Don't Waste Food
Information about Don't Waste Food
Health & Medicine
Published on March 13, 2014
We Americans, on average, waste 40% of our food. Shame on us.
The stat is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When parceled out, we find that Americans are most likely to throw out fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits, cherries, sweet potatoes, onions and greens top the list. But we also waste other foods in large proportions: we throw out 40% of fresh fish, 23% of eggs and 20% of milk. The average American wastes about 20 pounds of food, every month.
When you waste food, you’re harming both the environment and human society. When food is wasted, it is sent to landfills, where it decomposes and produces methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that’s 21 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.
Plus, that food we threw out took money, labor, land, water and finite resources to produce, package and transport. The cost of getting that food to us totaled $165 billion. We could’ve used that money to buy nice stuff for our loved ones.
This gluttony we have does have an indirect effect on the less fortunate. Simple economics: if there are more buyers, then the price of food is higher. If we all bought only as much as we need, food prices would decline significantly. Right now, 50 million Americans don’t have enough to eat. If we reduced our food waste by just 15%, 25 million Americans could get fed.
Please don’t waste your food. Here are some tips so you’re not a scrooge to society:
-Shop wisely. Don’t succumb to marketing tricks; only buy stuff if you know you’ll consume them.
-Learn when food actually goes bad. Expiration dates are not federally regulated. They don’t typically indicate safety, just quality
-If you know you can’t finish a big portion of your produce or leftovers on time, put them in your freezer. It’ll stay fresh longer.
-Compost food so it has a smaller impact on the environment.
-If there is a large amount of food you know you won’t eat, donate it to the less fortunate.
After you do some of that, you can enjoy your meal, guilt-free.
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