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Using Social Media to Reduce Food Waste



From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.

On World Environment Day in June, the United Nations reported that at least one third of all food produced is wasted. The report came at a time when many people are concerned about how to feed a growing world population. In the United States, farmers who are struggling to earn money find the situation difficult to deal with.

The United States Department of Agriculture found that more than half of the small farms in California do not make a profit. One California farm family is using social media in an effort to change the situation and reduce wasted food. Nick Papadopoulos is general manager of Bloomfield Farms in Sonoma County. It was difficult for him to watch his employees returning from several weekend farmers' markets with top quality, unsold produce.

Mr. Papadopoulos said he would find boxes of leafy greens, herbs and carrots left in a storage area. The vegetables would go bad before the next market day. As a result, Mr. Papadopoulos came up with a plan to offer the food at a low price by advertising it on the farm's Facebook status page on Sunday nights.The deals were open to anyone using the social media website. One week, several homeowners in a neighboring community bought the vegetables. Another week, the buyers were a group of friends. Nick Papadopoulos began using social media after he went to work on a farm belonging to his wife's father. After his success of using Facebook, Mr. Papadopoulos helped to set up a website called cropmobster.com. It is a place where people involved with food production can find surplus food for many causes.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.