Prevent Food Waste in Your Daily Life
Every year in America, 68 billion pounds of food are wasted1 , which is bad for both the economy and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy2 lists source reduction as the best method for decreasing food waste. Considering that in developed countries consumers are responsible for 55-65% of food waste, as a consumer of food you have the ability to diminish the amount of food waste in our country! After all, reducing food waste isn’t only great for your wallet, but it is also better for the environment.
The best advice for preventing food waste in our daily lives is to plan ahead. Decide what recipes you will be cooking ahead of time so you know what you need to buy at the grocery store. Make a list and stick to it! A good way to ensure that you stick to the list is by not shopping for food when you are hungry or close to your meal times. This helps prevent your wandering eyes from desiring unnecessary produce. Also, remember how often you eat out and how often you cook homemade meals, which are always more healthy than retail food. To help you keep track of what you already have in your fridge, use applications like ‘My Refrigerator’ which notifies you about food items that might expire soon3.
Another important factor to consider when addressing food waste prevention is how much food you buy. How many portions will you be cooking? Even when planning ahead, leftovers are sometimes unavoidable. A great resource for recipes utilizing leftovers is Love Food, Hate Waste4 . The organization also offers a downloadable application “Love Food Hate Waste” that helps you calculate the right portion and advises you on what to cook with leftover ingredients5.
If you work in the food service industry, you have an even larger potential to make a difference in diminishing food waste.
The Environmental Protection Agency has an assortment of resources to help you do this, including tool kits, student activities, and donation information6. There are even more ideas, contributed by both individuals and businesses, on ways to fight food waste here.
With heightened awareness on food waste and hunger, donors can improve their public image, while saving money through lower waste bills and tax breaks for their charitable donations.
- http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/organics/food/fd-basic.htm [↩]
- http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/organics/food/fd-gener.htm#food-hier [↩]
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ru.lge.homeapp.lgfridger [↩]
- www.lovefoodhatewaste.com [↩]
- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lfhw.tabtesting&hl=en [↩]
- http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/organics/food/fd-res.htm [↩]