As you may or may not know, September 29th is Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day. It is a huge problem that is not talked about enough, so we are giving it the space it needs to bring more awareness about it. We often don’t recognize how much food we throw away every day – from spoiled produce to leftovers gone uneaten, and even the vegetables and fruit parts that we throw away that could have been eaten or composted.
Did you know that one-third of all food in the US goes uneaten? It’s true, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that in 2018 about 81% or 20.3 tons of wasted food from households ends up in landfills or elsewhere.
There are some easy ways to prevent food from going to waste, and it is one of the most useful actions you can take to lower your climate change footprint and save money. Here are some examples.
You can keep a running list of foods and their ingredients that your household has been known to enjoy, allowing you to easily choose, shop for, and prepare meals that you are more likely to consume. You can also properly store your vegetables and fruits to help maintain that freshness. For example, you should put the vegetables that could wilt in the higher humidity drawer of the fridge, and then you can take fruits and vegetables that tend to rot and put them in the low humidity drawer of your fridge. (Should we share some fruit and vegetable prep and freshness tips in an upcoming blog? Let us know!)
Another way to help your entire community reduce its food waste is to reach out to local farmers and restaurants to donate the excess foods that they have to local food shelters or other services that take in and distribute food. This is a great way to contribute to your community and have a positive impact on the environment.
You can also research more about this topic and help reduce your carbon footprint, especially as climate change becomes more prevalent in your every day. Every little bit makes a difference!