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donniemdonniem Posts: 5,554 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
edited April 2022 in General

Here's some food for thought!


Food waste worldwide is an alarming issue. That is why on the last Wednesday in April, Stop Food Waste Day raises awareness of the growing concern of food waste.

According to the USDA, Americans waste between 30-40 percent of the food supply. That is near or more than the worldwide estimate of 1/3 of the world’s consumable waste. Additionally, food waste occurs for many reasons all along the food chain.

  • Lack of workers to harvest
  • Quality expectations
  • Weather
  • Overproduction
  • Faulty equipment
  • Poor planning
  • Overbuying
  • Over preparing

These are only a few reasons that add up to millions of tons of food waste. Stop Food Waste Day addresses all the factors and brings increased awareness to the world. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly half of food waste happens before it even reaches the consumer. So, everyone along the food chain has a responsibility to help reduce it. That means, from farm to table and everywhere in between, we have work to do. Some of the solutions include:

  • Improved weather forecasts, so farmers know what to grow and when.
  • Improved storage facilities so that distributers and markets can preserve food longer.
  • Reduced production where possible.
  • An improved understanding of food quality and a loosening of those standards.
  • Preparing smaller meals.
  • Teaching consumers how to use leftovers in soups, casseroles, and stir-fries.
  • Learning how to preserve meals at home.
  • Begin composting the incidental waste to improve home production and commercial production.

Food waste is everyone’s problem, whether we realize it or not. Join the movement to reduce food waste. Follow these tips for reducing food waste:

At home:
  • Purchase and prepare only the amount of food you need to feed your family.
  • Discover new recipes that allow you to makeover leftovers.
  • Learn how to preserve food.
  • If you buy in bulk, consider donating excess to local shelters.
  • Understand the use by and best by dates.
In your community or business:
  • Speak to your local grocers about changing their damaged fruit and vegetable policies. Those pristine-looking bins full of blemish-free fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be the standard anymore.
  • Shop farmer’s markets, local food stands, and food co-ops.
  • Create or participate in a donation program.
  • Promote neighborhood composting.
  • Educate your employees about best food practices.
  • Develop a partnership with area farmers and feed the animals.

HOW TO OBSERVE #StopFoodWasteDay

  • Share your tips and tricks to avoid food waste.
  • Try a new recipe that repurposes leftovers.
  • Give a shout-out to restaurants and businesses that use smart food practices.
  • Learn more about food waste, the causes, and how to prevent it.
  • Watch documentaries about food waste such as:
    • Just Eat It, directed by Grant Baldwin
    • Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, directed by Nari Kye and Anna Chai
    • Expired! Food Waste in America, directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen
  • Read about food waste in books like:
    • The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook by Cinda Chavich
    • In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

  • My dad lived through the Great Depression and as POW in Germany for 14 months. He knew about food scarcity. One of his favorite sayings, that I must have heard at least a thousand times during my youth was "clean your plate so it shines like a new dime". To me that meant I had to finish the zucchini on my plate. I hated it and still don't favor it much today. But that was the "rule" in our house. Even now, 70-75 years later, cleaning my plate feels like a must. I have learned, however, not to put things on my plate I don't like.

  • Comments

    • ForestryDawgForestryDawg Posts: 29,202 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

      The biggest way that my family has lowered our food waste is that we have stopped eating out. Over the past 4-5 years we have reduced the number of restaurant visits to around per month. It has saved us thousands of dollars a year. We also try and empty our fridge every week. That means that when we buy a ton of produce, we actually eat it. We usually have leftovers or repeat meals 4+ times a week.

    • BumBum Posts: 2,276 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

      Maybe today it will get through to my youngins

    • AbrahamusAbrahamus Posts: 3 ✭ Freshman
      edited January 9

      It's shocking how much food goes to waste globally, and the stats from the USDA are indeed eye-opening. From farm to table, the reasons for this waste are diverse and need attention.We can all play a part in reducing this waste. Simple steps like meal planning, using leftovers creatively, and supporting businesses committed to minimizing waste can make a difference.Speaking of which, I've come across this nature foods ( https://www.znaturalfoods.com/ ) company that prioritize sustainability. They offer products that not only promote healthier living but also contribute to reducing waste in the food chain. It's inspiring to see initiatives aiming to combat this issue.

    • donniemdonniem Posts: 5,554 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

      thanks Abe. Nice coming from a relative newbie.

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