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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Wasted Food, Wasted Energy

October 5, 2010, 3:45 AM
"We Americans waste over a quarter of all our food. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I think of all the fruits and vegetables I buy that rot, or bread that gets moldy before I can eat it. And then there's all the food that gets tossed from restaurants and groceries. It takes about 1.4 billion barrels of oil to grow, harvest, preserve, package and transport the U.S. food supply. So wasting food means wasting energy. How much? A study published in this month's issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology found out: roughly 350 million barrels of oil, or more than 2 quadrillion British thermal units of energy."
 

Wasted Food, Wasted Energy

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