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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.