An Escalating Problem: Food Waste

This problem will not resolve itself and the piles of garbage are getting bigger. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared a goal year of 2030 to reduce food waste by 50%. The majority of food waste is connected to restaurants, schools, hospitals, and corporations. Yet commercial and public enterprise aren’t entirely to blame. Household food waste accounts for an astounding 40% of the total statistic.

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Click here to view the government’s long term plan.

Waste is not just tossing a half-eaten sandwich into the bin. Instead, food waste is defined as any food that is discarded during processing, sale, storage, preparation, cooking, and plate waste. Think ugly fruits and vegetables, unused cuts of meats thrown away to make a beautiful steak, and those large portions of beautiful carrots chucked just to make “baby carrots”.

Food Waste Creates Greenhouse Gases

Statistically speaking, food waste constitutes two billion global tons of rubbish per year which translates to two billion hungry mouths that could be fed. Additionally, managing food waste creates more greenhouse gas emissions than electric power plants. Forty million of the 60 million tons of food waste were disposed in landfills in 2010. In America alone, the amount of food waste generated every day can fill the 10 acre Rose Bowl stadium. The data is alarming and is only getting worse as time passes.

What You Can Do

Split meals when eating out with your spouse, partner or kids.  

Extra charge for sharing? Still cheaper than an additional entree. Save money, food waste, and your waistline!

Understand dates on purchased food packages.

Preventing foodbourne illness is crucial, but not understanding packaging dates can turn “when in doubt, throw it out” into costly waste. For more information on this topic, click this link: Understanding Dates on Food Labels

Track food waste.

If you own a restaurant, contribute to your community and the planet while watching your food cost drop. Programs like LeanPath effectively track food waste for you.  Psssst.. The EPA offers free tools for manually tracking food costs for the financially conscience entrepreneur.

Donate excess food.

Food donations are considered charitable and provide tax write-off incentives!  Food banks will be grateful for your help!

Compost fruit and veg scraps.

Although composting ranks low on the impact scale, it contributes to a reduction in household food waste and your garden will thank you. Did you know you can compost coffee grounds and cleaned egg shells?

Plan ahead.

Dietitians advise planning meals two to three days in advance. Short term meal planning and grocery lists may feel time consuming, but it will save you loads of time in the long run. You’ll save money and food waste by using what you buy!

Share this article with friends and family.

Take action to build awareness and increase the impact of waste reduction!  Go to and share this article by clicking on your favorite social media icon!

If you can’t spare the time or patience, let me do it for you!  E-mail me at and type MEAL PLANS in the subject line!

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  1. Great! I am so glad you focused this article on this environmental problem. Thank you for giving us ways to help solve it!

    1. Thank you for reading the post and the comment! Just writing the article has helped me to pay a bit more attention to my family’s waste. I’ve started using my veggie scraps to make my own vegetable broth!

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