How Much Food Are You Wasting?

Most of us waste food. That’s the USDA said in 1995 that 27% of the food supply in the United States was wasted. That’s 96 billion pounds of wasted food. This isn’t something they check very often, so I can’t find more recent data than that.

But it’s pretty horrible.

A lot of it is restaurant waste, of course. If you’ve ever worked in one or even just paid attention to what people leave on their plates, you know. Excessive portions are a big problem.

You can help with that, of course, by taking your leftovers home. If you want to be really green about it, take it home in a reusable container you’ve brought from home.

But food waste at home is a big problem too. People buy more than their families can eat. They cook too much then don’t eat the leftovers.

It’s quite a waste of money as well as food.

So what do you do about it?

The first thing you can do is look at your shopping habits. Are you buying more than your family will eat before it spoils? Do you plan your shopping around a menu to control what you buy?

You also need to pay attention to your leftovers. I try to remember leftovers when I prepare my lunch. One of my sisters makes frozen meals out of them to take to work. Other people make casseroles or other recipes by combining leftovers. Figure out what works for you.

Of course, when food does spoil, think about how you’re disposing of it. If you can compost it for your garden, do so. It’s not as good as eating the food you bought for that purpose, but it’s better than throwing it in the trash.