I think we are all aware of the fact that in the midst of world hunger, good food gets thrown away every day around the globe. But I for one was not aware of how bad the situation really is.
A recent United Nations report revealed that one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste. One-third! That’s an incredible amount of food, especially when you consider how many people go to bed hungry every night, including an estimated 17 million children. The monetary loss is estimated at $750 billion per year.
In affluent areas, the main cause of this waste is consumer behavior, while in developing countries, most food is wasted because of inadequate harvesting techniques. In addition to the fact that many people are starving while perfectly good food goes to waste, the wasted food also causes carbon emissions, extra water consumption and the reduction of biodiversity.
We can’t solve the world’s food problems, but we can do our part to stop wasting food. Following are 6 ways to accomplish that:
• Make a specific list of items needed before going to the supermarket and stick to it. Don’t be a victim of impulse buys that often end up being tossed out.
• Eat dinner leftovers for lunch the next day, and maybe even for dinner the next evening if there is still food left over.
• Go through the pantry and freezer to find food items that are nearing their expiration dates and put a meal together with them.
• Eat before going grocery shopping. A hungry shopper is more likely to buy food that he or she will end up throwing out.
• Make fewer trips to the supermarket. The more trips that are made, the more food will be purchased and possibly the more will be thrown out.
• If food that’s nearing an expiration date won’t be used, donate it to a non-profit food pantry.
Do you find yourself throwing away more food than you intend to? Will some of the above suggestions help cut down on the amount of food you toss out? Do you have some additional ideas on how we can stop wasting food? Hope to hear from you about this important subject.