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Day 12 What is food waste? 5 tips to lower it now

Cindy Rangel

 
FOOD waste contributes to 1/4 of the carbon footprint.
— Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN

Food waste is defined as the "decrease in food in subsequent stages of the food supply chain intended for human consumption." This includes all food throughout the supply chain regardless if intentional or unintentional.  This is critical as we become more mindful of waste and learn about sustainable living.  Food waste is the #1 material reaching the landfill and we can change that factor beginning with our own habits.  

Here are top 5 takeaways:

  1. Make that grocery list. I know it sounds easy but the less you drift away from it, the better. Plus, think of all that you save.  Savings over long term is key here.
  2. Don't over serve.  I know, the holidays are around the corner with Halloween to kick it off but don't over serve unless you plan adding more to your waistline.  
  3. Eat the leftovers.  Who wants to cook when there's food made all ready? Enough said.
  4. Store -in right places.  So you want to store it in the right storage bins so it's accessible to eat or to go for example.
  5. NO CLUTTER in fridge.  This is probably the most important aspect of unintentional food waste.  YOU can't eat what you can't see.  Keep it tidy.  Remember, it's how much you are saving over time.

Of course, all of this is so key with the major players in your community.  These players include:  research institutions, producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers.  This loss of food is accounted for about 1.3 billon tons of food.  If that didn't spook you out, consider this food waste is costing us a lot on a global level:

1 trillion in economic costs

approximately 700 billion in environmental costs

900 billion in societal costs 

* Food and Agriculture World Organization of United Nations 

 

Why do I write about food? It's so intrinsically linked to clothing in our society as well. So it's important to know the source of our foods, where it's ending up and how much it's costing us.  Consequently, we should know because we are making the decisions every day for that outcome that is costing us.