Waste not: Saving the environment by saving food

Food waste has become a major problem in the US. (istockphoto)
Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | December 14,  2017

As the holidays draw near, most consumers are preoccupied with gift-buying and family preparations. Solid waste specialist Noelle Bowman, however, wants people to be mindful of their food waste as well.

Food waste is an enormous problem in the United States. Around 125 billion pounds of food scraps are discarded in the US per year, accounting for roughly 40% of all food waste worldwide.  Equally surprising, around 1 in 7 US citizens are food insecure.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a “Food Recovery Hierarchy”; a pyramid chart illustrating the different tiers of important steps to take in order to reduce overall food waste. Source reduction is the first and primary goal; a large amount of food waste starts at the harvest and at mishandled inventory.

A study on food waste increase in Singapore gave tips to consumers looking to reduce food waste by buying only what they will use, storing or freezing food for later use, and composting any unusable ingredients they can.

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