January 2024: Reduce Food Waste!

Reduce Food Waste

It’s New Years’ Resolution season and many of us are thinking about getting healthy, improving a bad habit or taking up a new practice. We’ve got an idea that combines all three: Let’s tackle food waste!  We can reduce harmful emissions by working together to lessen the amount of food we throw out, making sure we compost any scraps we can’t use. It may not seem like a big deal to save that limp celery from the back of the crisper drawer, but according to Project Drawdown, a national nonprofit that studies and tracks climate action, reducing food waste is an essential, high-impact climate action that any individual can take.

In 2021 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that the emissions from wasted food equal that of 42 coal fired power plants, and that does not take into account the gases produced from food rotting in the landfill. 

Every year one third of the food produced globally is wasted, and nearly 50% of that waste comes from our own kitchens. The average US household throws out 32% of purchased food. 

Imagine the acres of land used to grow this food, the water wasted to grow the crops, and the fuel wasted to transport the food. It really adds up! And food waste is almost a quarter of the waste found in landfills, emitting methane when it breaks down. (Keep waste out of the landfill by composting!)

We can all play a role in making a change here! 

Experts recommend planning meals and shopping intentionally to ensure that you are only buying food you will cook and eat. 

Shop with a list to keep focused on buying only what you need. Store food properly, including freezing food before it goes bad. Plan meals based on what you have left over in your refrigerator. 

Here is a list of recipes that use up ingredients and “clean out the fridge,” with tasty results. 

We challenge you to make dinner tonight with ingredients that are already in your fridge, that are still good but might have gotten thrown out if you don’t make an effort to use them up. 

Try making a chimichurri sauce from leftover wilted herbs, a frittata with leftover vegetables, panzanella salad, stir fry or a hearty soup to use up scraps. Use less-than fresh berries in salads, smoothies or fruit sauces. 

This action can be fun and delicious. Gather in the kitchen, see what you’ve got and see what you can come up with! 

Post pictures on our Facebook and tell us how it went!

View All Resources