John Oliver Scolds America for Its Food Waste Problem

John Oliver devoted a large segment of Sunday night’s Last Week Tonight to America’s love affair with wasting food, as a report by the National Resources Food Council found that as much as 40 percent of all food produced in America gets thrown away.


“At this rate, in 40 years when you order pizza from Domino’s, they’ll just deliver it straight to the nearest dumpster”, Oliver said.

Yikes! Even if you pay attention to how much food you trash, Oliver’s eye-opening routine is still worth a watch.

All that wasted food doesn’t go into stadiums, of course. Oliver has some ideas in the clip above.

The real meat and potatoes of his argument came when he tried to explain recent food waste legislation. “At a time when the landscape of California is shriveling up like a pumpkin in front of a house with a lazy dad, it seems especially unwise that farmers are pumping water into food that ends up being used as a garnish for landfills”, said Oliver, noting that landfills can lead to methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

Oliver’s genius is making connections between the trashier aspects of American food culture and actual garbage: “The amount we throw out has increased by 50 percent since the 1970s”.


The HBO host took aim at Americans’ relationship with food and consumer culture, namely the by-products of that culture and the wasteful nature that has become the status quo. What’s more, the U.S. Senate gutted a bill, H.R. 644, that sought to persuade small companies to donate their leftover food in exchange for tax breaks, since it costs companies plenty of money to package, store, and ship the would-be-discarded goods.

Watch John Oliver Take a Bite Out of Food Waste | TIME

1 Comment on this Post

  1. Rod Averbuch

    Food waste is a lose-lose situation for the environment, the struggling families in today’s tough economy and for the food retailers.
    Fortunately, there are new ways to reduce fresh food waste.
    The new open GS1 DataBar barcode standard enables new food waste reduction applications that offer relevant, environmentally friendly and personalized fresh food deals.
    An example of such an application is the “End Grocery Waste” App. This GS1 DataBar based application encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that makes fresh food affordable for all families, maximizes grocery retailer revenue, and effectively reduces the global carbon footprint.

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