Updated: Apr 29, 2019
Food waste is not harmful to our environment because it breaks down naturally.
Food waste is extremely harmful for the planet, economy, and world hunger.
Why is food waste bad?
More land is used for farming food which results in deforestation. This puts many species in danger and diminishes the native species.
Expedites Climate Change
When food decomposes it releases methane gas which is 23 times more potent to the planet than carbon in terms of global warming. Deforestation also gets rid of carbon sinks that help remove carbon from our atmosphere.
Wastes Money and Resources
All of the energy that went into producing that food is now completely wasted. This includes water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
Currently worldwide about 1/3 of all food is wasted which is about 1.3 billion tons per year. This is devastating when 1 in 7 people are going hungry.
What causes food waste?
What can I do to reduce food waste?
Buy what you need
Do not over purchase food that will go to waste. Try taking inventory before going to the grocery store so you do not by items you already have.
Store Food Correctly
Food spoilage often happens when food is stored incorrectly. For dry goods that can go stale utilize reusable containers that can be sealed. Keep potatoes, tomatoes garlic, cucumbers and onions out of the fridge. Separate foods that produce ethylene gas which speeds up ripening. These include bananas, avocados, peaches pears, and green onions.
Make sure to save your leftovers and try packing them for lunch. Bringing your own lunch is a healthy way to reduce carbon emissions and food waste.
Buy ugly food
A great deal of food is discarded simply for not being perfectly shaped or colored even if it is perfectly fine. Purchasing ugly foods and save the planet while saving money.
Use your freezer
Try freezing food that is about to go bad for example bananas are great frozen to be used later for smoothies. You can also buy foods in bulk and utilize the freezer to prevent spoilage.
Where should the leftover food waste go instead of landfill?
Nonperishable are great to donate to your local food bank which also helps your surrounding community.
Food waste can be diverted to be used as animal feed which is also economically cheaper than sending it to the landfill.
Food waste can also be composted which creates a nutrient rich product to act as a soil amendment. This can be done in an at home compost or in an industrial composter.
Green technology is being released constantly to process food waste in a carbon neutral/ negative format.