Cleaning the world’s plate.

A new U.N. report (over at Scientific American) shows we’re actually wasting 300 million Hummer H2s’ weight of food every year:

What is more interesting is how the food is wasted around the world:

Food losses in industrialized countries are as high as in developing countries, but in developing countries more than 40% of the food losses occur at post harvest and processing levels, while in industrialized countries, more than 40% of the food losses occur at retail and consumer levels. Food waste at consumer level in industrialized countries (222 million ton) is almost as high as the total net food production in sub- Saharan Africa (230 million ton).

I nearly dropped my sandwich reading that. But is it really a surprise to many of us?

Take a trip to the grocery store and one will find aisles upon aisles of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and other processed foodstuffs. Food that isn’t taken home is tossed for a number of reasons; it can be past its expiration date, has accumulated moisture, or sometimes just doesn’t look “good” anymore, and is sent to that big landfill in the sky. All told, around 27 million tons of food per year is tossed from grocery stores, restaurants, fast food chains and convenience stores.

We can feed the world with the stuff we’re throwing away.