Food waste has seeped into our consciousness and — according to recent studies — it’s taking up a lot of space.
• In its second annual forecast of health-related trends, the Values Institute* identified “food waste consciousness” as a top trend in 2013.
• In August, 2012, EcoPulse* tagged food waste as the number one cause of consumer guilt among consumers.
NoFoodWaste, a blog developed by Food Cycle Science, Inc., provides detailed information and statistics about onsite organic waste reduction and conversion, including the following:
• 40% of all landfill content comes from food waste.
• Currently, only 3% of food waste is recycled.
• Food waste refuse generates methane gas, 20-25% more potent than CO2.
At the 7th Annual Front End of Innovation March 4-6, 2013, Jason Foster (founder of Replenish) will host a session titled: Taking Out the Trash: Why Reuse Gives Consumers and Brands More of What They Want.
According to Earth Eats, a service of Indiana Public Media, in 2010 almost 27% of edible food produced in the U.S. went to waste. The National Resources Defense Council estimates the amount at about 40%. (Note: Download the NRDC pdf on food waste, NRDCAug2013Wasted).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers these tips on slashing food waste for consumers who care (and that’s a lot of us):
- Shop your refrigerator first! Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.
- Plan your menu before you go shopping and buy only those things on your menu.
- Buy only what you realistically need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils.
- Be creative! If safe and healthy, use the edible parts of food that you normally do not eat. For example, stale bread can be used to make croutons and beet tops can be sautèed for a delicious side dish.
- Nutritious, safe, and untouched food can be donated to food banks to help those in need.
- Freeze, preserve, or can surplus fruits and vegetables – especially abundant seasonal produce.
- At restaurants, order only what you can finish by asking about portion sizes and be aware of side dishes included with entrees. Take home the leftovers and keep them for your next meal.
- At all-you-can-eat buffets, take only what you can eat.
- Compost food scraps rather than throwing them away.