The Pressing Issue of Food Waste Becomes the Talk of the Nation, Prompting Readers to Take Immediate Action

Friday, March 6, 2015


“I just read a great article in The New York Times about food waste in current American culture. In it, Kim Severson talks about guilt-ridden composting, glorifying misshapen produce, millenials and foodie movements aimed at reducing waste. Kim was writing to ME. I promptly bought the two cookbooks cited in the article: ROOT TO LEAF by Steven Satterfield and THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.”
–Akemi Martin, The Pampered Pauper Eats (March 5, 2015)

It was heartening to see other articles, online discussions, and Tweets about this week’s New York Times Food section’s most-emailed article “Starve a Landfill,” demonstrating what a deep chord it struck among readers to learn of the United States’ embarrassing 31 percent rate of food waste.

The Christian Science Monitor ran an op-ed by Jonathan Bloom entitled “The New York Times talks trash – and that’s a great thing,explaining,The New York Times’ Food section features three compelling, informative pieces on food waste this week, suggesting that this once-ignored issue is finally getting the respect it deserves.”

Bloom wrote:

“Anyway, we mostly have Kim Severson to thank for this exploration of the wasted food, which centers on her article, ‘Starve a Landfill.’  It’s an ideal title because it connotes that vital EPA hierarchy for keeping food out of landfills.

Because waste prevention should take precedence, I wish the piece hadn’t begun with composting, which sits at the bottom of the hierarchy. Still, I was thrilled that Severson mainly focused on avoiding wasted food. And I loved the discussion toward the end about how cooking solely from recipes drives waste, as you accumulate many items you only use once. The prescribed remedy: intuitive cooking, as found in THE FLAVOR BIBLE.” and re-ran Jonathan Bloom’s article in its entirety.

Yesterday, in turn, THE FLAVOR BIBLE — a six-and-a-half-year-old book — hit #199 overall on, becoming the #15 bestselling cookbook.

This is a testament not only to the power of a talented writer (i.e., Kim Severson) and of a must-read newspaper (i.e., The New York Times) to spur a national discussion but to that of readers eager to take immediate action to address a pressing problem.

We find that very heartening.

Food Tank is focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters, spotlighting environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and creating networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change:

USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist addresses the U.S. Food Waste Challenge at is the website of Jonathan Bloom, who writes about why we waste food, why it matters, and what we can do about it:

Categorized: Other