How to reduce food waste so it doesn’t end up in landfills

The amount of food wasted by the western world is truly horrifying. A report from the National Resources Defense Council states the average American throws away 300 pounds of food annually (approximately $2,200 worth). That’s 20 pounds per person per month.

 

Clearly, this is a problem.

 

Here are some ways to do your part to reduce this waste.

 

Portion Control:

 

When preparing a meal, err on the side of caution. Try to make just the portions you need. If you do decide to make a large batch, save the leftovers and make them a priority. It may be monotonous to eat the same dish for back-to-back meals but it’s far worse to let perfectly good food go to waste buried in the back of the fridge.

 

It Starts at the Store:

 

It’s far harder to waste food when you don’t have it to waste. For big families, there are certainly benefits to buying in bulk. However, if you can’t be sure you’re going to make it through that entire product, be conservative with your purchases. Have recipes planned and keep to a shopping list so as not to end up with lots of excess perishables.

 

Know Your Kitchen Inventory:

 

So you didn’t listen to the point above and have extra groceries sitting around - what now? Know what’s in your kitchen. If you have time sensitive products, make a plan to use them. Cater your shopping and recipe planning to incorporate the produce, meats, and other perishable products already in your possession.

 

The problem of food waste is a serious one. All of that waste ends up in landfills where, according to the EPA, organic matter is responsible for a colossal amount of methane emissions. The steps above certainly won’t end the trend on their own but they can make a meaningful dent in your individual waste.

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