John Oliver Slams Donald Trump While Tearing Into US Food Waste
In Sunday night's airing of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver has some tough words for billionaire real estate magnate and Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
During a segment focusing on food waste in the United States, Oliver saves his best zinger for the Donald.
"And if you're thinking, 'But hold on, John, what if I'm an asshole who couldn't give a shit about America's hungry families or the long-term viability of life on earth?' Well, first let me say, 'Mr. Trump! Thank you so much for taking the time to watch this show tonight.'"
When it comes to the larger issue at hand — food waste in America — Oliver is equally unsparing. In a roughly 18-minute clip, the comedian tears into the absurdity of how much food the U.S. wastes and the terrible cost everyone pays for it. According to statistics cited in the show, as much as 40% of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted, equating to $165 billion dollars worth of food lost every year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that's enough to fill 730 football stadiums.
The literally tons of wasted food becomes even worse given that nearly 50 million Americans — about 1 in 6 people — live in a state of "food insecurity." Oliver shows a clip showing a mother with her children telling a camera that she was happy to skip meals so that her kids could eat. "Budgets are down to the penny," she said in the footage. Oliver also points out that much of the wasted food comes from California, where a drought crisis has stretched the state's water-intensive agriculture sector almost to the breaking point.
Federal efforts to address public hunger, like the 2015 America Gives More Act would that would codify tax credits intended to help businesses offset the costs of donating food, have stalled. As Oliver points out, after passing through both the House and the Senate, the original intent of the legislation became so mangled and filled with unrelated content like border control legislation and U.S.-Israeli relations, it was like a veggie burger made out of meatloaf being called a waffle.
The U.S. government currently puts the law's status in the "resolving differences" phase — something Oliver would likely call an understatement.