John Oliver turned his attention from politics to the plate on Last Week Tonight on Sunday to discuss food — specifically, food waste. “Food waste is like the band Rascal Flatts: it can fill a surprising number of stadiums even though most people consider it complete garbage,” said Oliver.
According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans waste about 40% of food that’s produced every year, which is enough grub to fill 730 football stadiums — and we all know how Oliver feels about stadiums. That fact alone is alarming, but it’s especially so when taken in consideration with the fact that in 2013, close to 50 million people in the U.S. experienced food insecurity and worried about being able to put food on the table.
Oliver also noted that food waste is appalling due to the amount of resources put into creating that food, which are also wasted when the food is chucked. “At a time when the landscape of California is shriveling up like a pumpkin in front of a house with a lazy dad, it seems especially unwise that farmers are pumping water into food that ends up being used as a garnish for landfills,” said Oliver, noting that landfills can lead to methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Or in Oliver’s words: “When we dump food into a landfill, we’re essentially throwing a trash blanket over a flatulent food man and Dutch-ovening the entire planet.”
Oliver ended with a call to arms: “We all have to address our relationship with food waste.”
Oliver also discussed the new deal between the U.S. and Iran, which can be summed up perfectly in this tweet: