Meanwhile, the bananas that are still a little green are more likely to get picked than the ones that are already mostly yellow. Nobody wants a banana that's been sitting out for a while. It's an investment. As it happens, that yellow banana is not overripe, and we all know it -- it's perfectly, edibly ripe. But we don't want ripe bananas -- we want underripe bananas so they can ripen in our homes. So what happens to the bananas that ripen fully in stores? They go to the dump!
Supermarkets and restaurants account for more than 400 million pounds of food produced every year, and nearly a third of that food is never even eaten. Shoppers want to go into a store and see displays packed to the brim with ripe, pristine food. Anything that gets too ripe, spotty, bruised, or old-looking has to be swapped out, because it's what the consumer wants.
Your favorite produce section and your local kill shelter are essentially the exact same thing.
The result is that 10 percent of the American food supply goes from the farm to the landfill, with a small vacation at the store in the middle, and another 20 percent gets wasted at home when you let those bananas sit until they turn as black as your avaricious soul. All told, that's $160 billion worth of food we're shitting on that could be better used doing anything at all -- especially helping out the estimated one in seven homes that can't find enough food to eat.
Lawns Are The Goddamn Worst
During World War II, soldiers were dying from so many bug-transmitted diseases, like typhus and malaria, that the military began to issue powdered DDT, which more or less worked exactly as it was supposed to. The problem was that nobody realized how much residual cancer and environmental damage it would cause.
Xanthis / Wikipedia
They thought it was the latest and greatest all-purpose seasoning.
These newly-returned heroes, however, now realized that they could enjoy a pleasant suburban lawn totally bug-free thanks to DDT, and lawns began to pop up at unprecedented rates. Thanks to our newfound love of soft, cushy Kentucky Bluegrass, we started heavily using water for outdoor purposes. The average American household uses about 320 gallons of water a day, 30 percent of which goes outside, and most of that is used for lawn watering. Across the country, landscape irrigation accounts for nine billion gallons per day. You could remake Waterworld like five times over with that much liquid.
Your lawn might even appreciate the purified piss as a new taste sensation.
In drier parts of the country, outdoor water uses climbs as high as 60 percent, and as you may have heard, this isn't a brilliant plan in places like California, where there just isn't water anymore. This is made even worse when you figure that 50 percent of that water is pure waste, thanks to evaporation, wind, and runoff. The solution to that, of course, is people like David Bartlett, who runs a company called Xtreme Green Grass that will come and paint your dead fire hazard of a lawn so that you can still pretend your property is verdant and healthy instead of a ghoulishly gussied-up pile of tumbleweed.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
And the way we're going, they'll have an entire globe's worth of business soon enough.
Be sure to check out 5 Ways People Are Trying To Save The World (That Don't Work) and 6 Terrible Ideas That Science Says Will Save The Planet.
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