International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste: Ways to Reduce Your Waste
International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is celebrated each year on September 29th. The day is meant to bring attention to the issue of food waste and to encourage people to take action to reduce their waste.
The average American family throws away 25% of the food they buy. That’s more than 20 pounds of food per person, per month – enough to feed 25 million Americans! The problem is even worse when you consider that 40% of all the food produced in the United States is wasted. That’s a lot of wasted water, energy, and labor.
The good news is that there are many simple ways we can all reduce our food waste. Keep reading for some tips on how to reduce your waste and do your part to help the environment!
1. Plan Meals and Make Grocery Lists
Make sure you're only buying the ingredients you need for the week ahead so that it’s less likely for you to let them go to waste.
When you have a plan, it's also easier to use up any leftover ingredients before they go bad. And if you do end up with some extra food, don't forget that you can always donate it to a local food bank or soup kitchen.
2. Understand Expiration Dates
So many perfectly good meals are thrown away because most people don’t understand expiration dates.
Expiration dates are meant to be a guide, not a rule. They are determined by the manufacturer and are based on when the food is at its best. Once the food is past the expiration date, it may not be at its best, but it is still safe to eat.
3. Eat Leftovers/Prepare Smaller Portions
Another easy way to reduce food waste is to simply eat leftovers. Instead of throwing away those extra dishes, put them to good use and enjoy them for another meal.
If you're preparing your own meals, prepare smaller portions. This way, you're less likely to end up with extra food that you'll end up throwing away. Just remember, every little bit counts when it comes to reducing food waste.
4. Store Food Properly
When food is properly stored, it stays fresh longer and is less likely to go bad. This means that you can save money on your groceries and reduce the amount of food waste that you produce.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when storing food. First, make sure that your food is stored in a cool, dry place. This will help to prevent spoilage. Second, make sure that your food is properly sealed. This will help to keep out moisture and pests. Finally, make sure that you label your food so that you know when it was stored and when it should be used by.
5. Learn How to Preserve Food
One of the most impactful ways to reduce food waste is by learning to preserve food. This can be done through a number of methods, such as pickling, canning, drying, and freezing. Not only does this allow you to enjoy your favorite foods for longer, but it also cuts down on wastefulness and saves you money in the long run.
6. Turn Food Scraps into Compost
A great way to reduce your food waste is to turn your food scraps into compost. This is a process by which organic matter is broken down by bacteria and other organisms into a dark, rich soil amendment. Compost is an excellent way to add nutrients and improve the structure of your soil, and it’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
7. Buy Freeze Dried Products (from Sow Good!)
When it comes to reducing food waste, one simple solution is to buy freeze-dried products. Freeze-dried foods have a long shelf life and can be a great option for stocking up on pantry staples or for taking on camping and hiking trips. Plus, freeze-dried foods often come in lightweight and resealable packaging, which makes them easy to store and transport.
Here are some of our favorites!