Current Issue

Whether you live in the United States, Great Britain, or the antipodes, itís well known that Western consumers on average produce a lot of food related wasteófrom organic matter to packaging. For example, North Americans throw away enough food throw away enough food every year to feed 200 million adults!

Why wasting food is bad

Food that is tossed out gets added to landfill, incinerated, or stuffed into garbage disposals connected to sewage systems. In landfills, it decomposes, generating methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change! Every pound of food waste added to landfill creates the equivalent of a pound of greenhouse gases.

Valuable resources such as energy and water used to grow, package, transport, and store the food are also lost. While a little food waste is inevitable, say banana peels or egg shells, we could all do better with how we care for the food we already have.

How to save food

  • Check use-by-dates and plan your weekly meals based on what you already have in the fridge or freezer.
  • Purchase only the missing ingredients to complement your current stock, and store any leftovers appropriately.
  • Buy in bulk with minimal packaging, and store in smaller portions when you get home.
  • Transfer nuts, fruits, yogurt, etc., into smaller reusable containers for lunch boxes.
  • Compost vegetable scraps, flower cuttings, tea bags, etc., or use a worm farm (compact systems are available for apartment dwellers.)
  • Grow herbs on your balcony or plant a vegetable patch, and use the food you grow as itís needed. Or join a community garden.

For more great ideas on how to prevent food waste in your home visit today.

Nutritionist Sue Radd is the award-winning author of The Breakfast Book and coauthor of Eat To Live, internationally acclaimed for showing how savvy eating can combat cancer and heart disease and improve well-being. See for more nutrition information.

Food Matters: Love Your Food, But . . .

by Sue Radd
From the June 2010 Signs