Junk food is defined as food, such as potato chips or candy, that is high in calories but of little nutritional value. Martin Elkort estimates that Americans consume roughly 50 pounds of cookies and cakes, 100 pounds of refined sugar, 300 containers of soda, and that's only the beginning!
(Photo from Wikipedia.org)
With all of these foods, where do they end up going? The trash of course, giving the term "junk food" a whole new meaning.
An article at CaliforniaWatch.org states that more than six million tons of food products are dumped annually! Also, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, food waste is the largest source of waste in California, making up 15.5 percent! And that's only in California...
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, product dating is not generally required by federal law. So why does many grocery stores and restaurants dispose edible food that are in good condition!?!? Packaging damage or slightly expired food becomes "junk."
The United States Department of Agriculture has statistics that show land used for agriculture and farming have increased in the past decade, so why is throwing away food a problem?
In researching the trail of "junk" food... this is what I found:
Many big chained grocery stores and restaurants have large trash bins, with limited access, and A WHOLE LOT OF SURVEILLANCE. Some even had locks!
When asked to if I could take a look at the trash bins, most places claimed that only employees had access and they could not allow me access due to "competition" purposes- meaning they didn't want me to see trade secrets. Logically, that makes sense.
But when asked why the trash was so hidden, or contained, I mostly received, "You have to talk to corporate," or "I don't know."
I did receive one logical answer: "I guess so animals and stuff can't get to it."
That makes me wonder...
Most local government websites inform their residences to keep trash in closed containers to prevent raccoons and rats. I assume that small animals would have trouble opening these huge lids and containers, so are the locks necessary?
Well with a little creative investigation, and a whole lot of lying... this is what I uncovered:
Clear-cut evidence that edible food becomes junk food! Large chain producers don't want to admit that their products are trash. Millions of dollars are spent every year to produce products that become waste on landfills. This is a major problem!
(Additional pictures can be seen by clicking on the "Pictures" on the left)
Donate? The homeless and needy are many of the few that could use a good meal. However, many places don't like to donate because they don't want to be "liable" for any health issues due to expired food. Just because large chain grocery stores won't do it, doesn't mean we can't! Websites like TheHungerSite.Com and FeedingAmerica.org show ways that society can help out.
Recycle? Many wilted greens could be recycled, as shown at StopWaste.org
If all else fails...
Strike! Freegan.info showcases activism by boycotting capitalism through not consuming anything, PERIOD. They prove that "junk food" is edible, after all, they wouldn't be able to boycott if it wasn't.
(For more info on the above links, just click! and it'll lead you to the website)