Sustainability Tip: Reduce Food Waste
Leawood, KS
08/10/2017 12:37 PM

Did you know that the average American wastes 50 percent more on food than they did in the 1970's? The “waste not…want not” mentality that many of us were brought up with seems to be less relevant today. The average family of 4 ends up tossing the equivalent of $2,275 worth of food into the trash annually. Food production has a huge detrimental environmental impact. In other words, wasting food is bad for the planet. What can you do to minimize your carbon footprint and save money too?

  • Plan meals ahead of time and shop using a list.
  • Split meals at restaurants that serve large portions or bring your own take home container for left-overs. Don’t forget to eat the left-overs or freeze them for later.
  • Make smoothies or soups from aging fruits and vegetables.
  • Plan meals around the older food products or foods that are close to their expiration date.
  • Designate one dinner each week as a “use-it-up” meal.
  • Use the entire piece of food when cooking, for example, leave the skin on cucumbers and potatoes, sauté broccoli stems along with the florets, etc.
  • Understand expiration dates. If stored properly, most foods stay fresh several days past the “use-by” date.
  • Buy misshapen fruit (it tastes just as good) but the grocery stores often throw it away.
  • Buy local when possible (less environmental impact).
  • Compost in your backyard (more on this another time).

So don't forget to help the environment and reduce food waste!

Information provided by Kathy Corbin, member of the Leawood Sustainability Advisory Board

Kathy Corbin
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