June 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 68°F


Editorial: Excess food must not end up in overflowing landfills

Creating food waste puts humans and the Earth in a terrifying danger. When there is input to improve the problem, not only will food waste decrease, but it can solve other major problems, like food insecurity and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Eco-Reps at Ithaca College is putting efforts toward lowering food waste at dining halls by donating leftover food to the Friendship Donations Network. The donated food will be given to people in need with the intention to solve the food insecurity issue in the City of Ithaca. 

However, the whole world has issues with food waste. The United States alone wastes 30-40% of its food supply. Food waste can happen both intentionally and unintentionally. Intentional wasting happens when a person throws out food just because they do not care about the problems their actions will create. Unintentional wasting occurs because of misleading expiration dates on products. Most of the food that is supposed to be “expired” is not. Food labels are estimated expiration dates, which do not tell the whole information about the particular food — it is the pathogens that make the food inedible. Unfortunately, people tend to worry about the expiration dates and discard any food that has “gone bad.” 

Food donations could potentially improve food insecurity problems, which kills five to 13 people per minute. While some people discard fresh food, someone else tries to consume it from a dumpster to survive hunger. Not only would food donations lower the food insecurity numbers, but they would help to reduce a great amount of carbon emissions from the Earth. All the wasted food is rotting in landfills and emits one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is a chance to stop the numbers from increasing. Solving that problem is on the shoulders of companies and institutions. Yet, we have our part in it too: to learn, advocate and improve our wasting and consumerism habits. 

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline