Food waste is a big problem. In fact, about one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted each year. That is a lot of food that could be used for feeding people, but instead often ends up in landfills. When food decomposes, it produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, greatly contributing to climate change. It is also a waste of all the natural resources used to grow and produce it, like water and land, not to mention the labor.
By reducing food waste, we can help to protect the environment and create a more sustainable future. This also lends to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 2: Zero Hunger, which works to end hunger, achieve food security, and improve nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
There are many reasons why food is wasted, but some of the most common include:
- Overbuying food.
- Not storing food properly
- Not eating leftovers
- Not knowing how to use food scraps.
If you're serious about cutting down on food waste, there are a few things you can do
- Make a meal plan. This will help you to avoid overbuying food and ensure that you have a plan for all of the food that you purchase. Instead of just a grocery list of generic items, reference recipes for each to meal to get exactly what you need.
- Store food properly. Different foods need to be stored in different ways. For example, fruits and vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator, and often not in the containers they come in. Do your research about storing your favorite foods so they taste better and last longer! It is also important to make sure you transport your food correctly from store to fridge. Check out some of our favorite coolers that double as grocery bags, making sure all your food lasts as long as possible.
THE DOLPHIN COOLER THE SEAGULL COOLER
- Eat leftovers. Leftovers can be just as delicious as fresh food, and they're a great way to reduce waste. If you don't have time to eat leftovers right away, you can freeze them for later. There are tons of recipes out there just for leftovers! We highly recommend Pinterest for leftover ideas.
- Get creative with food scraps. There are many ways to use up food scraps. For example, you can turn vegetable scraps into stock or compost them. Composting is a great way to reduce food waste, even when you can’t finish everything. Check out your local options or start your own in your backyard!
Here are a few additional tips for cutting down on food waste:
- Buy ugly produce. Ugly produce is just as nutritious and delicious as regular produce, but it's often cheaper because it doesn't meet cosmetic standards.
- Shop at farmers markets. Farmers markets are a great place to buy fresh, local produce. Supporting local farmers not only helps them but also cuts down on the carbon footprint of your food!
- Compost food scraps. Like we said, composting is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.
Cutting down on food waste is good for your wallet and the environment. By following these tips, you can make a big difference. Let us know your go to for cutting down on waste and feel free to share your favorite leftover recipes below or tag us @Outofthewoodsbags on Instagram!