Only within the last decade have humans really begun to consciously become aware of our consumption propensities and the effect they may have on what is around us, and our health in general. It isn’t just climate change that has people buzzing, but also sourcing products responsibly, understanding what is more elemental and essential and trying to be a ‘good human.’ It’s funny that it’s taken this long to see that this orb called Earth isn’t just a plaything.
What does this have to do with a giant microwave oven-looking specimen in Lubbock, Texas you ask? Well, food scarcity is beginning to make headlines as the new universal threat. Of course this is linked to rising temperatures and the consequences therein, but the fact remains that although bread prices have almost doubled in the last five years, people still don’t get the idea that we will be soon paying much more for everything agricultural – coffee, meat, rice, and of course, water.
So it is encouraging to read an article by the BBC’s environment correspondent, Matt McGrath, detailing how those fine people called scientists are devising ways to make food wastage obsolete. As the article states, “Food waste is a massive problem in most developed countries. In the US, figures released this year suggest that the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase – which adds up to $165bn (£102bn) annually.” Much of this has to do with consumers deifying the best-by dates on packaging, and also not understanding that food doesn’t necessarily need to look like it’s in a commercial to be edible and tasty. But, to get to the heart of the matter, scientists have been working to find ways to use machines to ‘zap’ the mold from things like bread, increasing their shelf life to up to sixty days. Good news; now comes the problem of convincing the public that it’s not space food. But I guess that’s what advertising agencies are for.