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How much food do you waste every year? Every week? Every day? We are ALL guilty of food waste – consumers, businesses, restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, etc. – and we need to do better. The United States is the global leader in food waste. Americans discard roughly 40 million tons of food every year. This equates to 80 billion pounds of food, more than $161 billion wasted and approximately 219 pounds of waste per person and 40% of the US food supply. Food takes up the most space amongst landfills, meaning we don’t even get to optimize the food waste we have because it goes to a landfill and is not used for composting. 40% of individual food gets thrown out every year which means that almost ½ of the food you buy gets tossed in the garbage. That is 219 pounds every single year per family of 4 which costs that family over $1,500 in wasted money towards food. (Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food & Drug Administration)
Incidentally while we are wasting so much food, 42 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they don’t have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Less than one third of the food we throw out would be plenty to feed this whole population. As the pandemic has wreaked havoc for many of us, we have learned that food insecurity has gotten substantially worse than it was even a year ago. Everything we have learned and intend to share with our customers points us back to the same conclusions; supply chain operations need to be modified and there need to be stronger market incentives for food waste prevention and food recovery.
Maybe you know all of this but don’t know what to do to make a change. Maybe you think that there isn’t anything YOU, one person, can do to make a change. So many people talk about “doing good”, “changing the world”, or “making an impact” but few seldom define what they mean. Our idea of creating a substantial social change is the number of people whose lives we can improve and how much we can continue to improve them over the long term. We have dreams of creating a huge social movement geared towards stopping food waste in its tracks and that’s exactly what we intend to do, but we need your help.
Our country has a lot of work to do and we intend to participate every step of the way. As a retailer, we’ve decided that the best place we could start was to increase public awareness and influence consumer behavior. XZEERO is an awareness brand extension of the Maskwalla brand that you know and love. We’ve created a line of original face masks, apparel, and accessories as well as ads and brand campaigns that seek to spread the message and correlation between hunger, waste and damage.
Fields are not harvested to capacity, we reject produce due to cosmetic imperfections, we throw away food that is past or close to it’s “Sell By” date, we’re drowned in massive portions of food when we eat out at restaurants, and we let perfectly usable food that we spent our hard-earned money on rot in the back of our fridges and pantries. Our lack of care is embarrassing as we are the champions of global food waste. We need to spread the word that this is unacceptable, and we need to change our habits one bruised apple at a time.
All our facts come from reputable sources; Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.