5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste Footprint

What is food waste? Food waste is simply edible food that is not eaten. Generally speaking, there are 5 different types of food waste. The first is agriculture waste, which stems from farmers and agribusinesses’ regular discard of food that is misshapen, unusually colored, or too small to sell. The second is post-harvest waste, where poor storage facilities allow edible food to rot before it can be eaten or transported to market. Thirdly we have processing waste, or waste where food  is lost in processing; for example bread trimmed to make a no-crust sandwich. Fourth is distribution waste, which comes from poor infrastructure (including roads and vehicles) that limit the efficient distribution of food. Finally we have consumption waste, where consumers regularly throw out food from forgotten containers at the back of cluttered refrigerators or when schedules get in the way of ambitious cooking plans.

So what are some things consumers can do about food waste? Well there are lots of things; but here are 5 easy ways to reduce your food waste footprint:

1. Use the USDA’s FoodKeeper to keep track of your food’s expiration dates.




2. Eat less. Use smaller plates to control portion size.



3. Eat your leftovers; ask your server for a box to take them home. (Be safe about it!)



4. Freeze or can extra food, and blend bruised fruit into smoothies.




5. Try not to waste water-intensive foods like meat.



Originally Published: Blog.Education.NationalGeographic.com | 17 February 2016