In the US, we collectively waste about 40% of our food. This is an issue in part because hunger remains a significant problem in our nation. It also means all the water, energy and human effort to grow and transport that food is also wasted. The money paid to buy the food is wasted as well.
As if all that weren’t enough to be concerned about, wasted food contributes to climate change. Food that decomposes in landfills generates methane. Methane is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
You can reduce food waste in a number of ways. My best practices include planning a menu, making a shopping list and eating leftovers for lunch the next day. We froze many tomatoes and peppers at the end of last summer. We freeze extra servings of meals to have on busy nights (which helps reduce stress, too!). Soon, we will have a separate bin for food scrap collection and composting by the City of Minneapolis. For more information and other ideas for action steps that you can try, please see these resources:
NRDC: Your Scraps Add Up
Outside Magazine: Eating Right Can Save the World