We waste a lot of food in this country. We grow a lot of food in this country too, so it seems like it should all balance out, but since most of the food we throw out is "grown" in an academic sense alone I think there may still be a problem.
Starving people consider this debate to be more one-sided.
According to US News & World Report (my favorite magazine to buy at an airport to impress women, next to The Economist) the average U.S. household throws away about 25 percent of their food and beverages.
If you've ever had to clean up after a raucous party you'll know that beverage statistic is fraudulently low.
I attempted to corroborate US News & World Report's numbers, but the only other article I could find regarding food waste was a podcast from NPR; they know their facts but after three minutes of whispered tones and atonal saxophone I was ready to start voting straight ticket Republican and decided to stop listening.
In a place as wide and diverse as the United States there are any number of reasons why we would waste so much food. I wouldn't claim to know why they're throwing away perfectly good crab in Maine or allegedly edible Eskimo ice cream in Alaska. But with certainty I?can tell you why we midwesterners waste food: We're cheap.
Don't act like it's not true.
Why do you think the plains are littered with all-you-can-eat buffets or gas stations proudly offering a 24-ounce soda that, for only a nickel more, you can upgrade to 300 ounces of your favorite flavor of Shasta?
Ok, so we go overboard with cheap food and end up throwing a large portion of it away, which is a waste.
But is there any food that we intentionally waste? Something that is a perfectly good food-like product that we, as a nation, spend entirely too much time destroying with no intention of ingesting?
Yes there is, and their season is upon us.
By now you've probably realized today is Easter ... or some day after Easter that you're sitting down to read this because you were busy on Sunday with your Easter celebrations, which probably included some granulated sugar pressed into the shape of a chicken that we call Peeps.
According to a company who's name sounds totally at home as the villain in a science fiction movie about cloning, Just Born Candy has been making these sugar coated balls of wet sand since 1953 when they were, I kid you not, created entirely by hand.
Today the Peep process is almost fully automated and ensure that no one need be without their Peeps, available in all the colors of the artifical rainbow: Windex blue, Pikachu yellow and Cough Syrup purple.
And somebody has to be eating these bizarre, inexplicably Easter-centric candies, because most people are murdering them.
Hop on over to Google and search "How to destroy Peeps" and you'll find 805,000 results.
And most of them aren't for "destroying" Peeps, they're for "murdering" Peeps.
Yeah, it's personal.
The microwave seems to be the most popular Peep murder method. Something about watching the sugar creature expand like Violet Beauregard then collapse into a puddle like Judge Doom (all the references!) really speaks to people ... people that like to hurt Peeps.
According to Fox News' website the most popular ways to kill a Peep are jousting, vacuum pump, flushing them down a toilet (which just seems lazy), some sort of photoshopped Mortal Kombat scenario, lighting them on fire, running them over with a car, and Obamacare.
Is anyone, anywhere, eating the Peeps?
Yes, people actually eat Peeps. There are even some aberrants out there that prefer a fine, aged Peep which they call by its proper name, a Crunchy Peep.
Peep popularity is so high that Just Born Candy (are they telling us the Peeps are alive?) has gone so far as to make the bold claim that "Peeps have been the best-selling non-chocolate Easter candy for more than 10 years."
Way to go Peeps! You came in second place, right ahead of those awful malted milk balls painted to look like robin's eggs.
Instead of spreading murderous rampage at the latest flock of Peeps try and get creative with your destruction. How about creating an all-Peep diorama of a classic piece of cinema like "All Quiet on the Western Front" or "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." That way all the Peeps can still die but they died for art ... the art of the diorama ... and therefore were not wasted.
After all, wasting Peeps is wasting food AND money, and we're all too cheap for that.