Reduce Waste

Did you know that Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, equating to 150,000 tons of food? Research shows fruit and vegetables were the most likely to be thrown out, followed by dairy and then meat. An estimated 40% of all food waste occurs in the home. By following the tips below, we as consumers can take small actions to become more efficient in reducing food waste.

  1. Make a list before shopping
    1. Taking inventory of what you already have will keep you from purchasing items that you don’t need.
  2. Buy “ugly” fruits and vegetables
    1. A lot of produce is waste because of small blemishes or the fact that it doesn’t look “pretty”. Embrace ugly fruits and vegetables! They are just as edible and nutritious as the “pretty” ones.
  3. Stock up your freezer
    1. Freeze extra fruit or vegetables if you can’t use them before they go bad. You can use them later for soups and smoothies. If you have the space, storing leftovers in the freezer is also a great way to decrease your amount of food waste.
  4. Re-purpose foods
    1. Try using left over foods in different recipes. For example, left over rotisserie chicken tastes delicious in chicken taco soup.
  5. Pay attention to date labeling
    1. Manufacturers provide dating to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of best quality. Except for infant formula, dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety and are not required by Federal law. Examples of commonly used phrases are below:
      1. “Best if Used By/Before” indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
      2. “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.
      3. “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula as described below.

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