Wasting Food Equals Wasting Energy
A recent study published in the October issue of Environmental Science and Technology discovered that wasted food represents about 2% of our annual energy consumption in the U.S. In some ways, it's a bit of a conundrum because with the obesity epidemic, we don't want to encourage people to eat when they're not hungry. But what can we do to minimize the amount of wasted food?
- With a little kid, it's hard not to waste food. So much of it ends up on the floor, or spit out, or just plain refused. We try to make the best of it and compost all of the food scraps that we can. A while back, I posted a Beginners Guide to Composting. There is so much that you can compost.
- Work on becoming more of a localvore. When you buy foods that come from far away, they're likely to spoil faster. (If you haven't checked out Liz's localvore challenge, please do!)
- Check the back area of your supermarket. At my local Stop and Shop, they have damaged or very-nearly ripe produce for dirty cheap. It tends not to be organic, but if nobody else buys it, it will just be thrown away. These fruits and veggies are often perfect for jams, smoothies, pies, etc. This weekend I got 25 apples for less than $7 and they were perfect for making apple cider.
- Keep the above in mind when you buy too much fruit and can't eat it before it goes bad. Those super spotty bananas are perfect for banana bread!
- Buy day old baked goods from your bakeries and grocery stores. Usually they're still totally edible, but even if the bread is a little stale, there are plenty of things to do with stale bread!
- If you buy some food and you think you won't be able to eat it in time, stick it in the freezer. First off, a full freezer runs more efficiently than one that is half empty...so take advantage! This is great for meats, leftovers that you don't feel like eating right away (great for chili, in my opinion!) and fruits and veggies. Check out this guide to freezing produce by PickYourOwn.org.