How Can You Reduce Your Food Waste?
There are a number of ways you can reduce your food waste.
- First, take Sustainable America's "I Value Food" quiz to understand how your habits contribute to your personal food waste.
- Next, check out their extensive list of tips to reduce your food waste through activities like meal planning, shopping, food storage, cooking, eating and composting scraps.
- Finally, take the month-long food waste challenge that will help you pinpoint why good food may be going to waste in your home. Then you can make easy shifts in how you shop, store and prepare food and reduce your waste of both food and money.
What's Up with Food Waste in the US?
In the US, we waste roughly 40 percent of our food at every point along the food chain. Food waste happens on farms and fishing boats; during processing and distribution; in retail stores and restaurants and at home.
It's estimated that 133 billion pounds of food goes to waste every year - the equivalent of about $165 billion - and much of that is perfectly edible and nutritious. This is especially problematic when you consider that food waste accounts for more than one quarter of total US freshwater consumption and about 300 million barrels of oil per year. And all that trashed food (that, if not eaten, could at least have been composted) is one of the largest components of landfills. Once there, it becomes one of the largest human-caused sources of methane emissions.
At home, Americans throw out about 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. This is like buying four bags of groceries and throwing one right into the trash! At a time when one in six Americans are food insecure, reducing food loss by just 15 percent would be enough to feed more than 25 million people every year.
Reducing food waste is something we can all get behind - it keeps food out of our landfills, prevents the greenhouse gas emissions that come from rotting food, saves the resources it took to create the food and saves us money. It's winning all around.