Reduce, reuse and revive: How to end food waste at home

Mixed Grain risotto with greens. Photo: Tara Duggan

Mixed Grain risotto with greens. Photo: Tara Duggan

As a society, the amount of food we toss out is shocking. From farm to fridge, 40 percent of the food in the United States is wasted. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans faces hunger.

But there’s yet another connection to food waste: California’s current drought. When 80 percent of our water goes to agriculture, wasting food means wasting water. One study estimates that 25 percent of water is used to produce food that goes to waste.

Yet most of us seem to find it as difficult to reduce food waste as to cut down on water use. That’s because the suggestions for cutting back on wasted food are often scolding or overwhelming.

“Most advice is to plan ahead and stick to your list, which kind of gets naggy,” says Jonathan Bloom, author of “American Wasteland” (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2010). “If it’s top-down like that, it’s hard to imagine having that much of an impact.”

Bloom and other experts agree that awareness is the first step. Start by tracking what you waste, either with a journal or smartphone photos, and then adjust your shopping and eating habits. (read more)

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