TIL: We Waste One-Third of Food Worldwide

When you were a kid, your mom probably made you stay at the dinner table until you finished your peas. Most of us eventually gave in, swallowing the evil little green bits like pills with milk. It was torture at the time, but mom had the right idea—and not just because peas are good for you.

About a third of our planet’s food goes to waste. That’s enough food to feed the nearly 800 million people going hungry and then some. Household and grocery waste are two of the biggest reasons for the problem. However, one of the biggest culprits is the casting off of so-called “ugly” foods.  

At your local market, perfectly formed, beautifully colored fruits and vegetables surround shoppers. Sure, they exist, but these foods are the supermodels of the agricultural world. Most fruits and vegetables come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which are cosmetically far removed from what you find on grocery shelves. As a result of our expectations, perfectly good food regularly goes to waste.

In this week’s Today I Learned, National Geographic explorer Tristram Stuart elaborates on the many ways perfectly good food goes to waste. To learn more about the problem check out the March 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.

EDITOR: Chris Mattle
CAMERA: Carolyn Barnwell