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Tossed Out

  • About 35 million tons of food was dumped in landfills across the U.S. in 2012, compared to 29 million tons of plastic and 24 million tons of paper. (Pat Aylward/NET News)

    Tossed Out, part 1: As more than a third of the U.S. food supply is squandered, nearly one in seven American househoulds has trouble finding enough to eat. Millions of pounds of edible food rots in landfills and releases toxic greenhouse gases.

  • On-farm and post-harvest loss accounts for about 40 percent of food waste in the developing world, according to the U.N. But it is credited with relatively small levels of waste in most industrialized countries. (Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

    Tossed Out, part 2: In the developing world as much as 40 percent of the food supply never makes it from farmers to consumers, according to some estimates. But here in the U.S., planning, technology and infrastructure help minimize waste on the farm, pushing almost everything grown out to consumers.

  • Todd Scherbing, Smithfield Foods’ senior director of rendering, holds a tray of pituitary glands that are cut from hogs on the line in the Farmland Foods plant in Milan, Mo. Pituitary glands are used to make insulin. (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)

    Tossed Out, part 3: Americans eat only about half of the meat produced by farm animals. But most of the rest of the animal is made into every day products through rendering - what some call the original recycling process.

  • Nearly one-third of the more than 400 million pounds of food available at grocery stores and restaurants is never eaten. (Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media)

    Tossed Out, part 4: With food retail stores catering to consumers’ demand for immaculate food around the clock, food waste is piling up in the store and at home.

  • Gloria Restrepo, a teacher’s assistant at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., helps students choose their lunch. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

    Tossed Out, part 5: In many communities, the local school district is the largest food provider. But trying to feed healthy food to some of the pickiest eaters can result in mountains of wasted food.

Welcome to Harvest Public Media

Though genetically-modified varieties are prohibited in organic production under USDA rules, there are no regulations in place to protect farmers against accidental contamination from the pollen of GM corn.

Tossed Out, part 6: Cities across the country are trying to turn the millions of tons of food that Americans waste into something more valuable.

Tossed Out, part 5: In many communities, the local school district is the largest food provider. But trying to feed healthy food to some of the pickiest eaters can result in mountains of wasted food.

Tossed Out, part 4: With food retail stores catering to consumers’ demand for immaculate food around the clock, food waste is piling up in the store and at home.

Tossed Out, part 3: Americans eat only about half of the meat produced by farm animals. But most of the rest of the animal is made into every day products through rendering - what some call the original recycling process.

Tossed Out, part 2: In the developing world as much as 40 percent of the food supply never makes it from farmers to consumers, according to some estimates. But here in the U.S., planning, technology and infrastructure help minimize waste on the farm, pushing almost everything grown out to consumers.

Tossed Out, part 1: As more than a third of the U.S. food supply is squandered, nearly one in seven American househoulds has trouble finding enough to eat. Millions of pounds of edible food rots in landfills and releases toxic greenhouse gases.

Farmed for more than 80 years, land the now forms the Emiquon Nature Preserve is being returned to its natural wetland state. Just years in the making, the transformation is already dramatic.

Like your grandmother’s engagement ring or a dusty old photo album, heirloom seeds have been passed down through generations. And that has been made possible by organizations like the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa.

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