Watch John Oliver Take Aim at Food Waste in America

Food System
Jul 20th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

John Oliver took on the issue of food waste last night on “Last Week Tonight,” and we are so thrilled he did. The comedian spent close to 20 minutes explaining the problem and lambasting the wasteful ways of all players in our food system. Here’s the video:

Oliver discusses waste at the farm level in the face of a drought: “At the 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.”

He also explained how most Americans throw away food before it’s gone bad because of confusion over food date labels: “Most of the time, sell-by dates are one of those things that look official but you can probably ignore, like a child in a cop uniform.”

He ended the segment by taking Congress to task for dropping legislation that would incentivize more supermarkets and businesses to donate extra food.

To learn more about food waste, visit, where you can take a quiz to figure out how much you waste and get tips for reducing food waste at home.

Tagged: food waste, video, food, #IValueFood, I Value Food, John Oliver, Last Week Tonight

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