Yesterday we talked about the fact that Americans throw out nearly half of the food they buy. The worst thing about this is that one in seven Americans – over 46 million people – don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
Some of the problem stems from farming practices. A fair amount of food never makes it to market because it isn’t bought by specific buyers or doesn’t meet aesthetic standards. But the biggest part of the problem rests with us, the consumer.
There are some ways we can cut down on our food waste.
First, we should avoid throwing food away. This means paying closer attention to what is in our refrigerator. All of us lose things in our fridges for days and weeks at a time. We all have those “I wonder what THAT was” experiences.
Second, we should shop wisely. Plan meals and don’t buy huge quantities of food just because it is on sale.
Third, prepare smaller meals. If you are confident you will make use of the leftovers, then go right ahead and make lots of food. But otherwise, cut back.
Fourth, be willing to buy less beautiful fruits and vegetables. If people are willing to buy ugly produce, farmers and grocers won’t throw it out. And it tastes just as good.
Finally, use your freezer. Leftovers and even produce can last a long time if it is properly frozen.
Wasted food is a huge economic and ethical problem. We should all do our part in trying to reduce the amount of it.
Photo, posted April 5, 2006, courtesy of Taz via Flickr.
Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.