Comedian John Oliver slammed the United States for wasting tons of food, pointing out that America wastes 40 percent of the food it produces.
Oliver made the damning comments on the July 19 episode of his talk show, Last Week Tonight, where he accused the U.S. of “throwing a trash blanket over a flatulent food man and Dutch oven-ing the entire planet.”
Oliver, who said Americans throw away enough food to fill 730 football stadiums every year. “Food waste is like the band Rascal Flatts: It can fill a surprising number of stadiums, even though many people consider them complete garbage,” said Oliver.
John also noted that U.S. households waste between 15 to 20 percent of the food they purchase. “Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food every year, or about 20 pounds per person every month,” said Oliver.
“At a time when the landscape of California is shriveling up like a pumpkin in front of a house with a lazy dad, it seems especially unwise that farmers are pumping water into food that ends up being used as a garnish for landfills.”
Food Waste Climbs as Obesity Rates Skyrocket
The shocking amount of food waste harms the environment because the trash gets thrown into landfills around the country.
“When we dump food into a landfill, we’re essentially throwing a trash blanket over a flatulent food man and Dutch-ovening the entire planet,” Oliver said on “Last Week Tonight.”
Ironically, Americans waste shocking amounts of food as the obesity rate continues to skyrocket across the nation, which means we’re eating enormous amounts of food while we’re simultaneously throwing it away. More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Oliver partially blamed the American obsession with “all-you-can-eat” options at popular restaurant chains such as Applebee’s and Red Lobster for the excessive waste.
John said arbitrary sell-by and best-by dates set by food manufacturers and the lack of tax breaks for small businesses to donate their extra food contribute to the alarming food waste, which is both financially and environmentally costly.
“Small businesses should get tax incentives to donate food, so we have to find a way to pass that,” said Oliver. “But even if we do, it will be one small part of what needs to be a much bigger solution – from resolving to eat uglier fruit to taking expiration dates with a pinch of salt.”