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The Global Food Waste Scandal

TED Talks Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

 

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perpective on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.


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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 10:39 AM

It isn't surprising that the more a country has developed, the more wasteful they are. I just think that we need to change this standard. We can not keep this up if we want to sustain ourselves for centuries to come. If we are going to change our consumption culture, we need to look at why it has become the way it is. Why do we see food as unappealing? This is an interesting video and certaintly makes you think twice about throwing anything away. 

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:13 PM

Ted explains it well how we all waste perfectly good food that people would like to eat. Also it was amazing how much food was in the dumpsters that was just a day or week old. That meat could feed hundreds of people that are struggling to eat and all that meet to waste. 

megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:51 AM

Ted talks about just how wasteful our planet is. How we just ignore the issue and act like it will  not affect us in the future. When he shows you video and pictures of massive piles of the ends of a loaf of bread or all the food that Stop and Shop throws out because it does not "look" good for the customer. How every little bit of help counts you can try to make a little bit of an effort to be less wasteful. We have so much unnecessary waste. Like when he uses the example of how many people throw away the ends of a loaf of bread then he shows the waste of the ends of bread in massive piles it makes you sick. Especially with all of the hungry people in the world we need to be more resourceful.

 

 

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Infographic: The metals that make our technology are running out

Infographic: The metals that make our technology are running out | Development geography | Scoop.it

This infographic by Camden Asay shows that we're fast running out of the stuff that powers our vehicles and our weaponry. But we've got even less time left with our gadgets. Yttrium and indium, two of the rare-earth elements that enable us to have TVs, computer monitors, and touch screens -- oh, and solar panels -- are on a fast track to complete depletion. At our current rate of use, we have less than 15 years' worth left. Of course, we'll probably become a little more efficient at deploying these resources ... but at our modern levels of demand for technology, efficiency really only postpones the inevitable...


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Asia is the world's largest petroleum consumer

Asia is the world's largest petroleum consumer | Development geography | Scoop.it
Energy Information Administration - EIA - Official Energy Statistics from the U.S.

 

This goes nicely with the carbon footprint data that was recently posted.  Although that was data aggregated at the national level and this is on the 'world realms' level, many of the same patterns are visible without the same specificity. 


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Americans Least Green—And Feel Least Guilt, Survey Suggests

Americans Least Green—And Feel Least Guilt, Survey Suggests | Development geography | Scoop.it
A new global survey suggests world's the most wasteful countries feel the least guilty—and vice-versa.

 

Our consumption patterns, ecological footprint and lifestyle choices have a significant impact on how we feel about sustainability initiatives and human/environmental interactions.  


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Seth D.'s comment, September 4, 2012 8:27 AM
This article explains about America being the least green in the world when it comes to transportation, etc. Things are being done which can bring a good impact to our environment like cleaner gasoline or cars that are run on electricity like the hybrid cars that you see in the commercials on TV. But, there's also a few other ways to make a good impact on the environment like riding a bicycle to work for take public transportation or walk to places you want to go to. Not only we can get good exercise by walking or riding a bicycle but you can reduce the emmissions in the air form your own car. When it comes to food, Americans can start eating vegetables to make a good impact on the environment.
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Power Consumption Facts in the U.S.

Power Consumption Facts in the U.S. | Development geography | Scoop.it
Infographic on power consumption facts in the U.S.

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Consumerism Stats [INFOGRAPHIC]

Consumerism Stats [INFOGRAPHIC] | Development geography | Scoop.it

Sometimes it can be difficult to visualize just how much we consume. While purchasing 'green this' and 'eco-friendly that' is all well and good, one of the root causes of our environmental problems is hyper consumption. We simply buy too much of what we don't really need. So, we leave here some statistics on three major topics of consumerism: food, cars and trash...


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Once a Producer, China is now a Consumer

China is now the world's largest car market, and a crucial one for Detroit companies. Chinese consumers bought 18.5 million vehicles last year, and foreigners, especially Americans, have played a key role in developing the industry.

 

China now is the world's largest auto market as China is no longer simply a place where things are produced.  China has become a major consumer of goods as their workers wages allow them to consume more goods. 

 


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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 1:00 PM

China has become the worlds largest car market and General motors planned to open another 600 dealerships because it sells more cars in China then it does in the US. China have even become a bigger consumer in of goods, when this atricle was released they were purchasing 18.5 million worth of goods. That has alot to do with the increased pay they are now recieving as well.  

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:56 PM

This is an interesting headline and topic because so many Americans blame China for job loss, when in reality, China is no longer at the forefront of manufacturing and industry.  China is consuming from foreign markets, such as the United States, just as it has been producing and manufacturing goods.

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What Would Happen If The Entire World Lived Like Americans?

What Would Happen If The Entire World Lived Like Americans? | Development geography | Scoop.it

After making an infographic depicting how much space would be needed to house the entire world’s population based on the densities of various global cities, Tim De Chant of Per Square Mile got to thinking about the land resources it takes to support those same cities.


Tags: consumption, development, resources, energy, density, sustainability.


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Michelle Carvajal's comment, September 18, 2012 6:23 PM
Its very interesting that the United Arab Emirates would need more land mass than lets say China and the US. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the common misconception of people is that China has the greatest population. I definetely will rescoop this because people could actually see how hard it must be to house people who in essence would need all this land mass to live comfortably.
Thomas D's comment, April 22, 2013 4:13 PM
I thought that this was a very interesting graph and article to read. It shows that if the rest of the world lived like us Americans we would need four times the world’s surface, which is pretty substantial to think about. Although the United Arab Emirates is the leading this graph it’s hard to believe that America is in second. This goes to show that our way of living is out of hand, that the only reason we haven’t consumed everything is because the rest of the world is living of more reasonable amounts of resources or no resources at all. That we need to be as a country more conservative of our resources before we have to rely even more heavily than we already do on other countries. I was surprised to see that India has such a small percentage of resource consummation considering it is such a highly populated country.
Brianna Simao's comment, April 30, 2013 10:23 PM
Countries with a more advanced and urbanized way of life clearly would need more space to survive but if everyone lived like these more developed countries then natural selection dies and survival of the fittest takes over. Eventually all the natural resources would be used up. If they all continued to use the same amount and reproduce then the fertility rate would rapidly increase making the area overpopulated and the quality of life decreased. It is a good thing the entire world lives differently and has a diverse ecological footprint because it creates a balance in the world. As one country’s consumption is out of control another is holding down the fort because they lice more reasonably. It is interesting to see that even though China and India have the largest populations they don’t consume as many resources as the United States and the United Arab Emirates.