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Food Waste

It is Earth Day. I want to celebrate by getting the word out about about an important issue: food waste. Did you know that about 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is never eaten? UGH! That uneaten food is a drain on the earth. The resources used to produce this uneaten food includes 31% cropland, 25% of total freshwater consumption and 2% total energy. Think of all the waste in planting, growing, transporting, storing, preparing, and serving this uneaten food. To make bad things worse, this uneaten food accounts for a significant use of landfills (about 18 percent of all municipal solid waste [MSW] is uneaten food- the second largest category of MSW). UGH!

These facts are sobering, but let’s use them as motivation for action! There are many things we can all do. Discarded food in homes and foodservice accounts for 60 percent of food loss and is mostly avoidable. I’m pledging to make a commitment to reduce my own personal food waste… here’s how:

  • Being mindful of quantity while shopping for and ordering food

  • Paying attention to ‘use by’ and expiration dates on food

  • Taking restaurant leftovers home

  • Freezing food before it spoils

  • Being creative with leftovers (look for future Myplate2yours recipes!

Please share what YOU do to reduce food waste, we can all learn from each other! By challenging ourselves to personally reduce food waste, we may spur others around us to do the same. Now that would be great for this planet that we share! Happy Earth Day 2016!

The facts in this article are from “Smart Choices for a Healthy Planet”, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, Future of Food Initiative, 2015.

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