Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted worldwide, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). That’s one-third of all food produced, and that’s worth about $1 trillion.
All of that food waste ends up in a landfill and produces methane, which contributes to global warming. Methane from landfills makes up more than 20 percent of all methane emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
These food waste statistics are alarming, but each of us can take action. A cool new initiative? The global campaign introduced by the FAO that intends to cut down on how much food is wasted around the world. The campaign Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint encourages both food producers and consumers to reduce their waste, and it offers information on how to do so.
There are many ways you can reduce your foodprint. Think.Eat.Save offers suggestions such as freezing anything you can’t eat before its expiration date and scaling down the contents of your fridge by using what is already in it before purchasing more groceries.
The EPA also offers tips for reducing food waste. Meal planning is important to do before you go to the grocery store so you don’t buy unnecessary items, and when you go out to eat, ask for smaller portions or take home what you can’t finish to eat as leftovers.
Excess or almost-expired food can be made into something tasty with just a little resourcefulness. You can turn surplus vegetable trimmings into soup broth, for instance. Bread that is nearing its expiration date can be transformed into croutons. See our sister magazine Mother Earth Living’s homemade crouton recipe for instructions.
If you just can’t eat what’s in your fridge, compost it. Composting your food waste is another great way to reduce your foodprint. Starting your own compost pile is easy, and you can learn how to get started small in Kitchen Composting.
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Victoria Pitcher is an Online Editorial Assistant at Ogden Publications, the parent company of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find her on Google+.