“The common attitude is ‘when in doubt, throw it out.’ But I try to give the food the benefit of the doubt.”
Theses are the words of Jonathan Bloom, a food blogger and author of a new book called American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food, who spoke recently with the NY Times’ Well blog. The author estimates that people toss out as much as 25% of the food they bring into their homes. So a family spending $175 a week on groceries wastes $40 worth of food weekly, adding up to $2,275 a year.
Why do we waste so much food and money? As the quote above indicates, the kneejerk reaction is to err on the side of safety—which means people are apt to throw away tons of food that might not look that inviting but that’s perfectly safe to eat. Bloom also points to the SUV-like size of today’s fridges as a reason for an epidemic in overshopping and food that inevitably goes rotten:
“So many people these days have these massive refrigerators, and there is this sense that we need to keep them well stocked. But there’s no way you can eat all that food before it goes bad.”