Finally Good News

Technology to the Rescue

Posted on: December 3, 2012

Only within the last decade have humans really begun to consciously become aware of our consumption propensities and the effect they may have on what is around us, and our health in general. It isn’t just climate change that has people buzzing, but iStock_000020727386XSmallalso sourcing products responsibly, understanding what is more elemental and essential and trying to be a ‘good human.’ It’s funny that it’s taken this long to see that this orb called Earth isn’t just a plaything.

What does this have to do with a giant microwave oven-looking specimen in Lubbock, Texas you ask? Well, food scarcity is beginning to make headlines as the new universal threat. Of course this is linked to rising temperatures and the consequences therein, but the fact remains that although bread prices have almost doubled in the last five years, people still don’t get the idea that we will be soon paying much more for everything agricultural – coffee, meat, rice, and of course, water.

So it is encouraging to read an article by the BBC’s environment correspondent, Matt McGrath, detailing how those fine people called scientists are devising ways to make food wastage obsolete. As the article states, “Food waste is a massive problem in most developed countries. In the US, figures released this year suggest that the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase – which adds up to $165bn (£102bn) annually.” Much of this has to do with consumers deifying the best-by dates on packaging, and also not understanding that food doesn’t necessarily need to look like it’s in a commercial to be edible and tasty. But, to get to the heart of the matter, scientists have been working to find ways to use machines to ‘zap’ the mold from things like bread, increasing their shelf life to up to sixty days. Good news; now comes the problem of convincing the public that it’s not space food. But I guess that’s what advertising agencies are for.

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2 Responses to "Technology to the Rescue"

Hi Robin..I think it’s all good..A thought I had as I was raised by my grandparents..At a time when America was just coming out of the great depression..Today people that think they are poor still throw away a lot of stuff..An example: When a chicken was butchered we ate the head,feet, the entrals went into a bucket for compost or baiting a catfish line,feathers were saved to make pillows ,fishing quills,etc. Point is nothing was wasted.Any moneys was kept by Grandma in a little tobacco pouch .Pinned to the inside of her bra. No one spent a dime unless you had a darn good reason.As for bread left over .It was put into a little flour sack and was hanging up to dry.Later we made what was known as poor do…It was really kinda like dressing with seasonings picked wild from the woods.But I remember it being one of my favorites.Here in the U,S. they all ready are micro waving our foods before we get it…Farmers and gardeners are all ready coming under attacks here for trying to sell there fresh grown vegetables. All under the guise of protecting the public..I personally think there is more behind this.When I was still driving truck for a living.I seen whole tractor trailer loads of cereals put into trash bins because there was a mistype on the box label somewhere..Enough to feed a thousand kids for a few weeks..A travesty but government restrictions say there might be a peanut in there that would make some allergic child die..I used to think public awareness and education to these things was the answer. But I wonder if there is enough people that really care about it.At least you are getting out some words about the good things happening.And I guess that’s a good thing.

Hi Bob,

First of all, I would like to thank you for the kind words. I truly hope that my blog does help spread some good news among many negative ones..

Thanks also for sharing your personal story. I too am familiar with your experience of complete consumption of any food resource in the past, such as your chicken example. I also believe that our society needs to “relearn” what was once routine practice. Our planet offers us almost infinite resources, but it’s on us to start using our intelligence to not take this fact for granted. The faster we learn to care about our surroundings, and the humbler we become with what is being given to us, the better we will become as a society…

Your story of the cereal boxes is a perfect example of today’s waste. An amount of food as you described could have probably helped many people, and more thought should have been put into it before disposal of the entire stock… I’m sure many charities would have been more than happy to receive those boxes, and make sure that the right people receive them (and make sure that people allergic to peanuts are appropriately warned).

I am a strong believer in the ability and willingness of people to take responsibility of their own lives and their surroundings!

Robin

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