If you are reading this then my title definitely caught your attention and probably even confused some of you. It is imperative that we discuss the issue regarding food waste and what we can do to prevent it!
To gain a better understanding of issues concerning food waste, first check out this video!
As you can see, food leftovers are the "largest component of the waste stream by weight in the United States," according to the Environmental Protection Agency. You help contribute to this waste each time you throw out spoiled food or an unfinished meal. This is not only done in homes; it is also done in many bakeries and cafes. If they cannot sell everything by the end of the day, they simply throw it out in order to prevent selling foods that are not as fresh.
First of all, keeping food waste in dumpsters creates bad odors and attracts rodents and insects. Second of all, the environmental impact of food disposal is quite significant. When food is being broken down in landfills, methane is produced. This is a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Landfills account for more than 25% of all methane emissions.
What can we do to help prevent and decrease the amount of food waste? Before you go shopping create a food list and stick it. Make sure you are only buying foods that you need and foods that you will eat before they expire. Then, when you go to unpack groceries, move older foods to the front and put newer foods in the back. If you have fruits that are going to go bad soon, try making smoothies! Have you ever tried a frozen banana? Tastes just like ice cream! You can also try making fresh applesauce from your apples or fresh tomato sauce from tomatoes!
Also, try setting up a compost bin for fruit and vegetable peelings. Some towns actually require people to compost or else you will be charged! Take action in your own house and start composting! Some other suggestions include serving food family style and in small portions (you can always have seconds), split a dish with a friend when going out to eat, and try have a "use it up" meal each week where you eat leftovers!
Today, I challenge you to feed people, not landfills.
If you have any recipes or useful tips you would like to share, send them to l.palestro [at] whatsyourimpact [dot] eu [dot] org
To learn more about food waste, here's another video!
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