How Much Food Do We Waste? These Numbers Will Shock You!
Growing up, we did not throw any food away. Ever. Bones from meat were made into stocks. Vegetable cuttings were boiled and made into stocks as well. Bits and pieces of produce were put into the compost. The compost was used to grow our own food. Leftovers were sealed up and eaten the next day sometimes making creative and delicious second meals. The point was, that there was not enough money to throw things away. Every dollar counted and every bit of food was precious.
When we throw away food in our own homes it seems like such a small amount. A tiny drop that matters little. When we add up the amount of tiny drops that are thrown away globally, the numbers are mind blowing.
One report (1) suggests that up to HALF of all the world's food that gets produced, is then THROWN AWAY. This comes to about 2 billion tons of food wasted each year. The study suggests that about 30 percent of vegetables that are perfectly edible are just not harvested because they do not look pretty enough. The USDA has stated that in terms of calories, about 140 trillion calories end up at the dump each year. One of the biggest culprits for this is supermarkets and restaurants, but in our own kitchen, we are also to blame. The biggest change that we can all make in our own kitchens is to not be so lazy when it comes to food storage and leftovers.
Grandmother's 10 Tips for Throwing Away Less Food
1. Donate unexpired canned food to the food bank.
2. Start a vegetable or herb garden and then just pick what you need. Give extra away to neighbors or friends.
3. Start a compost for your scraps, and help make an even better garden.
4. Take leftovers if you eat out, and eat them the next day!
5. Ask for smaller portions of food. This will not only help you with weight loss (if that is your goal), but will help there to be less waste.
6. Vacuum seal food so it lasts longer.
7. Wash, and cut up veggies as soon as you get home, so that they do not go to waste in your bottom drawer. You will find you also star to eat healthier too.
Watch this video on: How to Wash and Store Vegetables.
8. Shop smart. Start to learn how much your family eats and how much gets thrown away on any given week and start to shop accordingly.
9. Cook smart. Does your family like leftovers? If not, be sure to cook just what is going to get eaten.
10. Get chickens. Chickens love to eat the bits and pieces of produce that get thrown in the garbage. This way you can also get your own eggs!
How do you save food in your house?
(1) Report: "Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not,"1 published in 2013 by the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers.