Waste Not (Food), Want Not
While the adage to “waste not want not” is not actually found in the Bible, it does seem to match God’s instructions to man in Genesis 1 when He gave us fiduciary responsibilities over His creation.
In August 2012, the National Resources Defense Council published an "issue paper" on food waste in America.The statistics are astounding and give us a sizable yet achievable challenge for 2013. According to the study, producing food for our consumption in this country takes 10 percent of our total energy budget, 50 percent of our land and 80 percent of our freshwater and yet, 40 percent of that food produced goes uneaten and is thrown away.
This $165 billion in wasted food then becomes the largest single component of municipal waste in our country, producing almost 25 percent of our national methane emissions, all at a time when one in six Americans lacks a secure food supply.
This is where our opportunity blooms and proper nurturing will result in less waste and more money in your household budget for other things. Our individual lifestyles taken together are the most powerful tool for change we possess. Some ideas to reduce your household food waste include:
- Plan menus and make a list for just the items you need. Stick to the plan and avoid shopping when you are hungry. Only buy what you need. Loss leaders and sale items often end up being thrown out when we fail to use them because they weren’t needed in the first place.
- Slightly past prime fruit and veg can be used for smoothies and soups.
- Use up your leftovers for lunches the next day or the start to a different course.
- Use the “Last In First Out” (LIFO) method of food rotation. When you put away your purchases, put the older food in the front of the refrigerator and make a point of using it up.
- To reduce food uneaten on a plate, serve small amounts and encourage children to go back and get more if they are still hungry after eating what is on their plate.
- Buy loose fruits and veg so that you don’t end up with a lot of things you cannot eat before they go bad.
- Compost any uneaten or food gone bad and make nutrient rich matter for your garden and flower beds.
Submitted by Helen Bushnell Beets for Earth Stewards Team, February 2013