Isabel G. Massachusetts

Food Waste

How much food is being wasted in the United States?

Dear Madam or Mr. President,

Food waste is a problem that was first brought to my eyes last year. We were assigned to do an essay on a problem that we felt passionately about. I chose to write about food insecurity and I read some articles about food waste. Over the summer, I visited family in a different country and every other day, we had huge family gatherings and order a lot of food. At first I didn’t notice anything strange about the situation. Then as I was walking around, toasting each of the two dozen tables or so, I noticed that some of the many dishes had been untouched. Actually, most of the food had been untouched or one person had sampled it. This made me a little shocked because I usually thought of this country as poor and needing help feeding its many mouths.

In the United States, 40% of food is being wasted, yet one in every six people are hungry. How can this happen, you might ask. The New York Times says that “about 65 percent of the waste stemmed from kitchen practices like throwing away vegetable peels. But patrons accounted for about 30 percent of the waste.” Sixty-five percent of food waste comes from the kitchen. Now, I’m not saying that we should eat potato peels and eat the rotting parts of fruits, but we can be more creative in our uses of what may seem to be inedible. A big part of this is what supermarkets deem to be unworthy to eat. According to an article from CNN, “Major supermarkets, in meeting consumer expectations, will often reject entire crops of perfectly edible fruit and vegetables at the farm because they do not meet exacting marketing standards for their physical characteristics, such as size and appearance." If you have a funny shaped apple for example, it doesn’t exactly mean that the apple can’t be eaten.

And it’s not just the United States that wastes food. Every year, 4.4 billion tons of food are produced in the world, but almost half of that food is wasted. One in nine people don’t have sufficient food to be healthy.

Food waste is the start of so many problems which is why you should pay attention to this issue. I believe that you can help solve this problem by making supermarkets encourage consumers to buy just what they need with proper expiration dates and making sure that they keep all food that can be eaten. I hope that you will take steps to help solve this problem. One in six people will benefit from your decisions to stop food waste.

Sincerely, Isabel

Baker ELA


8th Grade

All letters from this group →