Food waste is a HUGE pet peeve of mine; and a problem in most homes and restaurants in our community and nationwide. Thankfully I know how to buy, preserve and use food so that I am not wasting any or much at all at home. But, I realize that so many of my clients just need some simple #stopfoodwaste tips and laws needs to be loosened so that restaurants are able to donate to the homeless or food deprived, instead of throwing out the massive amounts that they do daily.
According to Move for Hunger, “a recent report, a half a pound of food is wasted per meal in restaurants, whether it’s from what is left on a customer’s plate, or in the kitchen itself. Approximately 85% of the food that isn’t used in a typical American restaurant is thrown out while only a small percentage is recycled or donated. With more than 42 million food insecure people in our country, this amount of food waste is obviously a major problem.”
National #StopFoodWasteDay tells us Food waste worldwide is an alarming issue. That is why on the last Wednesday in April, Stop Food Waste Day raises awareness of the growing concern of food waste.
According to the USDA, Americans waste between 30-40 percent of the food supply. That is near or more than the worldwide estimate of 1/3 of the world’s consumable waste. Additionally, food waste occurs for many reasons all along the food chain.
- Lack of workers to harvest
- Quality expectations
- Faulty equipment
- Poor planning
- Over preparing
These are only a few reasons that add up to millions of tons of food waste. Stop Food Waste Day addresses all the factors and brings increased awareness to the world. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly half of food waste happens before it even reaches the consumer. So, everyone along the food chain has a responsibility to help reduce it. That means, from farm to table and everywhere in between, we have work to do. Some of the solutions include:
- Improved weather forecasts, so farmers know what to grow and when.
- Improved storage facilities so that distributers and markets can preserve food longer.
- Reduced production where possible.
- An improved understanding of food quality and a loosening of those standards.
- Preparing smaller meals.
- Teaching consumers how to use leftovers in soups, casseroles, and stir-fries.
- Learning how to preserve meals at home.
- Begin composting the incidental waste to improve home production and commercial production.
Food waste is everyone’s problem, whether we realize it or not. Join the movement to reduce food waste. Follow these tips for reducing food waste:
- Purchase and prepare only the amount of food you need to feed your family.
- Discover new recipes that allow you to makeover leftovers.
- Learn how to preserve food.
- If you buy in bulk, consider donating excess to local shelters.
- Understand the use by and best by dates.
How can you start to reduce food waste today? Follow me on social media to learn more on food waste hacks to save you time and money!