This week my challenge is to reduce food waste in our household. While researching this task, I found some eye opening statistics on the way America consumes food.
- Americans waste 96 BILLION pounds of food every year, although some argue that this is old data and underestimated.
- If only 25% of 96 billion pounds of food were recovered, we could feed 20 million people… this would MORE than enough to feed every hungry child in America. That is also the entire nation of Mozambique that could be fed. We could feed entire nations with this waste.
- Americans throw away 25% of the food we prepare
- We produce twice as much food as needed per person
- Landfills account for the largest human related source of methane, which is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
- The food we throw away costs households money.
- Food disposal costs the US about 1 billion dollars.
- An average household of four throws away $590/year in food.
- Wasted food may also have wasted packaging, transportation costs, agricultural costs and other secondary environmental impacts.
These are some fairly staggering statistics and I think the purpose of this week’s challenge has changed slightly for me. I went into this with the thought that I would be trying to find a way to help the environment, but I think this also needs to include a way that we are getting unused food to people who can use it.
Now that I know the WHY of food waste conservation, I will need to figure out the how. We will do what we can to buy only what we will need, reduce the waste of our food purchases and get appropriate food items to those who can use it. In the comments area below, please let me know if you have any ideas or experiences in regards to non-wasteful food usage, composting and creative ways to preserve food or experience with food pantries.