I cringed at a piece of information I read in this month's Parents magazine: "One study conducted for the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that every American wastes, on average, more than a pound of food a day."
I went to the department's website for more information. In 1996, researchers found that up to 20 percent of all food produced annually for human consumption in the United States goes to waste. The value of the wasted food is estimated at about $31 billion per year. These lost resources could have fed 49 million people, the site said.
I'm relieved to say my family definitely does not waste a pound of food per person every day. Not being wasteful is important to us, but it's hard not to waste a little when you have kids. We try to limit the waste by only offering our kids portions we really think they'll eat. It's better to start small and add more if they are still hungry. And we always eat leftovers until they're gone, even if we're sick of them.
Wasting food is not only economically inefficient, but it's also socially irresponsible. You know the cliche "There are starving children in Africa..."? Well, it's not so cliche. I've been there, and I've seen starving children. There are also some in our own country, and even in our own back yards.
Let's all try a little harder, eh?