Food Waste Equals Water Waste

I hate throwing anything away, especially food, and every time I do, I remind myself that there are starving people in the world and that I should be a little more conscientious. Apparently I should also be reminding myself that there are thirsty people in the world.

An article on the Environmental News Network recently pointed out that when you throw away that wilted, smelly broccoli or container of moldy, left over spaghetti you have sitting in the back of your fridge, you’re throwing away more than just food. You’re also tossing out water along with it. The article references a report by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and the International Water Management Institute. According to the report, the amount of food thrown away in the US alone is equivalent to turning on your faucet and dumping 40 trillion liters of water into your garbage can.

That’s a lot of water. I can’t even imagine what 40 trillion liters looks like, but I do know that after I read that statistic, I felt guilty. Not only are we heading for a global food crisis, we’re also heading for a global water crisis. Experts say that we have to cut our food waste in half by 2025 to preserve global water supplies. It’s scary, but if we all do what we can to waste less and maybe consume less, we can take steps to solve the problem. I know I’ll certainly think a little harder before I throw anything away.

Waste Reduction Ideas:

Image: Sporkist on Flickr under Creative Commons License

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

About the Author

Jillian Polaski is the Assistant Editor of eCo Times, the online magazine for She has a BA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She's very interested in organic and biodynamic farming, and would like to someday own a farm. She loves to cook and make her own sauces and salad dressings. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing creative nonfiction. She lives in Denver, CO, where she's an active member of the Lighthouse Writer's Workshop.