A Buffet of Resources to Fight Food Waste
Jul 28 2020
Stocking up on food so you can do fewer grocery runs these days? Learn how to make your food last and use it up or preserve it before it goes bad. Did you know that about 40% of all food in America is wasted? In fact, a 4-person family can lose about $1500 on wasted food each year.
Food waste isn’t only bad for your wallet – it’s also bad for our planet. When food goes uneaten, it wastes all of the resources that went into growing, harvesting, processing, and transporting it. Further, most wasted food goes to landfills where it releases methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – as it breaks down.
Luckily, there are a lot of organizations out there trying to help consumers like you fight food waste. Check out the resources below to go down the road of food, less wasted.
The U.S. EPA has a bunch of resources to help you reduce food waste, including their Food: Too Good to Waste Guide & Toolkit. This resource helps individuals as well communities implement campaigns to reduce food waste at home. Their page also has basic tips for planning, storage, food prep, and thriftiness. They also have links to learn more about donating food and composting food scraps at home (rather than landfilling).
Do you know what is about to go bad in your fridge? Conduct a little citizen science with this free download to evaluate how much and why you waste food at home. Follow their tips for 4-6 weeks and then conduct an evaluation again and see how you’ve done! Important note: Do NOT place food in your recycling cart (in fact, it is illegal to place food in your curbside recycling bin in Illinois). This tool was originally made for communities in California which offer a green curbside composting cart for residents.
Save the Food is a nationwide public service campaign run by the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Ad Council. They have handy tools and tips including a “Guest-imator” to help you plan properly for dinner parties and the Meal Prep Mate to help you become a meal prepping pro. They also feature recipes aimed at using up food scraps and leftovers and food storage tips.
Marion County, Oregon has put together several pages on their website to help their residents understand the basic why and how of preventing food waste. They created an infographic and a video with statistics specific to their county as well as a pledge. Perhaps you could take inspiration for your municipality or organization to create a similar resource.
There are lots of resources out there to help you fight food waste. Use what works best for you. As you continue on your food waste journey, you may find that it gets to be second nature. Together, we can all help to fight food waste and reduce our climate change impact.