The Impact of Food Waste on the Environment Part II

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Excess food waste contributes to an excess consumption of fresh water and fossil fuels, and a higher level of methane and carbon dioxide emission into our atmosphere.

Research has proved that since the early 1970’s, food waste has increased 50% per capita, which breaks down on a caloric count of 1400 calories per person per day wasted. This suggests that the obesity increase in our nation may result in a ‘push effect’ of food availability, Americans are not able to match their food intake with the over availability of cheap food.

This over supply of food energy can help curb the obesity factor and our food waste challenge.

Food waste includes uneaten portions of food and food trimmings that are left over from kitchens, cafeterias and restaurants. Because of it low composting rate, it is the largest component of discarded waste by weight.

Aside from prepackaged foods making up a tenth of the waste from food, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and grains are also thrown away.

As you can see, food waste has a major impact on our environment, landfills and health of our nation. Here are a few things you can do to help reduce waste:

  • Write a list- preplan your shopping trips to help with the urge to overbuy groceries.
  • Keep a healthy fridge- check the seals and temperature in the fridge for maximum food freshness and longevity.
  • Don’t throw it away- make softer fruits into smoothies or pies, wilting veggies into soup.
  • Use up your leftovers- find creative ways to incorporate your leftovers into tomorrow’s meal.
  • Rotate food- when you go food shopping, put the newer food towards the back and the older food towards the front.
  • Serve small amounts- most people won’t clean their plates, encourage everyone to come back for seconds, and if there are leftovers you can use them on a different day.
  • Freeze- freezing breads help lengthen its lifespan.
  • Turn it into garden food- waste is inevitable, so why not compost as much as you can. Fruits, vegetables break down into rich nutrients for the soil. In a few months, you can sprinkle it on your garden or flowers.

Websites Consulted:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124204314.htm

http://wasteage.com/mag/waste_food_waste_2/

http://www.thedailygreen.com/going-green/community-tips/reduce-food-waste-460708

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