The Food Cycle

cacan Those who find themselves driving through southern Idaho will notice that there are few people and many cows. Cows on feedlots, ranges, and dairies are visible from the freeway.

What do cows eat? On the range, it’s obvious: grasses and other available plants.

In feedlots, cows are given similar food, optimized for their nutritional needs.

Meat Free Monday, an organization focused on promoting a diet with less meat, argues that this ground shouldn’t be used for animal and animal feed production but should instead be used for human food production.

Using the thousands of acres farmers and ranchers use to grow animals or animal food could be used to grow food for humans. Even in Idaho, food staples like potatoes, onions, and garlic are grown.

Meat Free Monday cites a few countries where their proposed adjustment works: Belgium, Hungary, and Brazil have implemented a program aimed at reducing meat consumption.

The organization also cites studies that suggest cutting meat has health benefits.

Growing more food for humans isn’t the biggest problem with United States agriculture.

Food waste is.

The USDA estimates that between 30% and 40% of food is wasted at the consumer level. This equates to $161 billion.

Food waste happens for several reasons, and many of them make sense, especially from a consumer standpoint. Nobody wants two-week-old tomatoes rotting in their crisper.

When the tomatoes are tossed away, organic matter is going to waste. Those tomatoes could be tossed into compost instead of the garbage and used as organic fertilizer in a yard or garden.

Soil responds better to organic fertilizer than synthetic chemical fertilizer.

Food waste doesn’t happen solely at the consumer level, though. Crops that don’t meet strict quality standards from grocery stores never make it to shelves. 

Before grocery stores see food, it’s shipped from farms. Shipping errors or delays and faulty equipment can cause food to go bad.

Before food is shipped, it’s harvested, and this process alone creates food waste.

The USDA and the EPA agreed that the best way to reduce food waste is to reduce surplus food, which means more food for humans isn’t necessary. 

Written by jessicagochnour

More From This Category

Organic: What does the label mean?

Organic: What does the label mean?

Decoding food labels: part 1Food labeling in the United States can be difficult to understand. The USDA organic seal is regulated and can only be used on products that meet specific criteria.   Under the organic label umbrella, there are actually four different...

read more
Organic: What does the label mean?

Organic: What does the label mean?

Decoding food labels: part 1Food labeling in the United States can be difficult to understand. The USDA organic seal is regulated and can only be used on products that meet specific criteria.   Under the organic label umbrella, there are actually four different...

read more
Organic: What does the label mean?

Organic: What does the label mean?

Decoding food labels: part 1Food labeling in the United States can be difficult to understand. The USDA organic seal is regulated and can only be used on products that meet specific criteria.   Under the organic label umbrella, there are actually four different...

read more

0 Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amanda’s Spot
Copyright © 2024 Company Name