Article at a Glance
- Between 30% and 40% of the food supply is wasted in the U.S., according to the USDA.
- One way to minimize food waste is by choosing food options that will stay good for a longer amount of time.
- Read this article to learn about changes you can make to reduce the amount of food you throw away.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Food waste is a large and pervasive problem in the United States. According to the USDA, between 30% and 40% of the food supply is wasted in the U.S., with the majority of tossed food going directly into the landfill. This generates greenhouse gases, and is a major contributor to climate change.
Waste occurs at every level of the food supply chain, from farms to supermarkets to restaurants to home kitchens. But just because the problem is multifaceted doesn’t mean that we can’t take action! Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the amount of food you throw away.
How To Reduce Food Waste At Home
Choose Shelf-Stable Or Frozen Food
One of the easiest ways to minimize food waste is by choosing food options that stay good for a longer period of time. Frozen fruits and vegetables are flash frozen, which allows them to retain most of their nutritional value. Shelf-stable foods can be higher in preservatives, so make sure to read nutritional labels before purchasing.
Focus On Food Storage
Proper storage can extend the life of fresh fruits and vegetables. For example, apples stay fresh up to 10 times longer when they’re stored in the refrigerator vs. on the counter. Bookmark and reference this interactive food storage guide for more information!
When food is composted, it decomposes into nutrient-rich soil – without the harmful greenhouse gases that are produced when food is thrown in the landfill. At 18 Chestnuts, we compost the food scraps left over from the production of our soups. Join us by starting a compost pile in your backyard, or asking your city to start a curbside organics program.
Share Your Extras
If you’re going on vacation and have extra food, ordered too many bananas from the grocery store, have an abundance of lettuce from your garden, or tried and didn’t like something new – don’t throw it out! Post on your local Buy Nothing group or other community group. Many food shelves will also take fresh fruits and vegetables, whether home grown or purchased at the store.
18 Chestnuts is committed to improving food access and security in our community, and are supporting 12 Baskets Café through donations of food and funds. Please join us by donating to a food bank in your local community.
Understand Expiration Dates
According to the FDA, as much as 20% of consumer food waste can be attributed to confusion over the best-by, use-by and sell-by dates on food items. Those dates indicate when a product is at peak freshness. Visit the USDA website to learn more about food product dating and how to interpret food labels.
18 Chestnuts crafts delicious, plant-based soups that deliver on nutrition and flavor. We offer soup delivery subscriptions and one-time orders. Whether you’re too busy to cook, want a nutritious meal option, have dietary restrictions, or want to send soup to someone who needs a comforting meal, 18 Chestnuts is for you!
With a wide range of all-natural soup flavors including Beetroot Apple, Red Pepper Pomodoro, Carrot Ginger Dill, Butternut Squash Pear, and Asparagus Shiitake, our gourmet soup will thrill your tastebuds. All 18 Chestnuts soups are dairy-free, low-glycemic, locally sourced, and nutrient-dense. Check out our soups and schedule your gourmet soup delivery today!
Source: Self, “8 Ways to Actually Reduce Food Waste”