Facts on Food Waste + How to Reduce Waste in Your Kitchen

At Good Morning Guru, we try to bring mindfulness to all aspects of our lives (keyword: try). One thing we know, though, is that part of being mindful is taking only what you need and then using what you take. A major way to exercise this mindfulness is through our food choices – by taking only the food we need and then using what we take, we can help reverse the current amount of food waste that has sadly become the norm of our food-scape. Need more convincing? Check out these facts on the current state of food waste in the U.S…

 

30-40% of food intended for intake is wasted.

20 pounds of food is wasted each month per person. Meanwhile, about 49 million Americans are considered food insecure.

$162 billion worth of food is wasted every year.

Food waste makes up the 2nd largest portion of items in our landfills (behind paper) – It’s also the 3rd biggest contributor of methane emissions.

 

Tips to reduce food waste:

  1. Jot down a list of what you buy and then make a note of what ends up getting tossed – this will help you to figure out what you buy but don’t end up using. It can help reduce waste and unnecessary spending.
  2. Explore options for composting – this reduces the amount of methane produced in landfills and helps support healthy soil. Here are some tips!
  3. Eat your leftovers! You can always jazz them up by adjusting the spices and tossing in some fresh greens or herbs.
  4. Try out some root to frond recipes that incorporate all parts of a vegetable – it reduces waste and inspires culinary creativity! Here are 10 wonderful root to frond tips from one of my former teachers, Chef Olivia Roszkowski.
  5. Shop more often for perishable foods and buy what you know you’ll eat in the next day or two rather than doing a large trip once every couple weeks where fresh food is more likely to go bad.
  6. Make sure food is stored properly in airtight containers and, if you can, freeze food that you know you won’t use up in time.
  7. Look for shelters in your community that accept food donations. If you work for a food service organization that often has leftovers, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a cool startup that can help you figure out the logistics of donating food! Here is a  video to check out some of their great work.

Lastly, if you want some serious inspiration and some great tips on reducing waste in other areas of your life, check out Lauren Singer’s website, Trash is for Tossers. Lauren makes living a zero-waste life in NYC seem not only doable, but trés chic.

Reduce, Recover, Recycle,

Shauna MS, RD

 

Sources:

USDA

EPA

NRDC

Feeding America