The February 2013 Awake highlighted an item from the news recently that as much as 40% of food produced is in some ways "wasted." My wife commented is it all really waste or is it just market forces dictating consumption (IMO, a very intelligent woman). So after a brief discussion, I put together a simple case study for review.
Is food really being wasted or is it just a result of economic consumption/efficiencies:
You have a little farm and grow watermelons. At the beginning of the year, a vendor at the local farmers market agrees to buy 100 melons for $5 each. You want to make sure that you can satisfy his needs and earn the full amount of $500 so you purchase extra seeds and plant 130 to be on the safe side.
There is good weather in the growing season and you end up with all 130 melons available for sale. He buys his 100 and you earn the $500 you hoped for.
However, you have 30 melons left. You contact another vendor at the market who agrees to buy 20 more but only pay you $2 each since everyone who wanted watermelon already has eaten his fill and he will have to deeply discount these 20 in order to sell them. He purchases them and sells them to people that are only buying them since they are now so cheap.
You still have 10 melons left. Noone at the local farmers markets wants them and the only other person who wants them is far away at the farmers market in DistantVille who offers to pay $2 each for the remaining 10 melons but wants them delivered to his store. Well, to deliver the melons to Distantville will cost you more in fuel than the price you will receive from selling the melons to him.
1). You decide to let the 10 melons rot in the field
2). The people that bought those 20 melons at discounted prices only eat half of each melon they purchased since they had already satisfied their real desire for melons and were just buying the additional melons because they were such a good price.
The question that arises from this simple scenario is how much food, if any, was "wasted?" 10 melons rotted in the field and half of the 20 surplus melons were never eaten.
So what do you think ..... was food "wasted???
Rub a Dub