How Throwing Away Food Affects the Environment and the Economy

BY IVAN CAMPOS

Both the environment and the economy are affected by many factors, which includes the continued use of fossil fuels from throwing away precious food. At the very least, the Los Angeles Unified School District threw away 100,000 meals every school day during lunch, according to the LA Times, and this is not including other programs such as breakfast in the classroom and the hot supper program. Notwithstanding, another study in 2015 showed that about 600 tons of organic waste is generated by schools in LAUSD.

“It pollutes the environment,” said Brenda Lara, a senior from Health and Science. It can pollute the environment from not only plastics from the wrappers but also in the form of carbon dioxide pollution; the pollution from machines. In order for companies to export their food to schools, they must first pick the food, In the example of apple trees, the apples would be moved to conveyor belts through transportation vehicles, and from there they are moved to crates, which are also produced by large-scale devices. These crates are typically made from trees, that take carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into oxygen, and finally, they must be brought to the school via truck, which also runs on fossil fuels.

This can prove to be a major problem.

We are wasting both the resources to make the food and the food itself.

However, a new law, signed by Jerry Brown the 31st governor of California as of September 2017, has changed that.

The district is now capable of collecting unopened items and untouched food and is able to donate them to charities and food pantries in the State of California. However, it becomes difficult to follow up on this law if students throw away their food rather than to leave their food somewhere it can be picked up and used for donations or leftovers for the next day.

Jamilet Mendoza, a Freshman in the Business and Innovation small school said, “ we could’ve used all that money to get more school trips.” Although this is true, the government can’t simply stop giving food. A much better thing to do would be for students to make the most of the food they already have. Instead of throwing away food with wrappers they can leave it on the table and let a supervisor pick it up to give it to other students who want it, or to send it away as a donation.

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