Can You Guess How Much Food We Throw Away?
-- Embracing Circularity At Whitmore's Riverbottom Farms
We all do it. We all see other people doing it too.
It’s not THAT much though, right?
The milk we let spoil in the fridge.
The fruit that goes bad in the grocery store.
The food we can’t finish on our plates.
So, what do you think? How much food do we really waste?
According to National Geographic Magazine, United States consumers & retailers alone throw away 133 billion pounds of food. (So, that doesn’t even include the throw aways from places like farms, fishing vessels, and slaughterhouses.)
How many football stadiums would that fill?
According to WGA Magazine, 730 stadiums filled per year.
2+ Per Day – A 90,000 seat football stadium, heaping Full of Food.
That’s a crazy amount of waste!
Everyone knows what the term “food waste” means.
What does is really mean.
Will there be a time when we look back – when our grandchildren look back – and wish we hadn’t been so foolish? Taken so much food for granted?
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) says that by 2050, to feed everyone, we’ll need to increase food production by about 70 percent.
Do we even have enough land, enough other resources – fuels for things like transporting and factories?
What if there isn’t any extra farmland?
What if the land we do have is being over farmed into “dirt” instead of nutrient rich soil?
Iowa State University did a 50-year study that tested the soil at 82 sites, across 21 counties. Iowa is losing healthy, rich soil at alarming levels. I think it’s safe to say, Iowa is not alone in this.
So, what do we do? How can an average person on an average day have anything to do with healthy soil?
Now, I don’t know if this is the best term for what the Whitmore’s are accomplishing at Riverbottom Farms. I can see many different “terms” coming to life out there.
Some are easy – Natural, Sustainable, Regenerative Farming
Some are a little tougher – Permiculture, Vermiculture, Aquaponics
Circularity – The Circle of Life – Nature Taking its Course. You see the circles here too, right?
I walk into a greenhouse at Riverbottom Farms and this is the cycle (circle) I see.
Fish in a tank, their uneaten food and wastewater travels (in pipes, by gravity) through filtering systems –> Pit pumps help the ammonia rich water travel through the irrigation system, these hoses run just beneath the surface of every growing bed –> A reaction happens with the bacteria in the soil, the “health” is returned to be absorbed by the plant roots. –> The water circles back around and into the fish tank once again.
See – Circularity! There’s little (maybe even “no”) waste in the circle. It all has purpose and intent and works together more, as God intended it.
This is just one example of the types of natural principles and values I’ve seen happening at the Farm.
A solution to our pending soil doom? I absolutely think so.
At the expense of making a bad pun – Let’s “circle” back around to my question, “How can an average person on an average day have anything to do with healthy soil?”
Buy Local – Eat Healthy – Support Whitmore’s Riverbottom Farms by purchasing from the Market Place. (Only what you’re going to eat/use – let’s not be wasteful!)