April 29 is Stop Food Waste Day
Published 9:31 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, studies have shown that about 90 billion pounds of food goes to waste every year. The average person loses about $370 per year in uneaten edible food that takes a trip to the trash.
In 2017, Compass Group US introduced the Stop Food Waste Day initiative in order to tackle food waste. Their goal is to halve food waste by the year 2030 by working with suppliers, promoting suitability practices and educating the general public.
USDA highlighted the overall impacts of food waste:
– Food waste is the single largest constituent that makes up municipal landfills.
– Instead of feeding people in need, food collects in landfills.
– Producing, processing, transporting, preparing, storing and disposing of discarded food drains inputs such as land, water, labor and energy that could be used for other purposes.
The Stop Food Waste Day initiative challenges individuals to be mindful of their food waste. Here are some simple lifestyle changes that the USDA recommends to help lessen food waste on a daily basis.
Consider re-purposing and/or freezing extra food. Have some leftover vegetables and poultry from the night before? Combining those ingredients and adding a broth can make for a healthy, protein-packed soup.
Before bread goes stale, think about making French toast for breakfast, or dry it out for some crunchy croutons. Leftover pasta? Heat a pan and toss with olive oil, then add some colorful vegetables for a lighter meal.
Freezing food instead of throwing it away can help stop food waste as well. The USDA offers tips on how to freeze anything from berries to peppers to whipped cream. Visit www.nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze.html for more information.
Food scraps seem to be some of the first items to make it to the trash can. Consider composting instead. Fruits, vegetables, peelings, bread, cereal, coffee grounds and filters, tea leaves and tea bags can all go back into the earth instead of a landfill.
Not only is composting “nature’s way of recycling,” it can help save money and benefit your yard. Adding composted materials to your yard may eliminate the need to buy chemical fertilizers and improve soil texture and structure.
For other products that have been sitting in the pantry for quite some time but are still in date, donating to a local food pantry, food bank or food rescue program is always an option. Not only will donating help reduce food waste, it will help supply others with a meal that they otherwise may have not been able to eat.
For more information on the Stop Food Waste Day initiative and to find other helpful resources, visit www.stopfoodwasteday.com.