(Ferdman) Americans Throw out More Food than Plastic, Paper, Metal, and Glass

Citation: Ferdman, Roberto A. “Americans Throw out More Food than Plastic, Paper, Metal, and Glass.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 23 Sept. 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.


History of the search: I found this source by Googling “food waste.” This source wasn’t on the first page but I remember wanting to click on it because of the title. The title provided me with a fact that I had never heard or read anywhere else and that interested me in what the rest of the article had to say.


Identification: This is a substantive non-scholarly article, published in the Washington Post. I can confirm this because the Washington Post is one of the oldest and most reliable newspapers. The Washington Post covers current and important topics and this article in particular is loaded with facts and statistics. This article could also be considered an overview because it covers all aspects of food waste in a really basic way


Summary: In this non-scholarly newspaper article, author Roberto A. Ferdman describes the growing problem of food waste and agues that food waste is one of the biggest problems in America. This article is intended for anyone interested in food waste or the environment. Ferdman supports his main claim with a shocking facts, current events, and relevant data.

The title, “Americans Throw out More Food than Plastic, Paper, Metal, and Glass,” is one example of an interesting fact that Ferdman incorporates in this article, and the main reason that I chose to look further. Ferdman flawlessly divides the paper into parts and his extensive data that corresponds is just the right kind of lubrication that makes this article flow so smoothly. The article is separated from general to specific, beginning with the definition of food waste and ending with the effect food waste has on green house gasses. All of the in-between is loaded with important information as well. Ferdman highlights the amount of food wasted, the need for food, and the poor distribution of food.

The article is introduced with an event current at the time, the U.N. Climate Summit. The use of a current event makes an unfamiliar topic more relatable and easier to understand. Now, frequent readers of the Washington Post and environmental conservers won’t be the only ones interested in this article because the state of the Earth effects everyone.

Appealing to the masses is one of Ferdman’s strong suits. The information he gives is relevant to anyone, whether it targets the individual (“one in every nine people in the world still suffers from chronic hunger”), the nation (as much as 40 percent of America’s food supply ends up in a dumpster), or the world (“Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa”).


Response: There is a lot I really love about this article! One of the things I like most, and have repeated over and over, is that the information stated in this article is different and useful. A lot of sources I have come by include the same facts and references. This article brings up a new interesting take on food insecure households. Ferdman states “food waste is an incredible and absurd issue for the world today.” He continues on … “Roughly a third of the food produced worldwide never gets eaten. The problem is particularly egregious in developed countries, where food is seen as being more expendable than it is elsewhere. Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa. This information is extremely valuable because with numbers that big it seems hard to ignore the problem of food waste. I will use this article a lot in my paragraph about the environment and America.

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