Isn’t it the best feeling when you’re hungry and are finally able to sit down and devour something delicious? Food is precious, and we need to acknowledge the fact that we should worship the human fuel more than we do. For those who don’t know what it feels like to really be hungry, you may still understand based on how you feel when you skip a meal. Food waste is a real problem in a world full of hunger.
Food can be used to create more food, it can be shared, knowledge and technology can help increase food quality and efficiency. Wouldn’t you like that more people can enjoy the wonderful feeling of eating something good? Believe it or not, we can all make a difference.
More Food Waste, Less Food
Almost 50% of the food we produce is uneaten. In the U.S. and Canada, approximately 25% of the food purchased ends up as garbage. That’s crazy, isn’t it?
Over 30% of fruits and vegetables in North America don’t even make it onto store shelves because they’re not pretty enough for us picky consumers. Can you imagine all the precious resources lost to grow, produce, export and waste valuable amounts of water for food that won’t feed anyone?
Each year, industrialized countries are throwing away goods that almost amount to the entire Sub-Saharan’s net food production. That means a loss of 222 millions tons of food! Think, eat, save. Here are nine ways we can actually reduce food waste.
1. Not fresh?
Take a look at the products the grocery stores put on sale every day just because their expiration dates are looming, yet they are still perfectly safe to consume. These products are pretty much food waste waiting to happen. Why? Cause no one is buying them. We have so much different and equally fresh choices here that we only buy products that look better than the rest, forgetting about the fact, that these are very shallow reasons that don’t reflect food quality. Why does everything have to be so perfect? Every bit of food is precious, never forget that.
2. Food Beauty!
Grocery stores should push the weird/ugly looking fruits and vegetables more by selling them for lower prices instead of throwing them away. We don’t have to paint them before eating; they taste the same, I assure you. Tons of vegetables won’t be sold because of their non-GMO appearance for example. That truly is food waste.
3. Buy Local!
We loose so much food shipping it all around the world to cater to our fancy tastes thus wasting a lot of resources. If increased prices do not influence our buying choices, then the increased pollution definitely should. Is your exotic fruit or fish worth the impact it has just because it’s difficult to get in your region? At the same time, you could buy seasonally. Farmers will need to sell a huge amount of their fresh harvest quick because the competition is huge. There’s so much healthy food grown in our proximity no matter where you are. We should take advantages of that. It will have an impact financially and socially on you and your community to start buying locally.
4. To-Eat List!
Make a list of the meals you want to cook throughout the week or even month making sure you use all the ingredients you buy. You won’t only save food resources but money too. Look inside your fridge and look around. I’m sure you’ll find at least one piece of perished food you didn’t have time to cook or which doesn’t work for any meal you’ve planned. So we buy more and more.
It will make your daily routine easier, knowing what you want to cook and having all the ingredients ready to use. It’ll help you live healthier too by being more aware of what you buy and use daily.
Buying prepared meals sounds like an easy, fast and nutritive way to feed your family but, at the same time, this magic food will generate more trash from packaging and leftovers we didn’t bother to eat because it’s too cooked or too hard on the teeth! Once again, you will not only save money but improve your precious health too by not buying ready to eat food. Think about creating compost too with the veggie scraps left from preparing a meal. It’s better than throwing food waste in the trash.
6. Not so Fast!
We live in an era that is characterized by a fast forward lifestyle with everything passing by us so quickly. It’s easy just to replace the things we have because they’re broken. That means we’re very quick in throwing stuff away that could still be used. We do the same with our food making it effectively food waste. They need care too you know? Learn how to preserve your food longer so you won’t get a smelly surprise just before you were about to cook your stuff. We can’t afford to have food waste with all the hungry mouths to feed in the world. You alone have the power to extend the life of your food!
7. Make it!
An impressive fact about fruits and vegetables is that they are recyclable to create plenty more! You can plant seeds from your red bell pepper, grow a carrot plant with a carrot top, regrow a lettuce or clone fresh herbs for example. You will find a lot of tips on how to do that on the internet and at your gardening center to help you start a similar project. It could be a fun and educational activity to do with your kids too. You can grow vegetables and fruit inside your home and learn more about the progression and the beauty of having vegetation around you.
We can choose our products coming from sustainable and organics farms to help minimalize the impoverishment of the land. This way farmers will be able to use their fields longer with more efficiency, something we have to consider for our future generations with the population growing so fast and food shortages is an imminent threat to all of us. Sustainable farms often have more pride in what they do, as they should, to produce these products. Open your eyes on what you buy by finding sustainable labels helping you to make better choices.
We all have days we look in our fridge, and all we have seems kind of boring or a weird combination to compose a decent meal out of it. But if we organize a special dinner with friends who all bring their boring food with them, the mix can make a fabulous and original meal you will never get to eat a second time. It’s a great way to learn new recipes and cooking tips. And you get to meet your favorite people too!
I don’t know about you, but for me, food is better than gold.