John Oliver devoted the majority of Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight” to slam America for wasting so much food.
According to studies Oliver cited, up to 40 percent of all food produced in the United States is never eaten, but rather thrown away.
“When you’re throwing away that much food, you’re not just being wasteful. You’re wining and dining raccoons,” Oliver said.
Another report Oliver cited states that Americans throw away enough food every year to fill 730 football stadiums. “Food waste is like the band Rascal Flatts,” Oliver says. “It can fill a surprising number of stadiums even though many people consider it complete garbage.”
Oliver also called out food suppliers and growers, who will often leave less aesthetically pleasing fruits and vegetables to rot rather than even try to sell it. “Our produce aisles have become a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio’s penis,” Oliver joked. “Exclusively accessible to the physically flawless.”
He then set his sights on the use of sell-by dates on food products, which, according to experts Oliver refers to, are completely arbitrary and are decided on by food manufacturers.
And then there is the myth that stores and suppliers cannot donate expired food for fear of being sued if someone becomes ill from eating it. As it turns out, there is a federal law which prevents someone from suing if they eat donated food.
The problem is instead financial. Companies don’t want to pay to store and ship food that they are giving away. “And you cannot fault companies for caring about their bottom line,” Oliver said. “In the same way you can’t fault a dog for caring about licking it’s balls. It’s what dogs do. It’s natural. And dog balls are delicious.”