8 Tips for Reducing Food Waste, Saving Money and the Planet

Dinner party

Food, the cornerstone of our lives. Not only does it give us the nutrients we need to survive, eating a delicious home cooked meal can be therapeutic. Whether you like sweet, savory, or spicy, food has a way of bringing people together like nothing else can.

Why is it that we allow so much of this precious commodity go to waste?National Geographic reports astounding food waste on a global level, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization:

“2.9 trillion pounds of food per year is lost. That means about one-third of all food produced is lost. Ironically at the same time, approximately 800 million people are suffering from hunger worldwide.”

Where is all of that food going?

In developing nations the majority of food waste is due to poor storage systems, resulting in spoilage before food can reach consumers. In developed nations the three biggest reasons food is lost is the rejection of ‘ugly’ fruits by grocery stores, retailers ordering and displaying too much food, and consumers throwing away food that has gone bad in their pantry or refrigerator. 

Stopping global food waste may seem like an enormous problem way out of our hands, but lowering you and your families personal food waste can save you tons of money and help this global problem.

8 things you can do to prevent food waste in your own life:

  1. Plan out your dinners at the beginning of every week. That way you buy exactly what you are going to use.
  2. Pre-make your lunches from leftovers from last night's dinner.
  3. Buy frozen food that doesn't perish as easily.  
  4. Do a quick google search to see if there is anywhere near you that sells misshaped fruit at a discount, like Imperfect Produce in the Bay Area. 
  5. Have a leftover dinner night each week or think of creative ways to incorporate leftovers into a new dinner.
  6. Make smoothies or bread with bruised or overripe fruit.
  7. Bring home all leftovers from restaurants.
  8. Spread the word — talk with your friends and families about how important it is to save food.