Food waste is a problem all over the world, but in the United States, it is especially prevalent. One staggering statistic is that Americans throw away 40% of the food that they buy. Waste occurs when food is not consumed, is nearing expiration or spoiled, or is discarded due to improper storage.
If you’re like most people, you have a pretty good idea of how much food you should be eating each day. But the reality is that it’s often easier to overdo it than to eat too little or have too much. So, what do you do when you overdo it? Reducing food waste is a good place to start since it will help you reduce your food intake without feeling deprived.
So here are some tricks for reducing food waste.
Buy Only What Is Needed
I love eating new foods, and I hate throwing food away. I don’t want to waste food, but I don’t want to go crazy either. One way to reduce food waste is to buy only what we need and return the rest. It’s been said that “a penny saved is a penny earned,” but how often do we really consider how much that penny is worth? Considering the low cost of many food items and the small price we pay for the products we use every day, it’s easy to conclude that there is no real economic benefit in wasting any food we buy. One small step you can take to reduce your food waste is to buy and eat what you actually need.
Share Your Extra Food With Others
It’s the holidays, and you’ve eaten way too much food this year. But now you’re left with a lot of leftovers—and you don’t want to throw it away. You can donate it to your local food bank, or you can figure out some clever ways to use it up. With all the talk about food waste, we often forget that more people in the world than there are starving children. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to share with your neighbors, family members, and friends when you have extra food that they can use instead of tossing it away.
Avoid Serving Too Much
You often hear about food wastage and food spoilage. When food waste happens, it is usually because the food has gone off or is discarded before it has expired. Food spoilage is when food is kept too long before being eaten and is no longer safe. Food wastage can happen at home when people throw away food before it is gone or in restaurants when customers throw away too much food. The good news is that there are many ways you can waste less food and reduce the chances of food spoilage. In the beginning, food was plentiful and affordable. As the population grew, food got more expensive, and people grew poorer. As the population grows again, food is more expensive, and people are getting poorer again. That’s not a sustainable formula for healthy weight gain. Food is not cheap, and we have to be smarter with the way we buy, serve, and cook.
Know Your Molds
If you’ve ever been tempted to throw away unused food, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced some serious food waste. In fact, there’s a solid chance you’ve wasted a lot of food. That’s because most of us can’t resist the temptation of throwing away small amounts of food that are still good to eat. You know, items that could be turned into a quick and easy meal or snack. Molds are all around us. Stop for a moment and look at the walls and ceiling of your house. What do you see? Are there any molds? Why not take a closer look and see what you can find? You might be surprised at some things you come across.
Food waste is a big problem that affects our planet and its people. It is estimated that one-third of all food produced globally is wasted, and in developed countries, this figure rises to around half. The average American eats and wastes over a third of the food they buy — the equivalent of $2,000 worth of food every year.