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How to Cut Down on Food Waste

Dana Gunders' book The Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook, indicates that every year, 40% of the food in American households gets thrown away.  The environmental impact is huge.  About 70% of our water and 50% of our land is devoted to agriculture. So when we’re not eating that food, it’s a huge unnecessary use of resources. About 33 million cars worth of greenhouse gases are produced to grow food that never gets eaten.  Dana says that we've come to expect large amounts of food, and that our culture is accepting of throwing things away.  Here are some tips from Dana's book for helping to save some money and the environment:
  1. Use a shopping list or an app so you're less likely to buy more than you need.  Shop more often and buy less.

  2. Be realistic. What tends to happen is you buy all these groceries on the weekend because you’ve got big plans for cooking all the yummy recipes you cut out.  But by Wednesday, you’re ordering takeout.  Meanwhile, the food goes bad.

  3. For two weeks, keep track of what you throw out to pinpoint what you are wasting and why.

  4. Toss a variety of leftovers onto rice or into a tortilla or pasta salad. You can also sauté wilted lettuce with butter or olive oil and garlic.  Throw yesterday's leftover salad into the blender with some tomato juice, and voila, a yummy snack!

  5. Don't worry too much about expiration dates, unless the food is moldy or rancid.

  6. Start a compost pile and keep a bin on your counter to collect compostable food scraps.  This turns into the best organic fertilizer money can buy. You can even get a Green Cone for your yard which will compost everything including meat and bread.  Both available at your transfer station or local dump.

  source: photo source: Peter Oumanski  

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