How Can We Stop Wasting Food?
This story was originally published on My Green Self.
It’s often the number one question on my mind. I’m always looking for ways to stop food waste. I’d say that, in a good week, 20% of the fresh food that goes into my fridge ends up wasted. What’s even worse is the waste that is generated during the process of getting the food into my fridge (more on that later).
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), 40% of U.S. food is never eaten. That’s just insane! That’s like making 5 delicious Stromboli only to throw away 2 of them. Not only is there a huge environmental impact from producing, transporting, and processing all this extra food, but we then dump much of it into landfills. About 19% of the waste dumped into landfills is food waste!
A family of four could lose more than $1500 per year in food waste.
On top of the environmental impact, this is hitting consumers where they feel it most deeply: their wallets. The NDRC estimates that a family of four could lose more than $1500 per year in food waste.
I hope you are as outraged as I am. But how can we stop wasting food? Here are a couple of the most effective ways to lower your food waste footprint. I’ll delve more into them in future posts as well as adding more to the list.
Eat out less (or at least do it wisely)
One way to stop food waste is not to participate in the places and activities that contribute the most to the problem.
Home-cooked meal > small-menu restaurant > large-menu restaurant >>> buffet
I cannot stress enough how bad buffets are for food waste. And some of my fondest memories have happened at buffets. My family is huge. Not in the “I have cousins in every city” way but in the “I have 8 siblings” way. When we were meeting with extended family or other people with kids, this made buffets an easy choice. And I loved it. Cici’s pizza taught me that terrible food in great quantities is every child’s dream come true.