Food Waste is one of the largest waste in the landfill in the U.S that I think it has not been highlighted enough! It is not only bad for your budget, but also the environment. A lot of people including myself before just think “Oh! What a waste!” and it stops right there. I did not even think about where or how these foods were going to be “processed” from the earth! Now, imagine old me times 8 billion people's food waste!? Where does it go? Could you imagine your wasted produce or leftovers can have such a harmful impact on the environment?
The process of food waste composting creates an abundance of terrible greenhouse gas - methane, which is worse than carbon dioxide. According to the estimation of USDA’s Economic Research, there is 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, equivalently about 133 billion pounds of food and $161 billion worth of food in 2017 (FDA). In our country, an average person wastes 238 pounds of food per year (21 percent of the food they purchase), taking from them $1,800 per year (Buzby). Food waste each year causes methane release in the air. There are a lot of contributing factors to the amount of food waste in the landfill. Today, I am going to focus on how we can do our part in our daily life to limit it!
I have noted a few things to do that would help limit your food waste. These are the things I have been doing not perfectly but trying to be better :)
Eat ugly and local - one of the main reasons that cause food waste is cosmetic reasons. There are cosmetic standards --- to eliminate “unpretty” produce to be put on shelves at the grocery store. Shopping at your local Farmers’ Market or Farm Stands, are also a great way to support local business and get fresh produce. Personally, I think there is nothing more lovely than having the foods from the farm that grows it straight to your dinner table. Produces that are mass produced have to be shipped by many transportation and used up an abundant amount of energy before it could get to you! Therefore, you can use your consumer power to shop at local markets or farm stands that have all kinds of shapes of products and let them know how you want to support and encourage them to have more of those “funky” looking radishes or carrots on the shelves. Don’t be discriminatory they still have the same nutrients and benefits even if the shape is crooked or different from the usual one you see at a regular grocery store. Carrots are not only orange, they come in white, green, and purple too!
Plan your meals ahead – I know it sounds like a lot of work but trust me it is totally worth it. Before going to do your grocery shopping, plan out the menu for the week. Ingredients that need to make these dishes. By doing that you will not have to worry about wasting your produce or forgetting about them then find them gone bad.
Keep it fresh - sort it out right after you get back home, especially leafy greens.
Eat seasonal – it takes extra water and energy to plant something that is not in season!
Bring your own to-go container – have fun, and enjoy your night out! You don’t have to worry about to-go Styrofoam and plastic to-go boxes from restaurants or force yourself to finish the food. Bring your own container and put your food in it.
Compost! Compost! Compost! - it is never enough to talk about composting. An awesome solution for your food waste and your pocket. Compost also gives you high quality and low cost fertilizer for your garden. If you don’t have a garden, ask a farmer from your local farms or at the farmers’ market if they are collecting compost!
Thank you for reading! I hope you guys find this helpful in some ways! These are just my personal collected information from people I know and sources online that I cited above in the blog! If you have any good tips, please share with us in the comments or shoot me an email!