Reducing Your Food Waste Is Super Important
Food waste. It is phenomenal to think about the amount of food wasted by each household. More than one-third of all food produced around the globe ends up spoiled or wasted. And that is pretty sad to think about.
Here are some numbers to think about, Americans throw away 40% of the food that they purchase, and there are still 49+ million Americans going hungry.
There are a few issues that come into play with food waste — cost, attractiveness, and amount.
If we think about how much food is produced, we are actually looking at twice as much as people need – per person that is. Not only that, we are consistently shown images of the perfect apple. Red and juice, so when we go to a farmers market and see an oddly shaped apple, we don’t think of it as beautiful. Meaning that there are millions of pieces of fruit and vegetables that will never see the shelves – because they aren’t pretty enough.
Although food prices have been rising, it still doesn’t ‘feel’ expensive for a lot of families. So rather than treat food as something precious, it’s treated pretty badly. We like getting deals and discounts, so often will buy without knowing what we will use the 3lbs of kiwis for. And suddenly, because they were so cheap – they can go in the trash, right?
The only way to change this is to become more socially and globally aware of the consequences of food waste. You can start by reading Tesco Ireland’s guide to reducing food waste, and implementing the tips below.
How connected are you to the food in your fridge right now. It is too easy to be ignorant about the process of growing food, of where meat comes from, of the dairy farmers process.
It might be time to start watching some documentaries and reading about the growing, picking, transportation, and preservation of different foods. You might be surprised just how much you don’t know about your food.
In fact, to get an excellent idea, you can start growing your own fruits and vegetables. Which will get you used to seeing the variety of shapes and sizes that they can really be.
If you don’t know what you are cooking on a day to day basis, you are going to end up buying a range of foods with the idea you might make something. Then before you know it, the expiry date arrives and you didn’t do anything with it.
And usually, most people will put it straight in the bin. Because it is expired… or is it? (see below). If you plan each meal, you will buy exactly what you need. Meal planning is ideal.
It is essential to know that expirations and sell-by dates don’t mean that they aren’t suitable for consumers. But instead, they are an indicator of the quality of the food. Supermarkets like food to be purchased at what they consider its ‘best.’ Use them as guidelines, and learn to sniff your food.
Your sense of smell and taste are the best guides when it comes to food that really should be thrown into the compost or can still be eaten.
If you throw things you don’t eat into the standard trash, then it is pretty much out of sight out of mind. If you start a compost pile or box and are stringent with how you use it, you will have a visual representation of just how much you are wasting. This can be a very valuable tool when it comes to really WANTING to reduce your food waste.
*This is a collaborative post*