Food. It's the best, isn't it? Not only do we need it to live, but it's also an essential part of how we spend time at home, out for a night on the town and to celebrate a special occasion.
Americans love food, but they also seem to love to throw it out even before it's necessary to do so. John Oliver was shocked at how much food Americans toss away every year, and he spent the top story of Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight expressing that astonishment.
Oliver kicked off this story with a harsh reality about the amount of food that gets wasted in the U.S. Forty percent of the food produced in the U.S. doesn't get eaten, and $165 billion worth of food is just thrown away every year.
This is a problem for many reasons, the most important of which is that in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in households that had trouble getting food on the table at some point during the year. There's also the fact that this discarded food is clogging up landfills and it's a waste of money. None of this is good, but we do get to see Oliver's delightful raccoon impression, so that's something.
Oliver shows that there are many reasons why food waste occurs, from the fear of eating food past its expiration date to the fear of litigation if donated food does happen to make someone sick to the fear of the expense of food donation. But fear not, because Oliver proposes some solutions to our issues with food waste. While they range in difficulty, from a change in attitude to a change in legislation, Oliver shows that our country has a food waste problem, but it's not insurmountable if we take action now.
Check out the full Last Week Tonight segment below, and prepare to lose your appetite.