paving the path

ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

When it comes to preserving food and reducing its waste, America is not the country paving the path, as $165 billion worth of food is being thrown out annually. The United States per capita food waste has increased almost 50 percent since 1974.

(This comes from highschool.latimes.com Food waste in America: A growing problem on November 19, 2015.)

What does the blue part mean? I only see "pave the way" which means "make progress or development easier". If it has the same meaning as "pave the way", what does America make easier?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    It means America isn't setting an example to others in this aspect. "Paving the path" refers to laying a path with a surface suitable for travel, and is used as a metaphor for "showing the way".
    I only see "pave the way" which means "make progress or development easier". If it has the same meaning as "pave the way", what does America make easier?
    A lot of such phrases aren't always used as per dictionary definitions. Often, it's the context that tells you what is meant, as in this sentence.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Lead the way' is what we'd usually say. I haven't seen 'pave the path' used this way, though it's clear in context.
     
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