Monday, March 21, 2011

40% vs One in Eight

Forty Percent........ One in Eight: Two figures which embody the tragic irony that exists in America today.

40% of the food ready for harvest in this country never gets eaten. 
One in eight Americans is in need of emergency food relief. 

The 40%.....

Pre-harvest losses, such as those due to severe weather and disease are unavoidable. However, much of the post-harvest loss is avoidable. From the farm to the retail level loss can be attributed to mechanization, production practices and decisions

During the processing and wholesale stage, tons of  edible food is wasted through poor handling, package failure, and transportation losses. The amount of edible food that is discarded, thrown straight into the dumpster because it fails to meet often arbitrary federal and or state "standards" is unconscionable.
At the retail level, over 5 billion pounds of food are lost each year. Dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables account for half of retail loss.

Nearly 100 billion pounds of food is lost by consumers and the foodservice industry.........26% of the edible food supply! Fresh fruits and vegetables account for 20% of consumer and foodservice loss.


The One in Eight........

The USDA spends billions of dollars providing food assistance. An estimated 150,000 nonprofit organizations including food banks and neighborhood charity outlets provide 10% of the U.S. population with some portion of their nutritional needs. 

"However, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, even with the extensive network of Federal and private food assistance programs, almost 20% of requests for emergency food assistance went unmet."


"We live in the world's wealthiest nation. Yet 13 percent of people living in the United States live in poverty.
Nearly one in four children live in households that struggle to put food on the table. That's 16.7 million children.
The most direct way to reduce hunger in the U.S. is through national nutrition programs. But while food assistance to hungry people is vital, it is not enough.
More than one in eight people in the United States lives below the poverty line, which is $21,756 for a family of four in 2009. One in five children in the United States lives below the poverty line. Source: Income, Earnings, and Poverty data from the 2008 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2009. 
  • Americans (51.4 percent) will live in poverty at some point before age 65.  Source: Urban Institute, Transitioning In and Out of Poverty, 2007. 
  • 84 percent of low-income families have at least one working family member, and 75 percent of single mothers who head households work. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007. 
  • In most areas, a family of four needs to earn twice the poverty line to provide children with basic necessities. Source: National Center for Children in Poverty, 2008.  
  • Nationally, more than 30 percent of children live in low-income working families (families who earn less than twice the poverty line). Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007, compiled by the Working Poor Families Projec Most t.
  • A person working full-time at the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. The official poverty line for a family of three—one parent with two children—is $17,285.
  • Source:

Forty Percent and One in Eight....  Simple figures..... Easy to remember. 

Think on them and and then ask:

How can we get the 40 to the One? 

 Start locally. Imagine Globally.

Oh! The possibilities.

Eat thoughtfully,



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