Health News

Study Shows That We Waste Nearly A FIFTH Of The World’s Food Supply


We all know that food waste is a huge issue. We just didn’t know it was this bad.

A new study out of Edinburgh just revealed that we waste ONE FIFTH of the world’s entire food supply on dumping out food and overeating. According to the study, which was published in Agricultural Systems, about ten percent of the world’s food supply was wasted via overeating, and another nine percent was tossed out. That translates to BILLIONS of tons of food going to waste every single year.

In terms of discarded food, livestock production was the biggest waster of food, with the 840 million metric tons that get wasted in the making of cattle feed accounting for over 40% of all agricultural crops lost. Cattle feed is typically produced from crops, and what doesn’t get eaten or used up before going bad ends up getting tossed, which in this case, about 78 PERCENT of the feed gets thrown out.

What’s even more troubling about these statistics is how much of the food waste is attributed to overeating — a staggering ten percent of the world’s food supply is lost as a result of it. Just think about what that ten percent could be used for otherwise — like feeding those in the planet that are severely malnourished or food insecure (those lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food). As an example, 42.2 million Americans — about eleven percent of the population — are food insecure, with 13.3 million of those being children. If that overeaten food and wasted food could be diverted to feed the food insecure in America and around the world, we could feed and properly nourish so many more than we currently do.

The research team told ScienceDaily that ways to combat this massive waste issue would be to encourage decreased consumption of animal products, not exceeding nutritional needs when eating, and reducing or repurposing food waste.

If we can all find ways to reduce food consumption and reutilize food waste, we’ll have the ability to feed the entire planet in a sustainable manner.

We just gotta throw out less food and eat less food — both of which are definitely possible.


How Eating 3 Meals A Day Became A ‘Thing’ And Why It Shouldn’t Be

You eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This should be no surprise to you. You’ve done it your whole life, so it seems like that’s the way it’s supposed to be, not just how it came to be. And I know, I know, you want to believe it came about as a grand decision after some global committee got together hundreds, maybe thousands, of years ago and universally agreed this was what was best for us. But that’s not what happened.

Eating Less in the Old Days


Photo Credit: Andreas Hartmann

According to historian Caroline Yeldham, the (very successful) Romans frowned heavily on the concept of multiple meals a day. She explains, “They were obsessed with digestion and eating more than one meal was considered a form of gluttony. This thinking impacted on the way people ate for a very long time.”

Breakfast wasn’t necessarily a thing for a long while afterward either, as food historian Ivan Day points out. In the Middle Ages, people weren’t allowed to eat before morning mass. Time eventually gave way to social change and people started breaking the night’s fast.

Hello, Breakfast


In the 17th Century, all social classes more or less adopted the practice of breakfast, though it evolved into an absurdly decadent carnival of food for the upper class. Breakfast’s standard place in the eating routine throughout the socioeconomic ranks is thanks largely to the Industrial Revolution. The newly set pattern of the common work day more or less required a meal first thing in the morning to sustain the working populace throughout the day. They’d naturally break for lunch and then come home to their families for dinner.

United States of Three Meals


Historian Abigail Carroll, author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, argues that three meals, or at least a dedication to a meal routine, came from the strange beginnings of Europeans and Native Americans interacting. Settlers brought forth set meal times to be, in their mind, more civilized than the natives, whose dining evolved with seasons, sometimes even fasting.

Six Meals a Day Keeps The Cravings Away


For the same reasons three meals (and a snack) a day makes sense, many argue that six (smaller) meals would be more sensible, especially for weight loss. The reason is that with six meals a day, you’re more effectively able to maintain consistency in food intake and therefore appetite control, so it doesn’t, in theory, ever become quantity over quality. You’d also never again text your friend, “OMG KAREN GET DRESSED. COME ON, LET’S GO I’M STAAAARVIIIIIIIIING.”


5 Tricks to Stop Eating When You’re Full

It’s really easy to eat your feelings. Whether in glorious celebration or furious wrath (or just by the lovely-loathsome accident of snacking), you can wind up with more in your stomach than you planned. Food’s just too good to not indulge sometimes, so we have to trick ourselves into not eating ourselves into oblivion. To help you doze off without regret, here’s a few ways to slow or stop yourself from partying down with your all-time favorite (and such delicious) guest.

1. Just start with less.


You’re a go-getter, so you hate leaving tasks unfinished. I totally hear ya, and nothing screams immediate failure louder than food leftover on a plate. It means you semi-literally bit off more than you could chew. But, honestly, if you only have enough energy for a scrimmage, don’t make it to the Super Bowl (no, I have no idea how football works). I mean, you could always just put away half the meal before you even start. Just kick that business out of your eyeline right from the get-go. Out of sight, out of mind, out of gut.

2. Use smaller tableware.


Sure, smaller plates, dishes, and glasses initially sounds like you’re dining with dolls, but just that optical illusion will fool yourself into plating less, which means eating less. You’re likely going to devour what you serve yourself and you’re unlikely to do up a presentation that looks like a special in some five-star eatery in Manhattan with a bite or two in the middle of an otherwise empty plate, save for the plant branch and balsamic drizzle. Even when you make yourself a meal, you want it to look nice, so you’ll fill the plate with a colorful spread. Just make it easier to reach the edges.

