Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

With millions of people going hungry each day in this country and across the globe, the critical issue

of food waste and the major role it plays in global warming and climate change is a deeply-disturbing

reality that we all have a responsibility to change.

It’s been suggested that, were food wastage a country, it would be the largest source of global greenhouse

gas emissions after China and the USA. Emitting both CO2 and methane as it breaks down, food is the

largest solid waste contributor to landfills.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that a third of the food produced

in the world is never eaten, with the United States alone wasting approximately $165 billion worth of food

each year.

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

From futuristic tech gadgets to simple common-sense solutions, I am delighted to share this insightful

guest post by Maria Ramos that explores many ways to implement the thinking of a food waste

crusader in the kitchen.

 

“Reducing the amount of

food waste your home generates

isn’t just good for the planet —

it can save you money too.”

 

Even as millions of people go hungry on a daily basis, an innumerable amount of food is still wasted

worldwide each and every day.

According to a UNEP report, about one-third of all the food produced worldwide, worth around

$1 trillion, is discarded or otherwise wasted.

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

In a world full of hunger and need, these statistics are both shocking and disappointing.

Not only does such waste drive up the price of foodstuffs by decreasing supply, but it also has

serious environmental consequences.

 

“We’ve become so accustomed to

throwing away perfectly good food

but are unaware of its impact 

on our environment.”

 

In poorer countries, a lot of food fails to even make it to market due to inadequate refrigeration 

technologya lack of pesticides, poor transportation infrastructure and other problems that cause 

food to spoil or rot quicker.

Here in the developed world, things are a bit different: most of the wasted food is discarded by

consumers post-purchase.

View this Video: Tossed Out: Food Waste in America
Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now

Food waste is the single-largest source of waste in municipal landfills.

According to the EPA, 35 billion pounds of food were thrown away in 2011.

As it decomposes in landfills, the waste releases methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, 1 in 7 Americans struggles with hunger and the world wonders how to address the challenge of

feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

Click here to watch Tossed Out: Food Waste in America

The Problem with Expiration Dates 

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

We have become so obedient of printed expiration dates and the outward appearance of foodstuffs,

that we end up throwing away food that’s still perfectly edible – many people are not aware that

these are merely guidelines and the food is, many times, good days past the printed date.

All the resources that go into the production of food that ultimately fails to be eaten are essentially

wasted as well.

This includes water for irrigation, fertilizers and other chemical compounds, and the gasoline used

to move agricultural products around the world and ultimately to store shelves.

 

“According to the UN Food and Agriculture

Organisation, food waste accounts for

nearly 3.3 Gt of carbon dioxide equivalent

every year.”

 

Wasted food contributes to global CO2 output

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

Agriculture is a fairly carbon-intensive process, so wasted food contributes to global CO2 output,

having a rather large effect on global warming.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, food waste accounts for nearly 3.3 Gt of

carbon dioxide equivalent every year, a number Dominion Power has compared to the exhaust

from about 20 million SUVs! If the amount of waste could simple be cut in half, that alone would

drastically improve its overall environmental impact.

View This Video: Food Wastage Footprint 2
Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

The full economic, environmental and social costs of food loss and waste are explored in this video

produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Click here to view Food Wastage Footprint2

 

How You Can Prevent Food Waste!

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

There are numerous ways to prevent food waste – there is no excuse!

Despite the size of this problem, there are a few easy ways that regular individuals can help.

*Purchase What You Plan to Eat

By only purchasing what you actually intend to eat, you can spare your wallet while simultaneously helping to save the environment.

*Avoid Impulse Purchases

Grocery shopping on a full stomach is recommended as you’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases of food if you’re not hungry.

*Refrigerate and Store Food Properly

After bringing your groceries home, make sure to use proper refrigeration and storage techniques to reduce spoilage.

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

*Save and Re-Use Leftovers

As you cook and eat your meals, save your leftovers, and remember to eat them later.

*Don’t Toss on the Expiration Date

When expiration and best-before dates approach, bear in mind that they’re just guidelines.

*If You Have Too Much, Donate It

Even with your best efforts, some food is likely to go to waste, but you might be able to

donate it to charity before it goes bad.

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

*Make Compost, Not Waste

Finally, it’s far better to use your wasted food for composting instead of throwing it away.

*Use Helpful Food Waste Apps

You can use modern technology to assist you in your efforts as well.

Green Egg Shopper  Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

The Green Egg Shopper app will enable you to identify the real expiration dates of certain

food items rather than trusting in the information provided by the manufacturer.

Fridge Pal 

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

With the Fridge Pal app, you can enter in the items you have, and it will show you recipes

using those foods, allowing you to eat what you have rather than buying new products.

LeftoverSwap

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

LeftoverSwap is an app that allows users to swap their leftovers with each other, although

some caution is warranted when trusting in the honestly and sanitary acumen of strangers.

The benefits of reducing food waste are incredibly valuable for  our Earth and ourselves.

 

“Food waste is a problem that has 

certain negative consequences:

increased global warming,

expensive food prices and

environmental degradation.”

 

Waste Less Food, Reap Big Benefits

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

If we cut back on the amount of food that goes to waste every year, we’ll see levels of greenhouse

gas emissions get lower and in addition, the problems that come from over farming, such as

desertification and deforestation, will be reduced.

There are even some experiments being undertaken focusing on the use of food waste as fuel.

Although it’s too early to tell if these efforts will prove fruitful, they might have a place alongside

solar and wind power as a way of using renewable energy resources in agriculture.

Food waste is a problem that has certain negative consequences: increased global warming,

expensive food prices and environmental degradation.

As the global population continues to increase, we’ll need to marshal as much food as we can to keep

everyone fed, so tackling food waste is a very important and timely issue.

Fortunately for us, most of the steps required to do so are easy, cost-effective and possible with

today’s technology.

Waste Less Now!

Top Reasons to Reduce Food Waste and How to Waste Less Now!

Check out smart food storage practices you can apply right now from this valuable infographic,

courtesy of Pounds to Pocket.

It illustrates valuable tips you can use to help you make your fresh food last longer.

How To Make Fresh Food Last Longer

Source: How To Make Fresh Food Last Longer [Infographic] by the team at Pounds to Pocket
About the Author:
Maria Ramos is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Communication. She blogs about environmentally friendly tips, technological advancements, and healthy active lifestyles.

 

What are you doing to reduce food waste in your home?

Share your thoughts and comments with us.

 

“Shared on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday”

“Shared on the Healthy Living Link Party”