Ever wonder what happens to all the food we don’t finish that gets dumped in the trash? Well, they end up in the trash of course, but what many people are not aware of is the tremendous impact food waste has on our environment. While it’s inevitable to end up with leftover food now and then, we could all learn a thing or two on how to reduce that and to shop and eat wiser.
During Earth Week, NBC Universal’s newest campaign “No Food Wasted” highlights and details the necessity of cutting down on food waste in the US. Statistically, an average person wastes approximately 244 pounds of food a year and a family of four could spend $2275 on groceries that never get eaten. Given how there are so many starving people in the world, those are astronomical numbers to hear.
The goal of the No Food Wasted campaign is to help people understand this dilemma that the US is facing. If by helping people become aware of this growing trend of being more mindful in what we buy and eat, then perhaps there will be less food wasted. But food waste is only part of the bigger picture. The food that ends up in our landfill, our ocean, on the streets, and even in our own homes eventually lead to an unhealthy planet. Our environment already has a lot to handle with climate changes, pollution, chemical engineering, it’s incredible that we as humans, do not have the control to reduce our intake. And if you look at in a different way, think of all the money wasted on food we buy that we end up throwing away.
Most of us do our best in not wasting food by saving leftovers. But what good are leftovers if you forget to eat them or just don’t have the desire for them the next day? Food leftover for a longer period of time starts to lose their nutritional benefits and they could be harmful to our body. So in essence, if we are trying to save our leftovers because we don’t want to be wasteful, that practice only works if we eat our leftovers right away. So the best solution would be to just cook enough for that particular meal. Plan ahead so you know if you intentionally want leftovers but remember to finish them off within a day.
Green is Universal (http://www.greenisuniversal.com/) is NBCUniversal’s ongoing sustainability initiative dedicated to raising environmental awareness and helping to nurture a healthy planet. Through their continuous efforts whether in person or through the world wide web, Green is Universal’s main ambition is to create more awareness across the globe so that we can all live in a healthier world for now and for the future. All it takes is one single person to take that first step and to make the commitment to reduce food waste. Below I’ve listed ideas that I’ve learned throughout the years that I hope will give you insights on reducing food waste.
Reduce Food Waste:
– Make a grocery list each and every time you go grocery shopping. This has truly saved me time and money overall so I don’t get tempted to buy something that wasn’t on my list. Just be sure to stick to the list to make it really count.
– Find useful and delicious recipes that helps you reduce food waste. Check out http://www.greenisuniversal.com/ for some great recipes.
– Teach our children and our family about wasting food. Feed your children only what they can eat instead of the stigma that they need to eat more to help them grow. Sure food is essential, but not as important as feeding them the proper type of food. When kids learn to eat what their bodies allow them to eat, then they too can learn to eat healthier and to not waste food. A good standby is to feed them their hand’s size amount of food. If it fits in their fists, then that’s the recommended amount.
– Composting is one of the best ways to make use of all your leftover foods. Table scraps, skins of fruits and vegetables, cores, tops, you name it – whatever you intend to throw away, save it for the compost pile. Learn how to properly compost on Green is Universal’s website.
– Try and freeze what you can and remember to mark the date you freeze them so you’ll know if they’re still safe enough to consume.
– Grow your own edible organic garden. I started one a few years ago and we’re quite proud of our carrots, strawberries, cucumbers, radishes, corn, and lettuce that I’ve grown throughout the years. Although the beautiful California weather supports the ability to grow an abundance of healthy fruits and vegetables, research what grows in your area and climate and it will be easier for you.
– Shop at farmers markets. There, you can buy in bulk or in pieces so you’ll tend to buy only what you need. You’ll save money and the environment in doing so.
– Donate extra cans of food that have not expired to the local food shelter. If you think you bought too much or you know you won’t be using them, by all means donate them.
– Practice Mindful Eating. This is where you’re conscious of the food that’s in front of you, instead of quickly snarfing down a plate and not know what you just ate. Enjoy the food that you’re chewing, chew slowly, and take your time. Not only will this help you appreciate more of what you’re eating, but you’ll get fuller faster as your body is properly digesting and assimilating the nutrients in your system.
So today, join me, NBC Green is Universal, and many other eco-bloggers on our Twitter party. You can follow us here: https://twitter.com/GreenIsUni as we talk about less food waste, useful tips, and the importance of keeping our planet healthy and green.
Be sure to also check out Green is Universal’s Motion Graphic Video on youtube to watch a very informational video on how food waste affects our entire world (https://youtu.be/cDnDPjbLYDY). I was amazed at all the consumption in the US as well as what we waste. Remember – we only have one planet to live on; take care of it.
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