3. Don’t make expensive food a habit.


Yes, treat yo’self! But don’t always treat yo’self! I mean, come on, if you see your meal as a big deal, whether making it or ordering it, you’re going to finish the masterpiece, because you don’t just throw away jewels. Hell no, you eat jewels (no, I have no idea how fashion works either). The problem here is perception. If you see the meal as epic, grand, or upper-crust quality, then you’re less likely to shy away, even when you feel like a sludge-stuffed balloon. You’ll want to get your money’s worth and finish it while it’s hot, which is totally fine as a special occasion, not a regular occurrence.

4. Stop think of TV time as eating time.

You just straight up need to quit this (and I’m partially addressing my guilty ass here). Television will be good to your eyes and bad for your brain, regardless of whatever the hell your mouth’s doing. If it’s just a hand thing, do something better with that curious spidery ten-pack, like holding your head during sit-ups or gripping the handlebars of a stationary bike. If it’s an oral fixation, take up a mellower TV diet, one that doesn’t barge your acidic promised land like some parade that feels too long (which is all of them, by the way). If you have to eat while watching TV, make it fruits and vegetables. Otherwise, break that whack association, because you’re better than Pavlov’s Dog. For starters, that dude was a dog. You’re a human. Probably. I don’t know. Foodbeast doesn’t have these kind of metrics.

5. Make it more of a process to eat.


If you’re fast with a fork, use chopsticks, so it takes longer to eat. If you’re fast regardless, make smaller batches, so you have to make it again. By slowing yourself down, you allow the food to settle. Otherwise, when you eat a delicious meal quickly, there’s the chance you think, hot damn, that was good, grand, and you need that again. But if simply waiting to see if you’re still hungry is too much (try 10-15 minutes), simply make the actual process of dining a slower one. Your body will thank you (just say aloud, “Thanks for not making me feel like a barfy volcano, ______,” as that totally counts).


How to Exercise Self-Control at Any Holiday Feast

You used to wait for this all year long: Holiday feasting. You’d stay off the naughty list all year long so you wouldn’t have to feel guilty about gorging yourself with turkey, ham, and pie twice in a one month span. But, lately, you just can’t put away the trimmings and trappings like you did in years past—at least not without feeling stuffed like the Thanksgiving turkey.

Now you’re thinking it might be time to consider some alternatives to your usual eat-first-ask-questions-later tactics. And maybe (just maybe) these tips about self-control will help you leave the Christmas feast with a little dignity for once in your life.

Don’t Skip Meals


As part of your pre-gauntlet game plan, you might have skipped a meal thinking you were leaving more space for the feast. This is both unhealthy and wrong. If you wait until the evening to eat, you’re likely to gorge yourself on everything in sight, filling yourself past capacity as you inhale feast foods. A light breakfast (protein shake) and lunch (salad) will put you in a much better place to avoid overeating.

Healthy Appetizers


Many holiday events are “grazing” occasions where snacks and appetizers are left out for people to pick on all day. Do yourself a favor and avoid heavier things like cheese and dips, especially since you’ll get plenty of rich and savory stuff once you get to the dinner table. Instead, stick to healthier treats like fruits and veggies. Also, make yourself a small plate instead of hovering (and Hoovering) over the dishes.

Portion Control


Speaking of making your plate, portion control can also be an effective and easy way to avoid eating too much in one sitting. While diehards would want to use measuring cups, you can get by with a simple visualization: just imagine your plate as a pie chart. Put the appropriate amount of proteins, grains, and veggies that you want (usually 25/25/50% if you’re trying to be strict). But it is a holiday, so you can slide those numbers around—just so long as you limit yourself to one plate.

Slow Your Roll(s)


As mentioned above, eating fast is a very real pitfall of the holiday feast-er. Since it takes time for your stomach to send the message that it’s full (roughly half an hour), you can cram more food than you want or need if you’re going at it like a ravenous wolf. One simple thing you can do to avoid over-doing it is chatting a lot during your meal. Actively engaging in conversations allows you enjoy your family’s company, savor your food, and avoid overeating all at once. Or it can be the only opportunity you’ll have to awkwardly come out in front of your entire family and then say, “Pass the yams?”

Watch the Sauce


If you’re watching your calories, then you know that boozing can add up quickly. In addition to adding to your calorie bottom line, alcohol tends to sit heavier than water, meaning you’ll get that lethargic tummy feeling you’re probably trying to avoid. In worse cases, you’re inhibitions might go completely out the window, along with your diet.

The Leftover Mentality


Again, the game plan is just plain flawed: we assume we have to eat as much as we can in this one sitting, or else we’re just a non-festive/un-thankful scrooge. But we leave out that the best part of holidays like Thanksgiving is the week of leftovers that we’ll get to enjoy after the initial meal. Just bring some tupperware and enjoy an average sized dinner.

Just Desserts


No monster would tell you to skip dessert. But there are a couple of ways to avoid over-desserting after you over-eat. If you know what your favorite dessert is, just limit yourself to a single slice and stick to it. If you want to taste them all, make yourself some sliver-sized samples instead of having a full slice of each. Also, think about leaving pies in the kitchen instead of on the table; having them in a separate room makes it more of a conscious decision and less of an easy indulgence.