Parking Lot Potato

The potato in the parking lot.

This is THE potato, in the parking lot.

By Lynette Johnson *

Wandering into a local discount store last weekend, I found a lone red potato in the parking lot. Probably it fell out of a shopper’s bag, but why did it stay on the asphalt?

Was it too much trouble to pick up?
Was it simply overlooked?
Did the buyer think it was “bad” because it hit the ground?
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 25% of the food we purchase, we end up throwing away. Whether we’ve over-purchased or under-consumed, that’s a lot of food to toss out!

Wasting food puts a big dent in our wallets, too. For every $80 you spend at the grocery store, you’ve simply thrown away a $20 bill… Do it every week for a year, and you’ve just put $1,000 in the shredder. Crazy!

A new Public Service Announcement venture between the NRDC and the Ad Council reminds us that even more than your dollars and mine are wasted when we throw good food away: all the inputs that go into growing, processing, packaging, and transporting that food go to waste, too. Water and fuel, use of land and labor… that’s a lot to waste!

I picked up that red potato and took it home, with permission from the store. It’s not going to waste!

* Lynette Johnson is SoSA’s Director of Church Relations

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