to the country's high temperatures, much of the milk gets wasted, Jim Borel, an executive vice president with DuPont, said.

"This has broad application, but we're focused on Africa right now," Borel said.

Europe is a leader in tackling food waste, but the United States is catching on as producers, facing tepid sales growth, look to control costs.

For example, a General Mills pizza plant found a way to use heat to make toppings stick to frozen pizzas better. The system is expected to prevent thousands of pounds of cheese and other pizza toppings from going to waste each year.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said 33 million tons of food waste hit landfills and incinerators in 2010, the largest solid waste product in the system. EPA has launched a program to address the issue.

Experts from EPA and other groups have floated a variety of recommended fixes. They say clarifying "sell by" and "use by" dates could help consumers avoid throwing food in the garbage too soon. Some food could be "rescued" and used in soup kitchens, while certain leftovers could be used as animal feed.

Increasing composting could boost soil health and drought resistance, while also easing the burden on landfills and reducing decomposition of garbage into greenhouse gas methane.

Gove, the Maine mother, has found her own solutions. She buys frozen blueberries and raspberries instead of fresh ones that may spoil; purchases meat in bulk; and freezes what she doesn't immediately need. She also has introduced her kids to frozen banana treats, which means she's able to keep the fruit longer.

Read More from Yahoo News

Report Shows 3 Out Of 10 Young Adults Still Living With Parents, Highest Since 1950's

The Christian Science Monitor---After graduating from Brown University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and completing a Fulbright scholarship in Brazil, Cassie Owens was left with a few dollars on her stipend and no job in sight. So, Ms. Owens returned home to her mother in Philadelphia.

“I moved back home pretty much for lack of money and prospects,” she says. Owens’s cousin, Evon Burton, who also returned home after graduating from Morehouse College in 2009, adds, “The choice is to go out and be in debt or to pursue your dreams and save up money at home, in a safe, stable environment.”

Owens and Burton are among the scores of so-called “boomerang kids,” young adults who move out of the family home for school or work and then return home. Unable to find well-paying work in a weak economy, escalating numbers of young adults – as many as 3 in 10 – are returning home to the family nest, resulting in the highest share of young adults living in multi-generational households since the 1950s, according to a Pew Research Center report released Thursday.

“The rise in the boomerang phenomenon illustrates the effect the recession and the weak economy are having on young adults,” says Kim Parker, a senior researcher at Pew and the author of the study. “Young adults were hit particularly hard in the job market and are having to delay reaching some basic financial milestones of adulthood because of this.”

In 1980, some 11 percent of young adults lived in multigenerational households, suggesting that a strong economy helped youngsters gain independence more quickly. Today, some 29 percent of 25- to 34-year olds either never moved out of their parents’ home or say they returned home in recent years because of the economy, according to the Pew report. Among 18- to 24-year olds, that figure is even higher – 53 percent of young adults in that age group live at home.

“These statistics show that the recession has exacerbated a trend that was already under way since the 1980s … living at home longer and boomeranging back more frequently,” says Barbara Ray, coauthor of “Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood and Why It's Good for Everyone.” The recession has hit this age group particularly hard, says Ms. Ray, and high unemployment among young adults, combined with growing college debt, means more youngsters are returning home.

Read More From The Christian Science Monitor

Pro-Lifers To Hold Nation Wide Prayer Vigil For Upcoming Court Hearing On ObamaCare

One News Now--ObamaCare opponents will lay 3,300 flowers around the Supreme Court as a "prophetic witness" to remind justices of the children who die from abortion every day. As part of the "Justice at the Court" project, the pro-lifers will also meet together and pray Sunday, March 25.

Pat Mahoney, head of the Christian Defense Coalition, suggests the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will lead to government-financed abortion.

He is concerned about "the mandates that Health and Human Services has put on Catholic institutions regarding covering abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations in healthcare coverage for their employees. In other words," he says, "the government telling religious organizations and institutions how they are to live their faith."

As arguments take place March 26-26, the group will again meet to pray at the Supreme Court "for God to intervene to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional so Congress can put forward health legislation that respects religious freedom, honors the dignity of human life, and embraces the principles of our Constitution."

Mahoney points out that when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the Christian community was detached and uninvolved. So he is encouraging churches throughout the country to organize prayer vigils during the same time frame. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is reportedly organizing counter prayer rallies, calling for God's intervention to uphold ObamaCare.

Read More From One News Now

Actor George Clooney Says Christian Ministries Key To Helping Sudan

Eternal Flame News: Bible Prophecy Fulfilled in Today's World

Jeremy talks about Biblical Prophecy connected to the march on Jerusalem.

March on Israel the 30th of March.

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