Food Tribe Blog Post #2: Five Ways to Cut Down on Food Waste
Its finally started cooling down in Los Angeles. For a while there, walking outside required a ton of energy we just weren't willing to use. Now staying inside with the A/C, that sounded better.
While we had all that downtime cooling off, we got to thinking.
According to the USDA, "Up to one-fifth of America’s food goes to waste each year, with an estimated 130 pounds of food per person ending up in landfills. The annual value of this lost food is estimated at around $31 billion. Roughly 49 million people could have been fed by those lost resources.”
That's a lot of wasted food. Beyond the environmental impact, a lot of people could have been fed with what ultimately ended up in landfills. What a shame.
What can you do you may ask? Well, we've got five steps that will point you in the right direction:
1. Compost - In addition to contributing to food insecurity, food waste is harmful to the environment. Rotting food that ends up in landfills releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, that is a major contributor to global climate change and can negatively affect crop yields. Composting is a process that allows food waste to be converted into nutrient rich organic fertilizer for gardening.
2. Donate to Food Banks - Donating food that you don’t plan to use is a great way to save food while helping to feed the needy in your community.
3. Improve Food Storage - Food is often wasted because it isn’t stored properly which allows it to mold, rot, or get freezer burn. By storing food properly consumers can reduce the amount of food they waste.
4. Buy Less Food - People often buy more food than they need and allow the excess food to go to waste. Reducing food waste requires that consumers take responsibility for their food consumption. Instead of buying more food, consumers should buy food more responsibly.
5. Shop for Groceries Responsibly - Shop at places that practice responsible waste management. Many grocery stores are hesitant to donate leftovers to food banks because they are worried about possible liabilities if someone gets sick. But consumers can encourage grocery chains to reduce food waste by supporting local food banks in a responsible way.