Did you know that America wastes a whopping 40 percent of its food? On average, a home produces 1.28 pounds of waste daily, making up 14% of the food that is actually purchased. Globally, about one-third of food produced are lost or wasted in production. Why reduce food waste in the home?
For one, rotting food contributes to global warming because of its release of methane, a gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. When food makes it to the landfill, it becomes a huge source of methane. In fact, America’s landfills make up 20 percent of its methane emissions.
The most obvious reason for reducing food waste is to save or conserve resources that are associated with food production. Food production requires the use of water, fertilizers, pesticides/herbicides, and energy. Since food production also involves the release of greenhouse gases, by saving food you can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There are many easy ways to reduce food waste in the home, all it takes is change of some habits. Here are some tips for reducing food waste in the home:
- Reducing food waste all starts at the point of purchase of food. Go the grocery store with a game plan. Have a list prepared and stick your list. Stomach growling? Stop, think, and eat a sandwich before you go to the store—it is so much more tempting to deviate from the list when everything around you looks so appetizing. On the plus side, this plan will also help you to make healthier food choices!
- When at the grocery store, choose foods that aren’t already prepackaged like a bag of apples or a tray of veggies. Take only what you need by buying items individually. Often times this will also save you money.
- Keep a tidy fridge. Have you ever bought something at the grocery store later to find that you had it pushed to the back of your fridge at home? Try to keep things in your fridge visible and be sure to do a thorough check of the foods your already have before making your grocery list.
- A common trick: dish up smaller portions. For finiky eaters like kids, this point is especially important. Dish up what you think you or your child are most likely to eat then come back for seconds if desired.
- Freezing food is a classic tactic to food-saving. Foods like nuts, ,surprisingly do well frozen. If you have certain nights where you are just too busy to cook, prepare a dinner ahead of time and freeze it. Bread is a common food item that goes to waste; if you find that you end up throwing away a big hunk of the loaf at the end of the week, try freezing part of it after you purchase it.
Any more tips on how to reduce food waste?