GOOD

The U.S. Wastes 40 Percent of All Food Produced Per Year. How About We Stop Doing That?

The average household throws out $1,300-$2,200 worth of food each year. Here are five easy ways to reduce food waste...and save money!


This poster is about 100 years old but its message is no less pertinent. Why? Because every year, the United States wastes 40 percent of the food it produces. That's enough food to fill the Rosebowl every day.

Jonathan Bloom, whom we introduced you to earlier this year, has been obsessing about that stat for a long time. Indeed, his book, American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It), points to food waste as one of the larger threats to our food supply.


Since the book's publication Bloom has been increasingly focused on reporting not just on that mind-boggling amount of waste but what we can do about it. I caught up with him at a brown bag lunch presentation at San Francisco's 18 Reasons earlier this week (where nary a sandwich crumb was left at the end). He suggests that there is legislation that could help stem the flow of food waste, by including language on food donation in the new Farm Bill, for example, or to streamline the tax deductions for food donation.

But, as Bloom points out, there are incredibly simple things we all can do to break the cycle of throwing out an average of 15 to 25 percent of our food annually per household (and the $1300 to $2200 we spend on it).

1. Shop smarter. Make a list to reduce your purchase of unnecessary items, plan meals, bring less food into your house. Since 25 percent is wasted, commit to buying 25 percent less food.

2. Focus on sensible portions. Portion sizes have increased as have the diameter of dinner plates. Pay attention to what's on your plate and think about equating value less with quantity than quality.

3. Ignore expiration dates. OK, so don't ignore them but approach with a fair amount of skepticism. If something is spoiled, you'll know it by the way it looks or smells not by the date on its packaging.

4. Love your leftovers. Don't just save them, eat them.

5. Befriend your freezer. It's a waste delayer.

And of course, there's always canning and preserving. For more tips including 17 Uses for Stale Bread, or to share some of your own, visit Bloom's blog, Wasted Food.

Image from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Articles
via Jason S Campbell / Twitter

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager defended his use of the word "ki*e," on his show Thursday by insisting that people should be able to use the word ni**er as well.

It all started when a caller asked why he felt comfortable using the term "ki*e" while discussing bigotry while using the term "N-word" when referring to a slur against African-Americans.

Prager used the discussion to make the point that people are allowed to use anti-Jewish slurs but cannot use the N-word because "the Left" controls American culture.

Keep Reading
Politics

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet

According to the FBI, the number of sexual assaults reported during commercial flights have increased "at an alarming rate." There was a 66% increase in sexual assault on airplanes between 2014 and 2017. During that period, the number of opened FBI investigations into sexual assault on airplanes jumped from 38 to 63. And flight attendants have it worse. A survey conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA found that 70% of flight attendants had been sexually harassed while on the job, while only 7% reported it.

Keep Reading
Travel