Thursday, September 15, 2011

American Wasteland How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) by Jonathan Bloom

  DaCapo Books sent over a copy of American Wasteland - How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) by Jonathan Bloom for me to review. 

 I work in an elementary school cafeteria so I see an incredible amount of wasted food. I realize kids are picky when it comes to eating but they can and should be taught not to be so wasteful. It is nothing to see a child take one bite out of their hamburger and throw the rest in the trash. This is not only a waste of food it is so much more. Just think about how that food got onto the child's plate. First someone had to plow the ground (Man power, diesel) Plant grow and harvest the wheat for the bun. (more man power, diesel, water and time) Get the wheat to the mill to be ground, to the bakery to be made into buns and then shipped to our school (Diesel, more man power, electricity, tax dollars from hard working citizens, paper work.etc...) This does not even include the waste of the beef that came from a living creature. I mean there are hungry people all over the globe and people have the audacity to be throwing food away. It literally makes me want to cry.

 American Wasteland shows just how bad this situation really is and exactly what we can do about it. This book covers food waste from all aspects, from why it matters, how it is disgraceful and how we have developed a "culture of waste" in this country. Jonathan Bloom goes on to discuss ways that we can change this bad habit through lifestyle changes and legislation. It's a good read.

Description from DaCapo Website:

What Tom Vanderbilt did for traffic and Brian Wansink did for mindless eating, Jonathan Bloom does for food waste. The topic couldn’t be timelier: As more people are going hungry while simultaneously more people are morbidly obese, American Wasteland sheds light on the history, culture, and mindset of waste while exploring the parallel eco-friendly and sustainable-food movements. As the era of unprecedented prosperity comes to an end, it’s time to reexamine our culture of excess.Working at both a local grocery store and a major fast food chain and volunteering with a food recovery group, Bloom also interviews experts—from Brian Wansink to Alice Waters to Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen—and digs up not only why and how we waste, but, more importantly, what we can do to change our ways.

Jonathan Bloom

Jonathan Bloom is a freelance journalist and food waste expert who writes the blog Wasted Food. An accomplished eater and fledgling composter, he has covered both serious and quirky topics related to food and the environment. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsweek, and Variety, among others. A Boston native, he lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his family, and many, many containers for leftovers.
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