“How to Stop Wasting Food”

c1main.eatocracy.barOne of the newer articles on the topic of food waste was published by CNN in mid January of this year. It’s short and to the point. It almost acts as a follow up to the previous articles that were published about food waste by other news sources during the tail end of 2013. Kate Krader, a writer for CNN’s online Eatocracy Blog, wrote the article, “How to Stop Wasting Food.” The Eatocracy section reports on a variety of article topics having to do with food. It features new recipes and news about what’s happening in the world of food. Krader is a “Food and Wine Restaurant Editor,” therefore giving readers full disclosure that she does not have the credibility or credentials of a scientist.

The article begins with logical statistics as to how much food is wasted in the U.S. each year. She starts the article with the alarming statistic that we are wasting forty percent of our food, or “about twenty pounds per person per month.” It is important to notice how she makes the conversion from forty percent to twenty pounds per person per month. Without making this conversion readers might be less likely to understand how much food we are actually wasting as a country. Forty percent might not seem like that much, but many people can understand what twenty pounds is and most readers have a good idea of the amount of people that occupy the earth. Therefore, the comparison makes it easier for reader to create somewhat of a tangible visual, and might be more productive at engaging reader’s attention.

In comparing the focus of this articles with the others previously analyzed, “How to Stop Wasting Food” seems to highlight more solutions of how to put a stop to food waste. But, the majority of the solutions described seem to be more connected to commercial or industrial waste conservation rather than underlining individual waste awareness.

Krader explains how Tri-State Biodiesel has been working to convert all, “Used cooking oil from cooking french-fries during events at MetLife Stadium,” and reuse that oil to heat outdoor stadium tents at this years Super Bowl game. Krader does not fail to mention that, “If you were eating french-fries during the Taylor Swift’s Red concert last summer at MetLife Stadium, you’ve done your part.” By telling readers they have “Done their part” could give them hope that they are contributing in a large way, therefore making them feel better about themselves, which is what Krader strives to do.

Krader also talks about turning food waste into electricity, which is also something that’s being done on a cooperation industrial level. She explains how a particular waste management company is in the process of building a facility that will recycle food waste into methane that will be burned to generate electricity. The methane-converted electricity will have the potential to power 4,000 local homes. Seems like a great idea, right? Possibly, but in the first paragraph of Krader’s article she lists off multiple statistics about food waste in America and the rest of the article is supposed to follow with solutions to these problems. However, Grundon Waste Management is located in England, not America. Seeing as Krader is meant to talk about food waste in America, not England, these solutions could have the potential to mislead readers who are not paying close attention to detail.

The article wraps up with one personal tip of advice that will help readers reduce food waste on an individual level. Krader introduces the idea of “compost cooking” to her readers, which at first sight might not sound very appealing to her audience. But Krader makes compost cooking seems somewhat of a new trend by including a link to Tara Duggan’s cookbook called, Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable. This section is the only underlying call to action that appears throughout the article.

Although Krader’s article is about cutting down on food waste, it seems as though she is more focused on the positive innovations that companies are making in order to utilize food waste for alternative sources. This is important aspect to be informed of, but she focuses more on the industrial efforts than engaging her readers to be consciously aware of reducing food waste on an individual level.

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5 thoughts on ““How to Stop Wasting Food””

  1. I loved reading about the topic of wasting food. This is something that is extremely relevant and important to us and it’s something that the media needs to focus on more. Even though I feel as though I know that we are wasting food every year, I was alarmed to find out that we are in fact wasting forty percent of our food, and twenty pounds per person through month. That alarming fact definitely grabbed my attention and was worth pointing out. It’s great that this article focused on solutions on how to stop wasting food. Because this topic is entirely based on human action, it’s extremely important to inform readers of ways that they can help themselves.
    It’s disappointing that the author placed more focus on industrial efforts than reader efforts. Including some focus on what the industry is doing to reduce food is important to engage readers in knowing that they can help too, but there then also needs to be a lot of focus on ways that readers can help. The author only provides one piece of advice for readers to cut down on their food waste. This topic misses out on a good opportunity to get readers seriously involved in something in which they can actually make a difference. This also means that this should be a topic that the media covers a lot because it’s something that we can see the effects of currently in real time. It will be interesting to see if there are any serious calls to action across the country to see if we can start to combat the problem.

    - N. Gibian

  2. I found both the article you analyzed and your analysis very interesting. I think you did a really good job of pointing out the flaws in the article and where the reader may be mislead, as well as pointing out what it did well. I like that Krader made the conversion to 20 pounds of wasted food per month and I agree that that is much more powerful than 40%. It definitely made me stop and think about how much food I waste. I also wonder if that number includes that parts of food that you don’t eat like Banana peels.

  3. The “Eatocracy” picture at the top is awesome! Your analysis was thorough and concise. If there is so much food being wasted, there has to be a better way to increase the amount of recycling of used food like cooking oil or banana peels than what we have now. Great job!

  4. Food as energy?! That seems a little far fetched. I do like the idea of your blog because I feel as though not enough attention is being brought to this ever increasing problem. The global population is expected to rise from 7 billion people to 9 billion people in 2050. How are we supposed to support all these people when there are so many mouths to feed and probably not enough production of food. I wrote a paper discussing possible solutions towards the problem. I found it very interesting that they focused on the industrial and commercial scale. One of my ideas was to decrease food portion sizes when selling. This meaning no more buying in bulk. Also, buffets…worst idea ever. It only encourages over-consumption and waste. This needs to end.

  5. I love your topic!!!! Very interesting. It’s definitely a huge issue in our society but a lot of people aren’t aware about it or aren’t conscious of how much food they’re actually wasting. I thought this post was informative and your analysis was very clear. I completely agree your discussion about the effects of the transition from 40% to 20 lbs. per person. Great job!!!!

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