Food: Too Good to Waste

Did you know that Americans waste enough food to fill the Rose Bowl every day (Bloom 2010).   Or that 44% of all food produced or imported for consumption in the U.S. ended up in the landfill or compost pile (USDA, ERS 2010). Or that Americans throw away $124 billion each year in food purchases.

Whether it’s moldy cheese, limp celery or those long lost leftovers in the back of the fridge, chances are you’ve wasted food this week. And you’re not alone. Americans waste about 25 percent of all food purchases.

It’s a growing problem with profound financial and environmental impacts. When we throw away food, we also waste all the water and energy used to produce, package and transport food from the farm to our plates. This waste creates significant environmental impacts and is costly to family budgets. The average family of four in the United States tosses out more than $1,600 a year in wasted food. Food is wasted when we:

  • buy more than we need  

  • store it incorrectly

  • throw away leftovers

  • cook too much.

There are a lot of simple things that we can do to make this problem go away and improve our eating habits at the same time (prep now, eat later!).  King County is teaming up with the US EPA to run a new campaign called Food:  Too Good To Waste with all the details.  Visit their website for all the tips and tools you need to eat great, without the waste.

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