Every day, thousands of tons of food are wasted around the United States. Most people are unaware of how much food they throw away and waste every day. People throw away food for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons why food is thrown away are because of leftover food from every meal, spoiled produce from fridge or pantry, and expired food. Some of the reasons why food gets spoiled is because we tend to buy more than we need and we don’t plan for our food consumption. Yes, buying food and eating it needs planning so that we could maximize the benefits and minimize waste, just like any other resource.

Most of the food that we throw away ends up in the landfills, adding toxic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and filling up valuable space, which contributes to global warming and climatic changes. We could easily recycle the wasted food by composting it. Minimizing food waste would also minimize negative global impacts.


A few reasons why you should reduce food waste

1. Save money

By reducing food waste, you could instantly save money on your grocery bills by buying less food. You should target to buy only the food that you will eat and plan to eat it within the listed time frame so it will not be spoiled and thrown away.

2. Reduce green house gas emission

Once your food is thrown into the landfill, it starts to breakdown and produce methane and other harmful greenhouse gases. A lot of green house gases were also emitted in the processing, transporting and dumping the trash into the landfill.

3. Conserve energy

recycling_truckWhen we waste food, we also waste the energy and resources associated with growing, processing, preserving, distributing, transporting and marketing food. Thousands of gallons of water is used for irrigation and thousands of gallons of gas is needed to power the food processing plants, irrigation pumps, transportation trucks and warehouse where food is stored. You can minimize pollution by minimizing food waste. A lot of energy is also wasted when your garbage is processed and transported and dumped into the landfill.

4. Support the community

You can support charitable organizations and fight hunger in the United Statesby donating the food that you will not eat or haven’t touched. It will help out individuals or families with shortages of food supply.

10 Ways to reduce food waste

1. Check your refrigerator first

Before you go and buy more food, check your refrigerator first. Try eating the foods that are about to expire. Eat what you already have.

1. Plan your meals

Make a menu plan for your meals for the entire week and buy exactly what you need and what you will eat in a week and make a menu list for grocery shopping. Do not buy excessive food or food that is not on your list.


2. Cook more, eat out less

Try to cook more at home, eat less at restaurants, and order less home delivery food such as Chinese or pizzas. It will help you to finish the food you have in your fridge and also help you to save your money and health.

3. Order only what you will eat

When you order food at a restaurant, try to order only what you can finish. Ask your body and stomach what you feel like eating and how much.

4. Take home left over

If you cannot eat everything you ordered, ask for a box to take it home in and you will have a free meal at home for later.

5. Eat leftovers

Brown bag your leftovers and take it for lunch or a meal later in the day. If you don’t feel like eating the same stuff, freeze it for later. You can also add your leftover ingredients to your next meal. For example, add your extra can of tuna with your leftover pasta.

6. Don’t throw it away

Try to use fruits that are becoming soft or vegetables that are starting to wilt by making smoothies, fruit juice, pies or vegetable soup.

7. Turn it into compost

Food turning spoiled or getting wasted sometimes becomes unavoidable. You can always use the food that you need to throw away and turn it into compost. You can also save your egg shells, potato peels, onion peels and other waste to feed your garden.

8. Freeze your food

If you cook your food in advance, you can freeze your food and preserve it for longer periods so that you have cooked food when you are too tired to cook.

9. Store better

Monitor your food and make note of what you are throwing away. For preserving food such as chips, cereal, crackers, etc. store them in airtight containers.

10. Donate your food

800px-Passing_out_groceriesCheck your local food banks or charitable organizations where you can donate food before they expire. Your food could support the needy and save lives. You can donate all types of food you have at home that you would otherwise throw away. Some farmers will accept your gross stuff or expired stuff to feed their pigs.

Want to learn more about using food efficiently? Join us on our upcoming Free Webinar. We will feature Janie Gianotsos, Director of Marketing & Community Relations at the Food Bank of the Rockies. She will be discussing with us the very real problem that hunger is right in the USA.

Source: Nourish The Planet

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