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Summer School: Reducing Food Waste in 5 Easy Steps

Summer school: reduce food waste in 5 simple steps

Food waste is not only caused by almost everyone on the planet, but is also a growing problem on a global scale. According to a report by Refrigeration Design Technologies in 2018, “nearly one-third of the world’s food production is wasted every year, accounting for approximately 1.3 billion tons and nearly US$99 billion. In the United States alone, Americans waste 160 billion of them. The U.S. dollar accounts for almost 30% to 40% of the entire U.S. food supply."

The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way. From the largest companies to individual households, there are effective ways to prevent large amounts of food waste, as well as solutions to existing problems.

Here are 5 best practices that everyone can follow to reduce or even eliminate food waste in the world today.

1. Reduce food sources

Source reduction is the elimination of waste before it is produced. This is the ideal solution to food waste, but how is it possible? It's simple-you just need to get rid of some habits.

Personal best practices to reduce food waste:

List it: Stop Food Waste Day found that a family of four lost an average of $1,500 in food waste each year. This is enough for the whole family to go to the Grand Canyon for a week!

Control it: modify the purchase according to the eating habits of you or your family. Paying attention to portion control at home can effectively prevent and reduce unfinished food​​. If the children do not dig vegetables, cut off these parts.

Storage: Practice proper food storage techniques. There are some simple ways to ensure that delicious food stays in this state before you are ready to eat it.

Save it: follow simple food handling techniques and use more of the food you buy. For example, carrot shavings and broccoli stems can be used for soup, or stale bread can be used for croutons.

Best practices for companies to reduce food waste:

Audit: Restaurants and food service providers should conduct waste audits. Focusing on common waste trends is an easy way to eliminate waste.

Modify it: modify the menu to prevent and reduce uneaten food. If the side dishes keep returning to the kitchen to eliminate them.

Storage: Ensure correct restaurant food storage technology.

Save it: evaluate production and handling practices to prevent and reduce waste. Businesses, just like individual households, can keep those carrot shavings and broccoli stems for soup or toast.

2. Feed the hungry

The United Nations reported that about 793 million people in the world are hungry (about 11% of the population). When you consider that most of the food we send to the landfill still has nutritional value, it makes sense to transfer it to people in need.

How can this be done?

Uncontaminated food can be collected and donated. When this happens, the hungry get food and the garbage is moved from the landfill. We are supporting the health of the local community and ultimately saving money in the process.

Here are some resources to help you provide extra food to those who need it most:

Find your local Foodbank pantry Find a pantry campus kitchen Food recycling network Rock and roll! Good Company

3. Feed the animals

The community can help local farmers through simple food donations. The donated food is handled properly and safely, which can save local farmers money. It is also useful to donate extra food to zoos or local animal or pet food producers.

Best practices for individuals and businesses:

Evaluation: Determine the type and amount of food you will continue to donate.

Research: because each state’s regulations are different (some states prohibit donating food for animal feed, while others regulate what can be donated) EPA recommends contacting your local solid waste, county agriculture before trying to donate excess food Extension office or public health agency.

4. Compost

For any inedible food (rotted or expired), you can always choose compost.

What is compost?

Composting is the combination of a certain proportion of organic waste (food waste, yard trim and manure). Compost is very useful, but it takes time to mature for the following purposes:

Reduce and partially eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers; perform cost-effective remediation of soil contaminated by hazardous waste; capture and eliminate almost 100% of the volatile organic chemicals (VOC) that pollute the air; and enhance soil water retention capacity.

It serves as a resource for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) and provides easy composting methods at home.

5. Industrial use

In addition to providing nutrition for animals and hungry people, excess food can also refuel your car. As fuel costs and concerns about the environment continue to increase, there is an increasing demand for alternative fuels, such as biodiesel and biogas from anaerobic digestion.

Eliminating food waste is possible and simpler. Adopting these best practices is a great way to feed the hungry, support the local economy and save money. So before you throw away food that you think is wasted, ask yourself if there is a better option.

For a complete step-by-step guide to successfully implementing a waste and recycling program, click here.

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