3 Food Waste Facts and Fixes

Food waste is a widespread problem throughout the world. It is not a problem one organization, person or even government can solve alone. It will take everyone becoming more aware of food waste and collaborating  to help. Let’s take a look at three food waste facts and learn what you can do to make a difference.

Food Waste Fact #1

$1500 Wasted per family of four each year on food that is thrown away

Food waste in the home is a major contributor to the problem. Not only is waste avoidable but it will also save you money! Below are a few simple tips to help you save $ by wasting less food.

  1. When putting groceries away, be sure to rotate the food in your refrigerator. Put the newest food in the back so you always see what needs to be used up first.
  2. Learn how to store different fruits and veggies to keep them lasting the longest.
    • Avocados – Once ripe or almost ripe, place in refrigerator to add days onto their life span.
    • Leafy greens & fresh herbs – Place stems in a cup of water with a plastic bag placed loosely over it. Fresh herbs and greens can last for weeks in the refrigerator this way!
    • Bananas – Keep bananas on the counter and away from other produce. They produce ethylene gas, which speeds the ripening of everything around them.
    • Cheese – Store in wax or parchment paper. This allows it to breathe but also retain its moisture.
  3. Food ‘expatiation’ & ‘best by’ dates are not currently regulated. Use these dates as guidelines and rely on visual inspection and smell to decide if your food is still fresh enough to eat.

Food Waste Fact #2

We can't image running the shower for 370 minutes but that is how much water it takes to produce 1lb of bef.

Food waste=water waste. We all know fresh water is a precious resource. When you throw away that leftover burger you are wasting food and water.  Learning more about the water it takes to produce your food will make you think twice about the impact of your waste.

Below you can see how much water to takes to produce 1 pound of your favorite foods:

  • Tomatoes = 5 Minute shower
  • Bananas = 42 Minute shower
  • White rice = 60 Minute shower
  • Cheese = 122 Minute shower

Learn about even more foods at Waterfootprint.org

Food Waste Fact #3

21% of landfill volume is food waste

 

When organic matter such as food waste decomposes in the landfill it releases methane, a greenhouse gas roughly 23x more potent then carbon dioxide.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, landfills account for 34 percent of all methane emissions in the U.S.—meaning that the sandwich you made and then didn’t eat yesterday is increasing your personal—and our collective—carbon footprint.

– Scientific American

Food waste is finally getting the attention it deserves and rightfully so. Not only does food waste lead to wasted money, wasted water and rising green house gasses; we also have millions of families that go hungry every day. This problem can be solved but it will take everyone doing their part.

In 2016, We Don’t Waste prevented over 6.2 million pounds of food from entering the landfill. We collect food by the pallet and distribute it to those in need. The food we recover gets distributed up and down the front range through our food recovery network. You can help by only buying the food you need, storing it properly and supporting local organizations such as We Don’t Waste. Join the movement and do your part to tackle this problem!

Make a donation today: wedontwaste.org/donate