In the Richest Country in the World, 1 in 5 People Can’t Afford to Eat
Dueling studies have revealed something strange in the behavior of Americans. While one study published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reveals that Americans waste 40 percent of their food supply, a second Gallup poll reveals that one in five Americans can’t afford to eat on a regular basis.
These two studies do more to highlight America’s inequality gap than any other. While one set of Americans picks at their food at home, and at fine dining establishments, another set of Americans doesn’t have enough to eat.
Gallup reports that based on the responses of 177,662 Americans from January to June, one in five adults didn’t have enough money to buy food on more than one occasion in the last year. The data suggests that 18.2 percent of Americans have an issue with food security.
Conversely, according to NRDC’s study:
- Americans trash 40 percent of our food supply every year, valued at about $165 billion;
- The average American family of four ends up throwing away an equivalent of up to $2,275 annually in food;
- Food waste is the single largest component of solid waste in U.S. landfills;
- Just a 15 percent reduction in losses in the U.S. food supply would save enough food to feed 25 million Americans annually;
- There has been a 50 percent jump in U.S. food waste since the 1970s.
Also intermixed in this is the drought, which will undoubtedly impact American consumers, and the way Wall Street speculators manipulate food markets. Considering that, it is doubtful that food security will improve for the one in five Americans already impacted.
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