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Wellness Tip: Eight Ways To Stop Food Waste

You Can Participate In Stop Food Waste Day.

In the U.S., The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that one-third of all food goes uneaten. In 2019, 96% of wasted household groceries ended up in landfills, combustion facilities, or sewer systems. This is equivalent to 119 billion pounds, 130 billion meals, and $408 billion in discarded food.

In 2017, Compass Group USA marked April 26 as Stop Food Waste Day to bring awareness to this issue and work to bring solutions across the globe.

According to the Global Sustainability Director Amy Keister, “While Stop Food Waste Day started as an initiative to reduce food waste in our own kitchens, it has quickly grown to be a movement that brings together consumers, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government entities, all focused on fighting food waste on a global scale.” 

To help you join the cause to stop food waste for this year’s celebration, here are some tips on how you can lower your scraps in your household:

  1. Try out meal prepping. Meal prepping not only ensures you eat well-balanced meals throughout the week but also helps you save money and lessen your waste by making you cook and eat the groceries you buy.
Photo Courtesy Ello
  1. Remember that “Best By” dates differ from expiration dates. While the expiration date indicates the last date a food is safe to consume, the “Best By” date lets you know when your item has reached peak quality. In other words, you can still ingest the item after that date has passed. 
  2. Learn how to store your perishable items properly. To extend the shelf life of your produce, look up how to properly and safely store them. For example, wash your leafy greens, fully dry them, and then store them in an airtight container with paper towels. Additionally, keep herbs and veggies like asparagus in cups of water to keep them from withering. If you aren’t planning on eating your food anytime soon, the freezer is your friend.
Photo Courtesy Ello
  1. Did you cook too much? Share your leftovers with a friend. Sometimes, we get sick of eating the same meal three or four days in a row, and that’s okay! Instead of throwing it out, share some with friends, your neighbors, or coworkers. 
  2. Donate any edible products you don’t use to a local food bank. The program MealConnect is sponsored by the Feeding America organization. Grocery stores, restaurants, and catering companies can use this free program to donate surplus meals and ingredients. So far, according to Feeding America, the program has rescued more than 3 billion pounds of food. One person’s trash is truly another person’s treasure.
Photo Courtesy Joel Muniz

6. Rescue food waste from restaurants. Just like with the previous tip, apps like Too Good to Go allow consumers to order meals at the end of the day for one-third of the original price as a way to mitigate trash issues. 
7. Try your hand at composting. If you truly can’t think of a way to use the ingredients around your house or every part of a fruit, vegetable, or grain, try your hand at composting. The items that end up in landfills are a huge contributor to global emissions. At-home composting keeps scraps out of waste areas while improving soil quality in your gardens without pesticides and fertilizers. 
8. Take the Stop Food Waste Pledge. Head over to the official Stop Food Waste Day website and take the pledge. Share #StopFoodWasteDay across your social media platforms to help raise awareness. The organization also provides digital and print posters for social media and your schools and workplaces. 

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