Take the Steps to Reduce Food Waste

At a young age, we learned to feel guilty for wasting food because there are people out there who don’t have any. As we get older, the guilt fades, but the truth is the amount of food wasted globally each year is more than enough to feed nearly 1 billion hungry people. Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away – from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce. More than 96 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills. In 2011, we tossed more than 36 million tons of food waste into our landfills. Once in the landfill, food breaks down to produce methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

Reducing food waste has many benefits, from reducing methane emissions to saving you money. This isn’t a call for you to stuff yourself at the dinner table until you’re full, but instead, we want to help everyone take the steps toward reducing food waste. Cutting back on food waste is easy once you get the hang of it.

Start by taking stock of what’s already in your refrigerator. Prepare what you already have at home before you buy more food. If your cabinets and refrigerator are looking bare, plan out your meals for the week and make a list. Using a grocery lists helps prevent “shopping with your eyes,” which is when you see something not on your list but make up a reason to buy it.

Like, “Oh! Navel oranges are on sale, I should buy a bag.”

Although your intentions are good, the majority of the time if the oranges were not on the list or planned for a meal, a few of them are left going bad. Using a list also helps stop you from buying in bulk. Although some items like toilet paper are great to buy in bulk, buying food in bulk is not always worth it.

Managing your leftovers is another way to reduce food waste. 56% of the food we throw away are leftover meals we either forgot about or didn’t finish in time. If you don’t think you’ll finish a meal the day after it’s prepared, freeze it and save it for later!

These are only a few things you can do to reduce food waste. What do you think we should add to the list? Tell us on our Facebook page!